A darkness falls over the land when the Queen of Rurith dies.
Consumed with grief, King Ivar blames their son, Prince Leif, for her demise, and locks him away in the castle.
The Prince is left in total despair, until a girl, with hair the colour of a red sunset and green eyes shows him mercy.
For six years she visits him in secret, giving him hope where none existed before.
But Ruith hides many treacherous things that threaten to bring the Kingdom to its knees.
Until the Prince and his beastly curse are released.
He whispers into her hair, “I don’t deserve you.” The guilt strains his throat as the words come out husky.
Her gentle, slim fingers stroke the fine lines of his jaw, curling around his beard, and up to brush over the soft of his lips. “Don’t you ever say that, my love.”
He stares up to the ceiling where the reflection of the flames dance over broken beams. “The things I have done.”
Gently and playfully, she tugs on his beard to bring his lips down to hers. The kiss feeding the air into his lungs is light and touches the darkest parts of him, dispelling every negative emotion clouding his mind.
When she releases him, her words settle into the marrow of his bones. “All you have done for your people, for me…” she begins, “All that matters in this brutal world is your intentions, Prince. And your intentions have been only honorable.”
Mischief twinkles in his eyes. “I am inclined to disagree.” He smirks, staring down at her leg wrapped around his waist.
The silence falls between them. They had just committed treason, but neither of them wants it to end just yet. “Avelyn,” he speaks her name, adding, for the first time, “My goddess.” He tastes the endearing term with elation. “I want you to come with me, I have something to show you.” He shifts to slip out from under her.
“The hour is late, my love. I am rather tired. Would you mind,” she says as her lips feather the nape of his neck, “if we put it off until tomorrow?”
He studies her. “You dismiss me so quickly?”
“You know why…” she begins, tears brimming her sultry eyes.
“I will never do anything that puts you or your loved ones in danger. Do you believe that?” Leif gives a sigh.
“Of course, I do. I’ve known you since you were a little brat, since nine years old and to this day, never once have you lost control around me.”
The words feel good too hear. Moments later, as she jumps from the bed, he says to her, “If you trust me, then why do you so easily dismiss this important thing I want to show you?”
Carlyle is a USA Today Bestselling, international bestselling and international award winning South African author – with a flair and passion for mixing genres, adding loads of drama to every story she creates. Carlyle has traveled the world with her books in hopes of connecting with all kinds of book loving people, to learn as much as she can from other book cultures with the hopes of bringing the knowledge back to her home country.
Her goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about.
Carlyle uses writing as a healing tool, and that is why she has started her very own writers support event – SAIR Book Festival.
Founder of SAIR Book Festival
Co-Founder of Fire Quill Publishing.
Founder of Help build a library in South Africa.