Between the Dragon King and His Wrath
by Barbara Russell
Romantic Historical Fantasy
Revenge is a curse that can only destroy.
Princess Annika loves dancing, wearing bright gowns, and enjoying life. When she travels to the neighbouring kingdom of Walhack for the spring festival, she expects to make new friends. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Wlad, the former prince of Walhack now a slave in his own kingdom, starved and beaten by the violent usurper. Her attempt to help the fallen prince ends with her being assaulted and her father damaged for life.
Revenge is the only thing that keeps Wlad alive after the invaders occupied his kingdom, killed his parents, and turned him into a slave. Annika is the first ray of sunlight in years of pain and humiliation. Her kindness and compassion awaken the most dangerous feeling of all in his heart—hope.
Desperate to take his kingdom back, he makes a pact with the Sister Witches. He’ll be cursed forever in exchange for the supernatural powers that will allow him to defeat his enemy.
Eight years later
Annika doesn’t dance anymore. Doesn’t wear bright gowns anymore. As she struggles with her trauma, she has to meet King Wlad the Dracul—the Dragon King of Walhack—who slaughtered his way back to the throne. Everyone says he’s cursed, turned into an immortal creature who seeks blood to survive. But she hopes he’s still the kind young man she met years ago.
~ Please note this isn’t a dragon-shifter romance ~
This is a standalone, steamy paranormal/historical romance with a happily ever after. Trigger warning for explicit sex scenes, assault (off page), violence (off page), and trauma. There’s a time jump after the first few chapters. Cinnamon roll hero.
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The Kingdom of Walhack, Arges Castle, 1450
ONE STEP TO the left and Annika would plunge to her death into a chasm of sharp rocks and spiky brambles, and wasn’t that exciting?
She balanced her weight on her toes, walking along the three-foot-wide stone parapet. A thrilled yelp escaped her as the hem of her long skirt almost caused her to trip over. Blood pumped in her veins in a combination of fear and anticipation. Her skin tingled with excitement. If she lifted her skirt, she could twirl on one foot and watch the majestic castle spin around her—
“Annika!” Her father’s deep voice thundered from the room, breaking her moment of freedom. He marched towards her, his lips flattening in a grim line under his grey moustache and beard. “Come down immediately.” He didn’t wait for her to leap off the railing but took her wrist and helped her down.
The heavy crimson brocade skirt of her dress fluttered around her legs as she landed on the stone floor with a graceful leap. “I was about to come down, Papa. There was no need to grab me.”
The sun was setting behind the Carpathian Mountains, casting a red-blood shadow over her father’s face and turning the lake into a large ruby. The view was ominous and stunning at the same time.
He led her inside the bedchamber and locked the window, cutting off the pine resin scent rising from the forest.
“This isn’t the place or the moment for one of your antics.” His hands trembled as he pulled the curtains. “Not to mention that you nearly killed me out of sheer panic when I saw you over the railing. Lord almighty.”
It was never the moment to enjoy herself for her papa. At almost nineteen, Annika had been lectured on the appropriate behaviour of a princess more times than on the arts and literature of her kingdom.
A lady should never sweat. A lady doesn’t laugh too loudly. A lady doesn’t behave recklessly. A lady…
…doesn’t have fun.
Love stories have always captured my imagination. What’s better than two people falling in love with each other? I write steamy romance, usually with a paranormal twist in an historical setting. Add a touch of suspense and mystery and a pinch of darkness. I love stories with strong, sexy heroes and mischievous heroines who pull no punches.
I live in the City of Sails, New Zealand, drinking tea (coffee gives me anxiety) and devouring books.
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If you love steamy paranormal romance set in Victorian London, my Royal Occult Bureau series is for you: The Royal Occult Bureau Series
Are you into shape-shifter romance? Check out my da Vinci’s Beasts series, set in WW2: da Vinci’s Beasts Series
For more Victorian paranormal romance with witches and sexy warriors, see the Knights of the White Blade series: The White Order Series
Love steampunk? Check out my Auckland Steampunk series: Auckland Steampunk Series
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