Elena lives in a time when a tyrant King rules the land. Harsh taxes cause Elena's family to face the consequences, and Elena is taken. Now Elena has to choose between a life serving the King or death. How badly does Elena want to survive? Can she find her happy ever after?
WARNINGS: This title contains graphic language and explicit descriptions of sex.
Word Count: 15,000
Elena dunked the gauzy shift in the cool water of the stream. She noticed a new hole that needed to be patched as she washed the dirt out of the thin cloth. “Stupid King, and his stupid taxes,” she muttered to herself. If it weren’t for his harsh levy, her mother would’ve been able to buy material for a new dress instead of patching the old one.
A shrill scream rent the air. Elena’s head snapped up, and she dropped the wet clothing on the flat rock by the stream when she heard the second scream. Her mother was the only other female for miles. “Mother!” Quickly, she ran towards the small cottage, branches whipping against her face, the scratches going unnoticed as fear pounded in her heart. What she saw as she rounded the cottage took the strength from her legs, and she crumpled to her knees on the rocky ground.
“No!” Tears streamed down her cheeks.
“Ye know the law, Cristoff. Any pretty maidens we find have to be checked for innocence. She’s to be taken to the palace. Even if she isn’t innocent, I’d bet Prince Alex will want her. She’s a beauty.”
“I can figure out if she’s innocent with one thrust, Patrick.”
The red-headed soldier frowned and shook his head. “I’ll not feel the cold blade of the executioner’s axe against my neck because ye couldn’t keep it in yer pants. If she’s innocent and ye take away the King’s right to deflower her, it will be both our heads.”
The conversation of the two men barely penetrated Elena’s mind. All she could see were the still forms of her parents lying in a bloody puddle among the straw on the front grounds. Tears coursed down her cheeks. The cheer and laughter of the morning seemed like a distant memory. Numb with shock, she did not resist when strong hands hauled her to her feet.
This book was added to our catalog on Friday 17 January, 2014.