It's Wednesday, which means it's time for another page 69 excerpt. My new book Eldritch Legacy: A Forfeit Owed came out just yesterday, so what better novel to share from than that one?
If you've read the previous Eldritch Legacy books, you'll know I skip generations between titles, jumping from medieval to Regency to present day. So where does A Forfeit Owed fall and how should it be read? Well, it takes place 25 years after the events of book one, Secrets Revealed, and so revisits the medieval castle with Inga's grown children. It can be read directly following Secrets Revealed, if you so choose, but it can also be read like I wrote it -- a retrospective story after the first three books to fill in the blanks. And for those of you who haven't read the series, I took care to write A Forfeit Owed in a way that it can be read independently of the other books and still make sense. Of course, you'll get more out of certain details if you've read at least book one, and will catch certain canon nuances if you've read books 2 and 3, but no, it's not wholly necessary to have read the entire series to hopefully enjoy this newest installment.
Sooo, what happens in A Forfeit Owed? My BBW heroine, Korinne, finds herself torn between not one but two of Inga's handsome sons. What's a girl to do but indulge in a hot Eldritch sammich? Of course, being the Eldritch universe, the ride isn't so smooth and obstacles must be overcome. This installment is not as dark or hardcore as the other books, with no BDSM elements, but the story remains true to the fairy tale and magickal elements of book one while hopefully providing a hot, romantic escape.
Page 69 finds Korinne slightly drunk on wine as she blindly navigates her way through a yew maze. If you've read book 2 and are thinking "Deja vu" you would be correct. And for the heck of it, and because it's kind of hot, I've included part of page 70 as well. Enjoy, and check back next Wednesday when I'll start sharing page 69 from each of the Blue Ruin books!
In a monarchy where one marries for love, two brothers vie for a maiden’s affections. Trystan's determined to best Darius, even if it means sharing the prize short-term. But when Trystan truly falls for Korinne, the biggest loss at stake is his heart.
PAGE 69 EXCERPT:
Korinne plunged blindly down the next row of yew. To her relief, no one accosted her. Her pace unfettered, she sailed through the maze. She rounded another corner unmolested, only to collide with a pair of bodies.
"Oh!" she cried out, finding herself enwrapped in a tangle of limbs.
"Hark, who dares interrupt us?" an unfamiliar male voice announced. Hands slid down the curves of Korinne's body and came to rest around her hips. "Though I must say, it is but a welcome interruption."
"Quite!" Wine-tinged breath burst into Korinne's face, carrying with it the unmistakable giggle of Edytha. "Do join us, cousin. I usually invite my sister, but that silly ninny is nowhere to be found."
"Usually?" Korinne asked. At a third hand on her breast, she shrieked. Ye gods, had her cousin just fondled her?
A knee pressed up between her legs, rubbing against her pussy through the fabric of her skirt. A strangled sigh escaped her at the pleasurable friction. Mortified at her own reaction, Korinne tore herself away.
"You're no fun!" Edytha called after her. "I should have expected you to be a prude!"
Korinne ignored her cousin's taunt. Face hot, the space between her legs hotter, she blindly felt her way around the twists and turns of the maze, determined now to escape. It dawned on her, in her drunken, flustered state, that she could simply take off the blindfold, rules of the game be damned. She started to do just that when another person caught her by the wrists.
"That's cheating, love," her captor whispered.
Korinne sensed him holding her back at arm's length, his grip strong and sure. She knew his scent, recognized her physical response to the heat emanating between their bodies.
"Trystan," she murmured.
"Damn it," he cursed. "Wait, how do you know it's me?"
"If I wasn't certain at first, I know now."
"Oh. Right. Have you found Darius yet?"
Korinne nervously licked her lips. "No," she admitted.
"Damn it," he swore again. "I suppose now our goal is to ensure you don't find him at all. Come with me."
"But --" she started to protest. Her breath left her as Trystan grabbed her hand and whisked her through the maze after him. In a frenzied, blind rush, they whipped to the left and then swung to the right. As their mutual gait increased, he suddenly spun her around in a wide arc.
She screamed in part fright, part amusement, the world rushing around her. Her fingers slipped from his, and she fell back on her rump. "Ouch!" she cried, grateful to have some extra padding to cushion her fall.
Dizzily, she stood. "That's it! I've had entirely enough of this nonsense!" She shouted to be heard throughout the maze. "I'm not here for your abuse or entertainment! None of you!" Stomping her foot, she ripped off the blindfold and threw it to the ground.
Her head stopped spinning, her vision coming into focus. She found herself standing in a circular clearing. In the midst grew a single rosebush with golden blooms.
"That's definitely cheating, love."
Korinne whirled around. Trystan stared back at her in stern admonishment.
“I’m not your --” She stopped at the sight of the parsley wreath around his head. “You’re the one who stole my crown. You found me earlier!” She marched over to him and stabbed an accusing finger against his chest. “Who’s the cheater now, love?”
Trystan smiled and grabbed her hands. “You can’t blame a man for having his eye on the prize. Besides, I found you, not once but twice. The forfeit states you must find the prince, not the other way around.”
“True,” she said, concurring with his logic.
“I know something else to be true: you don’t know your way out of here.” Cupping her shoulders, he peered down at her from between wayward locks of hair. His lips curled in a cunning smile, his eyes sparking with mischief, and for a moment she swore they’d gone black.
Korinne’s heart skipped a beat. She trembled, her legs threatening to buckle as she nearly swooned in his grasp.
She found her voice. “Do you? Know the way?”
“Of course. I’ve known this maze since I first learned to walk. As it happens, few find their way to the center and often by accident. Only my siblings and I know the path.” He advanced a step closer, their torsos drawing an inch apart, his hold tightening. “And here we are, alone again, just the two of us.”
Korinne stepped back, torn between the desire to run before something scandalous occurred between them, and the desire to fall into his arms and allow the handsome prince to do with her body as he fully wished.
She took another step backward, breaking his hold on her, then another, only to slam against a warm, solid barrier. A rich baritone washed over her. “What do we have here, my brother?”
Trystan scowled at Darius’s intrusion, but even as his eyes went darker, his frown faded. “A pretty little vixen who has lost her way.”
Korinne’s breath left her as the slender prince pressed against her, trapping her between his body and that of the sturdier Darius.
“She found me last, Brother,” Darius said.
“Correction, my fellow prince. We found her. I say we let Korinne decide who she wants to kiss.”
Copyright 2011 by Katrina Strauss
Eldritch Legacy: A Forfeit Owed
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More about the Eldritch Legacy series here.