As both a reader and writer of romance, I have one major pet peeve: overbearing heroes. Sure, some “Alpha” males can’t seem to help themselves, but no means no, even if it’s something small like walking a lady home. I try not to write the kinds of heroes who don’t take no for an answer, especially when it’s something major. However, my gargoyles were created not only as full-grown men, but as protectors of an entire kingdom and all of the citizens within. So, it comes as no surprise to me when they have a hard time not protecting the person they’ve set their hearts on. In BORN OF THE FORBIDDEN, Adalstan has the misfortune of falling for a Kevan woman. Keva is a kingdom of female warriors akin to the Amazons. They certainly don’t need protection. In the following excerpt, both Adalstan and Brónach come to realize they have something to learn about each other.
Adalstan landed well shy of the first houses marking the large border city of Angor. He set Brónach on her feet but didn’t move from her space. She gave him a wary glance before stepping back two paces away from him. They’d been traveling for two days, mostly by flight, as he didn’t require sleep or rest when in his gargoyle form. She’d convinced him to allow her to walk a few times, then slept in his arms as he flew toward the border. Finally, they’d reached their destination.
“Thank you, Adalstan. That was much faster than I could have done on my own two feet.”
“You’re welcome. I won’t even say I told you so.”
The eye roll she gave made him grin, but she didn’t comment.
“Darkness is falling. Shall we secure a room for the night?” he asked.
She stared at him suspiciously for a moment. “I often travel by night. There’s no need to wait before I head to the border.”
He shrugged. “True. But the weather is turning, and we’ve made good time. You said Neasa won’t be home for days yet, so you have a bit of a respite. Why not spend a night in the comfort of an inn rather than on your feet or the hard ground?”
A thin brow lifted in suspicion, but she grinned. “A night in the comfort of an inn? And I suppose that would include sharing a bed with you?”
His pulse leapt at the image her words called to mind, but he tried not to show his eagerness. “Why not? We’re both of age to consent.”
She continued to watch him without answering. He frowned and took a step back. “Of course, if you’re not interested, I won’t argue.”
She raised a hand as if she meant to stop his retreat but dropped it just as quick. “I know you’ve enjoyed my sisters’ company on your visits to Keva, Adalstan, but I’m not like them.”
“What does that mean? How do you differ?” Uncertainty filled her expression. He stopped himself from reaching for her as one possibility entered his mind. “Have you ever known a man’s touch?”
A blush filled her cheeks, but she held his gaze. “Yes. Once. But it didn’t last, though I would have pledged my life to his.”
A strange possessiveness surged within Adalstan, and he closed his eyes, lest she see the anger and think it was directed at her. The thought of another man spurning her left him wanting to tear that man’s arms off.
“This bothers you? That I will only lie with a man who wants to stay with me and me alone?”
His eyes flew open. “What? No. No, it doesn’t bother me at all, Brónach. I swear it.”
“Then what ails you? You’re angry. I can see it in the set of your shoulders and your jaw. I’ve angered you.”
It took an effort to unclench said jaw and relax, but he did so. Then he stepped closer and set his hands on her shoulders.
“What you see in me is the anger that another man has touched you and forsaken that touch. That another wouldn’t recognize the treasure he had in you. It enrages me, even as it gives me hope that I can take his place.”
Shock held her tongue, but she didn’t move away, which he took as a good sign. He ran his hands over her shoulders and cupped her face.
“It’s too soon,” he said. “We don’t know each other. And yet, I’m drawn to you as if my heart recognizes you after a lifetime of slumber.”
She shook her head. “No. It’s lust. Nothing more.”
“Is it?” He released her but didn’t move away. “I know lust, Brónach. I’ve spent seventy years indulging in it at my whim. But this urge to remain at your side, even doing nothing more than simply looking at you? This is not anything I’ve ever felt before.”
Then he turned away because that confession to one who was essentially a stranger had cost him. None of the gargoyles were known for expressing their emotions, even to each other. This was a new experience he wasn’t certain he liked. He strolled a couple of paces away and set his hands on his hips as he surveyed the area.
She remained silent for some time. He glanced over his shoulder to make certain she hadn’t left him. His heightened senses were better than most species, but the Kevan knew how to move about undetected. She still stood in the same spot, watching him with a wary expression. At his glance, she offered a small smile. The slight shift of her lips wasn’t all he’d hoped for, but it was a start.
He looked toward the road leading into town. “Come, Brónach. Let’s rest beneath a roof tonight. Each in our own beds. I’ll remain here in the morning if you still insist on entering Keva alone.”
Gargoyle Masters Book 3
Some desires are too strong to be denied.
Master Steinn is loyal to his brothers, his King, and his people, but his desire for another man is leading him into unchartered territory. As a Master Gargoyle, he protects the realm, but did he inadvertently bring on a threat from the Varish with his taboo encounter? Despite being made of stone, the strength of his feelings for Zephyr may be more than he can fight.
Bronach’s gift of foretelling is often a curse. The jumbled images she dreams aren’t usually helpful, but this time the danger is clear. Relaying the message is the easy part, the challenge comes in ridding herself of the one gargoyle who stops her heart. Adalstan has no clue she’s desired him for years. Now she finally has his attention at the worst possible time. Will he hate her once the full foretelling is revealed?
Twelve brothers turn to stone to protect the human realm, but they can’t protect their hearts once they find the mates who call to their souls. As they battle the unexpected feelings within, a battle wages in their city, a prophecy comes to light, and the fate of the entire continent is at stake.
About Missy Jane
Ms. Missy Jane is the alter ego of a Texas mother of four who has been married to the same wonderful man for many years. Missy spends most of her time lost in worlds of her own making alternately loving and hating such creatures as vampires, shape-shifters, and gargoyles (to name a few). When not writing, she spends her time reading, taking photos of her beautiful daughters, and training her husband to believe she’s always right. Excerpts from Missy’s work can be found at www.authormissyjane.com.
Missy currently writes contemporary erotic romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy.