BOOK BLURB: Six years ago, Haidyn Mast left his home and his betrothed Anisa to follow his magical calling. Too weak to join the Arcane Guild and too ashamed to return home, he has made a life as a prostitute–to all outward appearances. In truth, he sells his mind but not his body, using magic to let his clients experience their most secret fantasies while his hands stay clean. Even the Lawman, the arbiter of justice in Reseda, is one of his clients, but Haidyn would rather not know the extent of that man’s depravity.
Though successful, Haidyn is shunned as a whore and his lack of formal training is causing his power to grow out of control. He’s ready to retire and leave the city, but when he sees his Anisa standing at Lawman’s side, he knows he must rescue her from the abusive enforcer. Risking his life and his sanity, he devises a plan, knowing that failure will mean death for him, and a lifetime of torment for her…
Read an Excerpt:
“Mistakes are the decisions that seemed like a good idea at the time. But years later they come back to haunt like a breath that never reached the afterland. Which is how I was destined to end up when I died—wandering aimlessly, forever denied the Lords’ grace because I didn’t have a trade.
Whores don’t get trade papers from any of the ten Lords. No Union wants us. It doesn’t bother me most days. The Arcane Lord I was born to serve refused me entrance to His Union, so now I use my magic to serve myself; or rather, whoever is throwing down the coin. It’s better than thieving and I have a comfortable life, if not an honest or entirely pleasant one.
I buttoned up my dark purple coat, which I’d bought with my tongue firmly in cheek since it was almost black, the color of the Arcane Lord. Around the cuff and collar was a pale pink band that gradually faded into the purple. It had been fashionable two years ago. Still, it didn’t seem right to wear my favorite red silk coat to the Decihall before noon. Usually I didn’t bother going; I’m not allowed in because of my occupation.
If I’d been a thief I’d have been in the same situation—no trade, no Lord, no entrance to the Decihall. Between the two choices, whoring had seemed like the better option; a little magic and they thought they were getting a good time while I pocketed their coin.
I combed my hair and tied it back—it was too long to be fashionable for a man but I didn’t care—then ran my hand along my jaw. There was a day’s worth of stubble. I might shave tonight before the clients arrived, as most preferred a smoother cheek. After a final glance at my reflection I put on my hat and went downstairs, looking like any dapper gentleman with too much coin to spend.
‘You can’t stay away, can you, Haidyn?’ Korene looked up from the books that tallied our takings and spendings. She had a mind for numbers, and the truth, that we kept quiet from the Arcane Union. We kept each other’s secrets well.
A smile curved my lips. ‘He can’t stay away from me either. I just want a peek at his new bride.’ And to offer a prayer for her, even though the Lords wouldn’t listen to the likes of me.
‘Let’s hope she’s luckier than the last one,’ she said with a knowing nod.
Revulsion slithered over my skin like greasy pot water. I knew too well what went on in the Lawman’s mind. I saw the places he thought well hidden, and they were not pretty.
I was used to seeing people’s fantasies and fetishes. Generally folk fall within a range, but a few tip the scales into places I’d rather not venture. Brixen Saw, the Lawman, was one of them and unfortunately he came to see me once a ten-night. If he’d been anyone else I’d have barred him from visiting, but refusing the Lawman would be like knotting my own noose.”
18 February 2013
SHONA HUSK BIO: Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. Drawing on history and myth, she weaves new worlds and writes heroes who aren’t afraid to get hurt while falling in love.
With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she is published with Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Carina Press and Sourcebooks.
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