Triselle has survived a winter of devastating snows. Spring has come, and with it, unending rain. The land is dying, along with any hope for happiness. Drawn to her lord’s castle, Triselle leaves her father’s farm and finds herself in a magical world under a curse.
Lord Vanir suffers as a man transformed into a hideous beast. The appearance of lovely Triselle threatens to send him deeper into his living hell. Her adventurous spirit and accepting heart surprise him, however. Somehow, she sees through his ugly countenance to the noble, generous man hidden within.
Can they find love despite adversity? Or will the curse condemn them both?
What noise disturbed his slumber? The portcullis lifted!
Vanir heaved himself from bed, and trudged to his window. The portcullis had not moved since January. Had his curse been lifted? Running a hand over the rough chest he would never accept as his own, he issued a disappointed growl. If the curse remained, then who…what…entered his castle?
Sheets of rain hindered his visibility. Soon, the drops waned, and he discerned a figure moving through the outer bailey. A female figure. His salvation? Perhaps another means of increasing his torment.
Sighing, he wrapped a fur about his shoulders as she passed from the outer bailey to the inner. She seemed to have no purpose as she meandered along Trade Row. Who was she? Had she come here for a reason or had she simply stumbled upon his nightmare?
Plaited hair hung past her hips, and her clothing seemed plain. She stepped to his inner bailey and her gaze followed the stone walls of his donjon. Her upturned face revealed large eyes and truly fair features.
His stomach dropped. She had come to increase his despair.
Clamping his jaw until his teeth ached, he planted fists upon the window’s stone embrasure. A companion for the first time in six months. Why did she have to be a beauty? A lovely maiden would shun his hideous countenance. Scream from one look at him. Despise his presence within his own walls.
From the gateway, metal against metal rang out, echoing within the solid walls of his baileys. Already she ran for the exit. Not a good sign.
Her eyes widened, and fear reflecting in them stabbed his gut. But she reached out and grazed fingertips over his rutted, pitted cheek. “I cannot resist you.”
What? His cock pressed against the drawstring of the only piece of clothing he wore – the only piece of clothing that fit his oversized body. “Because of the curse?”
“I do not know. I do not care.” Fear faded, and her eyes grew soft while she slid fingers from his cheek to the back of his neck.
As she leaned close and pressed sweet lips to his mouth, he closed his lids. Ah, Dieu, he had dreamed of this. Of such a touch. Such a kiss. Vanir inhaled her delicate floral scent and placed a reserved hand on her warm, smooth shoulder. He hated that the curse forced her to desire him, but he could not stop now. He wanted her. He needed her.