Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Choice of Crowns by Barb Hendee







A CHOICE OF CROWNS
A Dark Glass Novel Book #2
by Barb Hendee
Genre: Historical Fantasy

Olivia Geroux knew her king was reluctant to marry her, whatever the negotiations had arranged. But she never expected to find handsome, arrogant King Rowan obsessed with his stepsister instead. And before she can determine what course to take, she overhears her greatest ally plotting to murder the princess.

Olivia must act quickly—and live with whatever chaos results. As the assassin hunts his prey, a magic mirror appears to show Olivia the three paths that open before her . . .
If she hesitates only a moment, the princess will die—and she will become queen.
If she calls for help, she will gain great power—but she must also thrust away her own happiness.
If she runs to stop the murder herself, she will know love and contentment—but her whole country will suffer.


As she lives out each path, her wits and courage will be tested as she fights to protect her people, her friends, and her heart. And deciding which to follow will be far from easy . . .





            My family, the line of GĂ©roux, was among the old nobility of the kingdom. While past famines and civil wars had destroyed several of the ancient families, ours survived. We were survivors. My father respected strength and nothing else.
            His eyes moved dispassionately from my feet to my face, as if assessing me. I knew only too well what he saw. I was tall for a woman. He was tall, and I could almost look him directly in the eyes. Unfortunately, the current fashion for women was petite and fragile. My hair was long and thick, but it was a shade of burnished red, and again, red hair was not currently in fashion.
            Still, I’d been raised to remain sharply aware of everything going on around me, and it was no secret that most men found me desirable. My face had often been called pretty, with clear skin and slanted eyes of green. I looked best in green velvet.


THROUGH A DARK GLASS
A Dark Glass Novel Book 1

On her seventeenth birthday, Megan of Chaumont discovers she’ll be sold as a bride to the brutish Volodane family—within hours. Her father grants only that she may choose which one of the ruthless, grasping lord's three sons she weds:

Rolf, the eldest: stern, ambitious, and loyal?
Sebastian, the second son: sympathetic, sly, and rebellious?
Or Kai, the youngest: bitter, brooding, and proud?
As shy, horrified Megan flees the welcome dinner for her in-laws-to-be, she finds an enchanted mirror that will display how her life unrolls with each man, as if she were living it out in a breath. But there is no smooth “happily ever after” in her choices.
Deaths and honors, joys and agonies, intrigues and escapes await her in a remote, ramshackle keep, where these rough but complex men reveal one side and then another of their jagged characters—and bring forth new aspects of Megan, too. But the decisions of one teenaged marriage-pawn reverberate much farther than any of them have guessed . . .



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            “It is not settled yet that she will marry you,” my father finally responded. “Per our agreement, Megan will choose for herself.”
            Rolf’s face clouded. “I never agreed to that. I am the eldest. She will join with me.”
            Jarrod turned in his chair. “You’ll do as I tell you! Nothing less and nothing more!”
            Mother, Father, and I all flinched at his tone and his unthinkable manner at the table. Rolf’s face went red, and Sebastian leaned back his chair, smiling. Something about him was beginning to strike me as sly. He clearly enjoyed his older brother’s chastisement and discomfort.
            “Now, now,” he said, dryly. “We mustn’t seem uncouth.”
            Kai ignored all this. He ignored everything but his surroundings. His eyes were light brown like mine, and they moved from the opulent tapestries on our walls to the peach roses in silver vases on the table to the porcelain plates and pewter goblets.
             Then for the first time, he looked directly at me.
“I fear you’ll find the furnishings at Volodane Hall somewhat lacking,” he said.
            His voice dripped with resentment, and I knew I’d not been wrong in my first assessment. He was angry.

            His tone was not lost on my mother, who answered him with a strained smile. “Of course, we’ll be sending some household things with her, and Megan will give your hall a woman’s touch.”




Barb Hendee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mist-Torn Witches series. She is the co-author (with husband J.C.) of the Noble Dead Saga. She holds a master’s degree in composition/rhetoric from the University of Idaho and currently teaches writing for Umpqua Community College. She and J.C. live in a quirky two-level townhouse just south of Portland, Oregon.



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