I'm switching over to snippets from To Love the Dragon King, which is currently being proofread while I figure out the details of self-publishing it so I can (finally!) release it into the world. To Love the Dragon King is the first book in a new series, the Dragons of Ivria, which I believe will be a trilogy. In this book, dragon shifter Lysander, the king of Ivria, has come into the knowledge of a treasonous plot against him and the kingdom and has set out to discover the extent of it and its participants. When he arrives to arrest one of the conspirators, he finds Sascha. Sascha was not born with the magic to allow him to transform into a dragon, and therefore, to his (horrible) parents, his only purpose is to enter into a marriage or a contract as a concubine that will benefit his family. To that end, they've contracted him to Jannik, the man Lysander is about to arrest. Sascha has no knowledge of the plot, or that he's being used in it, or that he's about to be caught up in the orbit of the king and the scheming and danger that revolves around him. This snippet follows directly after last week's.
He took a long, slow breath, searching for calm despite the sick roiling in his stomach. Then, gathering his cloak and his dignity around him, he stepped down from the carriage. Another couple of servants were coming to deal with his trunk, and he thanked them, receiving nods in return. Moving away from the carriage a few steps to get out of the way, he surveyed his surroundings. The castle looked no less forbidding up close, but perhaps the place would be more pleasant in spring. Late winter meant bare trees and no flowers or color anywhere. Even the snow—something Sascha usually saw the beauty in—didn’t help.
A young woman about Sascha’s age hurried through the castle doors. Her hair shone gold even in the weak sunlight before she flipped the hood of her green cloak up to cover it. She was halfway to the carriages before she stopped abruptly, her gaze landing on Sascha. Her rosebud lips turned down in a brief frown. When she moved again, it was in his direction.