Savarin, the most powerful sorcerer in Tournai, has honed his Talent through years of study and made magic his life. Among the wealthy and noble circles he moves in, no one would suspect the handsome, refined, and arrogant sorcerer’s humble beginnings, which is how Savarin prefers it. Tournai’s princes task Savarin with studying and strengthening the spells that protect the principality from magical attack. They are complex, centuries old, and exactly the type of puzzle Savarin is eager to solve. To his annoyance, the princes insist Loriot accompanies him.
Loriot worked his way up the ranks of the royal guard to captain and takes pride in his service. He must obey the princes’ orders to protect Savarin, despite believing his skills would be best used elsewhere. And despite his wariness of magic. UnTalented himself, he has learned not only the benefits of magic but also its potential for harm—and how to counter it. Loriot and Savarin clash during their journey, but there’s another reason for the tension between them, and passion develops into feelings neither expected. But Savarin must still fortify Tournai’s magical barrier, and his only solution endangers both him and the royal family.
Buy The Sorcerer's Guardian:
Barnes & Noble
Paperbacks of The Sorcerer's Guardian are currently 25% off at Dreamspinner!
His skin was damp and clammy, and he shivered even though the room was warm. Grabbing the towel from the corner of the screen, he dried himself off. More noise came from the other side of the screen, water being poured into water.
“The tub is full for you, Loriot,” Savarin called.
“Thank you.” He wrapped the towel around his waist and gathered his wet clothes from the floor, now puddled with water. When he came out from behind the screen, he found Savarin in the bath, his knees sticking out of the water because his legs were far too long for the tub. It would have been funny seeing the elegant sorcerer scrunched up in the too-small tub if it wasn’t for Loriot’s uncomfortable awareness of Savarin being naked.
Savarin didn’t seem to have the same problem.
The maid was back, replenishing their supply of towels and gathering the used ones. She reached for the clothing in his arms. “I’ll take those from you, sir.”
He relinquished them into her hold. “I’m afraid we’ve made something of a mess. The floor is quite wet from the clothes, and us.”
“I’ll mop everything up, sir.” She bobbed another quick curtsy and left with the wet clothing and towels, shutting the door behind her.
Left him alone with Savarin, who seemed to be relaxing, eyes closed, in his cramped bath. “Are you going to use the water they carried up here for you or just stand there all night?” Savarin asked suddenly.
“I thought you were asleep, though I don’t know how you could be in there.”
Savarin’s lips quirked into almost a smile. “It isn’t the most comfortable of tubs. The one at home is much larger. I can stretch my legs in it.”
He didn’t need to think of whatever luxurious tub Savarin had at home or Savarin in it. Was he really expected to just bathe next to Savarin as if it was nothing?
“Seriously, though. Are you going to use your bath? If not you could add some of the hot water to mine. But you must be cold. It’s summer but it hardly feels like it out in this storm.” Savarin still didn’t open his eyes.
Irritation rose in Loriot at Savarin’s offhand remark, fed by irritation at his inability to ignore Savarin tonight. “And whose fault is it that we were caught out in it to begin with?”
Savarin’s eyes flew open, and he glared at Loriot. “Excuse me? How is that my fault?”
“You were the one taking far too long this afternoon. We would have beaten the storm here if it weren’t for that.”
Savarin struggled to sit up straighter and twist to face Loriot but seemed to give up when he realized there was no room for him to do so. “What I was doing out there was our whole purpose for being on this journey.”
“Yes, but then you stopped doing it to think about it and pace around. Which you could have done here and not gotten us soaked by the rain.”
“The storm arrived far earlier than even the weatherworkers anticipated. I can’t be blamed because it caught us off guard.”
“But if you had kept the time limit we agreed on, we might not have nearly drowned out in it,” he said through gritted teeth.
“And now you’re just being overdramatic. We were far from drowning. We got wet.”
“We could barely see out there! We might have wandered off the road and gotten ourselves killed.” He probably was being ridiculous, but he didn’t care. Savarin had to admit his fault in this. He couldn’t just arrogantly go about doing whatever he pleased.
“The light I made guided us. We wouldn’t have wandered off the road.” Savarin’s eye roll sent Loriot’s irritation shooting into anger.
“Do you not understand how dangerous that storm is?” As if to punctuate his words, thunder boomed, and he could have sworn the whole building shook. For an instant, everything froze, but the inn didn’t fall down around their ears. “Your friend warned you about how dangerous they would be. It’s why we’ve been planning so carefully. To make sure we were safely here before the storms and not trying to ride around or camp out in them.”
“I’m quite aware of what Gemella said.”
He stalked closer to Savarin. “Then why are you being so arrogant and ridiculous about this?”
“Ridiculous?” Savarin’s voice went quiet, and he stood in the tub, long legs unfolding beneath him. “Did you just call me ridiculous?”
“I see you have no objection to my calling you arrogant.”
“I’m arrogant? You need to listen to yourself. You arrogant, smug—” Loriot had no idea which of them moved first. Maybe they moved together; he didn’t know. What he did know was that one second Savarin was hurling a litany of insults at him and the next they were kissing. Only kissing was too tame a word for what they were doing.
He and Savarin were devouring each other.
7.Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration
8.Drawing Love by Tully Vincent
9.A. E. Wasp - new Veterans Affairs steamy short
10.Hermit & Star Books
14.Private Passions - Red Deer After Dark