Kate is a woman on the run. After years of being physically and emotionally abused by her fiance, she’s finally had enough. But leaving might be even more dangerous than staying, so she needs to get as far away as she can as fast as possible. A late night, desperate drive through the pouring rain ends suddenly when a cat appears in the middle of the road. While trying to avoid the half-drowned creature, Kate loses control of her car and crashes through a portal to Fairie.
Ankou is a fallen God of Death and the king of the Winter Court of Fairie, and he’s facing pressure from every direction. The magic of the Court is out of balance due to the centuries-long lack of a queen. He is harried constantly by the Court nobles who want him to either step down or take a mate. All the duties of a ruling pair rest squarely on his shoulders. And added to all this is a soul-crushing loneliness. His existence stretches back hundreds of millennia, and in all that time he has never found the one person who could warm his lonely heart. He is exhausted and discouraged, and the last thing he needs is to go tearing off into the night on a fool’s errand. But one of his lingering god powers is the ability to sense the right course of action to follow, and his instincts are screaming at him to go to a particular place in the forest of the Winter kingdom and wait. Imagine his surprise when he finds the one he has been waiting for his whole life!
Using a careful blend of patience, seduction, and domination, the Winter king tries to win his soulmate’s love. Feeling safe and valued for the first time in her memory, Kate explores her new freedom by agreeing to try the BDSM games her lover suggests. As she experiments with both domination and submission, she learns just how liberating surrender can be. Will Ankou be able to convince Kate that she can trust him with her feelings as well as her body? Will Kate find a way to overcome the trauma of her past and open up her heart to accept the love that is offered to her? Can these two broken people find a way to fit all their disparate pieces together into a stronger, united whole? You’ll have to read to find out!
When he saw his Anamchara’s nod of consent, Ankou released a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. The trust she was showing warmed him far more than any fire could. He was determined to prove himself worthy of that trust. Looking around at the gathering light, he realized the air was much too cold for what he had in mind. With a gesture, he cast a spell to raise the temperature of the area around them to something that approached a comfortable level.
Turning back to his mate, he said, “Come here.” When she approached, he ordered, “Remove your clothing.”
In spite of the warmer air, Kate shivered. There was something deliciously naughty about the idea of being naked outside. They were alone and the area was remote, but it was not a private space. Anyone might happen by.
Reaching behind her neck, she tugged at the closure that sealed the dress in back. It had been spelled to release when she pulled at it, and the bodice dropped away from her body. Sliding the sleeves down her arms, she allowed it to pool at her waist as she unfastened the top of the skirt. Once freed, she allowed the dress to fall to the ground and stepped out of it. Seeing that Ankou held his hand out for it, she picked it up and handed it to him.
Standing under the cloudless sky in nothing but her lacy underwear, she felt free. She looked at her mate, who just raised his eyebrows and said, “Those as well.”
After sliding the bra straps down her arms, she reached behind herself to unhook it. The cool air caressed her skin and her nipples puckered. She shivered as she handed the bra to Ankou. Taking a deep breath, she removed her boots and stockings. The cold of the snow under her feet was noticeable, but not unbearable. She realized Ankou was using magic to protect her there as well and she smiled. Sliding her panties down her legs, she stepped out of them and handed them to her mate.
“Stay there,” ordered Ankou, who took Kate’s clothing and laid it on the platform they had slept on to keep it from getting wet in the snow. Walking around the small clearing, he looked for things he could use. He found the remnants of a tree that had broken and fell. Using magic, he smoothed and shaped the stump into a wooden platform. After making sure the surface was polished and free of any splinters or sharp edges, he ordered Kate to join him.
As she padded across the snow, Kate couldn’t help but wonder what Ankou had planned. Looking at the stump he had prepared, she was confused. It looked sturdy and came up to her belly button, but she didn’t see what it could be used for.
Walking a few feet away, Ankou selected a large stick from the pile of wood Kate had collected the night before. Using magic again, he shaped it into a long, thin, smooth cane. He used both hands to bend it, testing how much give was in the wood. Satisfied, he returned to where his Anamchara waited for him.
When Kate saw what Ankou had in his hand, her eyes widened. Did he intend to use that on her? Searching his face, she found no clues in his blank expression.
Standing in front of her, the Winter king saw the trepidation in his mate’s eyes. Cupping his hand behind her head, he threaded his fingers through her hair and drew her body against his. He leaned down, claiming her lips in a possessive kiss. Skimming his lips along her cheek, he nipped at her ear and whispered, “Do you trust me?”
The warmth of her lover’s body against Kate’s front contrasted with the cool air that caressed her back. Ankou’s shirt rasped against her taught nipples and made her shiver. There was a tension in the air, even more so than was usually present when they played these games, and she felt mesmerized by the intensity. As his words penetrated the fog that swirled through her mind, the anxiety left her. “Yes. I trust you.”
Stepping back, Ankou smiled. “Good.”
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