Title: Eyes of the Seer
Author: Ashley York
Genre: Historical Romance
He wishes to prove himself...
Marcán of Clonascra bears the bloodline of Brian Boru and his prowess as a warrior has earned him great respect from everyone but Astrid, the woman who holds his heart. Between her mother's condemning him as a pagan Seer and Astrid's total disinterest, he finds solace as the king's protector and confidant.
She is desperate to escape...
Astrid is more than ready to wed but her brother, the king, is in no hurry to see her married, so she decides to see to her own match-making. The man she approaches quickly reveals his lack of honor, but her overbearing mother pushes her to wed him anyway. When Astrid discovers Marcán's love for her, will it be too late to have the happiness she'd always dreamed of?
Dark and foreboding, Marcán sat high in his saddle, scanning the people who’d gathered around them until his gaze came to rest on her. The force of his attention made it hard for her to take a breath. He was menacing in the extreme and he had her in his sights—jumping from the horse before the beast had come to a complete stop, striding toward her.
His face lined with concern, he studied her. His hand came up and she thought he might touch her, but then it dropped back to his side. “What is amiss?”
Astrid swallowed the lump in her throat. “Aednat has been taken.”
Stepping back as if he’d been struck, he quickly became livid. “When?”
His sharp tone made her jump. Her vision blurring with tears, she confessed her guilt. “While I slept on their bed!”
His expression softened, but he was frowning. “I do not understand.”
“Diarmuid left to find out what was amiss with ye when I told him ye’d not returned. He said nothing to me about keeping her hidden or protecting her. She went for eggs and never came back.”
“And now the fresh casks of mead being poisoned makes sense.” He spoke as if to himself before focusing again on her. “Black Oengus and his men had hoped to knock us all on our arses so taking Aednat would be that much easier.”
“Diarmuid has gone to track down those who took her. He wants ye to follow him.”
Marcán shouted orders over his shoulder, sending each of the men in a different direction to see to gathering enough supplies and horses, but he did not walk away. Instead, he stepped closer, leaning in, his eyes searching her.
Some inner turmoil twisted inside her that she couldn’t name. His musky scent surrounded her and her pulse quickened. Not fear exactly. She would never fear Marcán. Excitement?
Then he closed down his expression and moved back. “Now will ye tell me what has happened to ye?”
Shocked that he could read her so well, she took a moment to respond. Hoping to distract him from whatever else he thought he knew, she said, “I am concerned for Diarmuid’s wife! ’Tis my fault she was taken.”
“If Diarmuid did not tell ye, ye could not have known.” Marcán shook his head, his gaze still assessing her. “’Tis something else. Ye tell me. Now!”
How could he know? He couldn’t. And she couldn’t tell him. She still feared what Faolán would do, but Marcán was sure to hunt Pádraig down if he knew the truth. “Nothing, Marcán.”
“Is it Pádraig?” His eyes narrowed even as the words came out. The man was far too perceptive. Mayhap he was a Seer after all, just as her mother always said.
“Pádraig?” She scoffed, attempting a nonchalance she did not feel.
His expression changed as soon as she said the man’s name. It hardened into fierce anger, different from how he’d reacted to the news about Aednat. His men came toward him, mounted on fresh horses, and one on a lead for him.
“I am not finished with ye, Astrid. Ye will tell me.”
When he turned toward the field, she was certain he was not seeing the animals. He swallowed, almost as if attempting to get himself under control.
Then he mounted but turned his horse back to her. “Which way did Diarmuid go?”
With a heavy sigh of relief, she pointed them in the right direction.
He spoke to his men, his voice low and commanding. “Go on. I will catch up.”
Astrid gulped, shocked by his order. Marcán never sent his men ahead. He always led them. He stepped aside for no one but Diarmuid.
When he turned back to her, his expression was black.
“Ye will tell me what that ravening wolf has done to ye.” His words were laced with unbending resolve. “And if ye hope to protect him by not telling me? Rest assured, I’ll happily rip him apart piece by piece until I hear the truth from his mouth.”
His horse was racing toward the trees before her jaw fell all the way open. Astrid covered her mouth, her gaze dropping. She’d said nothing to indicate Pádraig had mistreated her.
How could he know?
What if he truly was a Seer? But Astrid could not believe that. He would never practice the dark arts.
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Are you afraid of black cats, Friday the 13th, and walking under a ladder? Superstitions date way back and seem to be ingrained in us. Marcán is the perfect warrior except for one such superstition. Find out how Astrid deals with the small mindedness of her clan.
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Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author's imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.
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