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Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar by @donnavstone is a BHW pick #fantasyromance #shifters #99cents
Title Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar
Author D. V. Stone
Genre Fantasy Romance
One foolish thought. One brutal act. One hope for peace ended.
Shifter nation Dar is on the brink of war, and Felice, the youngest royal daughter, carries an accord meant to bind her sister to Abelard, Prince of Argatha–a human–and forge an alliance between the two countries.
Years after her first traumatic shift, Felice still struggles to control her inner panther until an attack by rogue soldiers sets off a chain of events destroying her hard-won control and chances of peace. To save her life, Abelard convinces Felice to become his Shield-Mate, once again giving her power to another.
Responsibility for the dying Emissary lies heavy on Abelard’s shoulders. He is a good soldier, but not, he realizes, a good man. Felice may be the catalyst to become a better son, prince, and husband.
War comes, but not the one expected. An invasion from an old enemy thrusts shifters and humans together—they must unite—or each may fall. Amid treachery and chaos, love blooms, and Abelard and Felice must come to terms with the past. But will tragedies of the past be too much to overcome? Even for love?
Thick fog muffled the horses’ hoofbeats on the last leg of their journey toward Sorota. The normal sound of city life was absent. An unnerving silence blanketed them as Felice’s bay mare followed behind Nolan’s dapple gray. There was no noise coming from the city. The hair on Felice’s neck stood up. “Lord Nolan, do you feel something amiss?”
He looked over his shoulder, a bland, patient expression on his face, and said, “Princess Felice, we do not act on feelings. We act on learning and knowledge. Feelings should never enter into diplomacy.”
When they arrived in Sorota, humans escorted them down the narrow, cobbled street, toward the Overseer’s dwelling. Through the thick fog, gas lamps cast shuttered houses and shops along the street in an eerie yellow glow. Other than the soldiers who escorted them, there were no other signs of the population.
Outwardly she assumed a placid demeanor, but she couldn’t tamp down her instincts. The Panther in her hadn’t emerged yet, but Felice’s nerves clawed at her insides. Glancing from side to side, she kept a close eye on the men of Sorota. A bead of sweat rolled down the nearest, though the day was cool and damp. She could smell the anxiety in some of them.
Felice fidgeted, on edge. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to go wrong. Her mare pranced sideways and snorted. Whirls of vapor rose from the horse’s nose into the chilled air.
Nolan glared over his shoulder at her. “Control your emotions, Felice. They are affecting your horse.”
She sat straight in her saddle, focusing her eyes ahead and pushed down the worry. Felice tried to soothe the mare by stroking her neck. The horse’s ear twitched when she leaned forward and whispered, “Easy, Arundel, I feel it too. We will keep our eyes open.”
Nolan, who acted under the security of the king’s authority, never questioned the large contingent of guards when they entered the cavernous hall of Overseer Gedeon. The arrogance of Nolan’s position was their downfall. Not until they were behind the large, barred doors, did his brow furrow in concern. Still, he said nothing. But Felice loosened the strap on her knife and reached behind under her cloak to slacken her sword leather.
After being more herded, rather than led, Felice and Nolan were pushed through a door into the Sorotan’s meeting room.
“That is not Gedeon, but his brother Dunbar,” Nolan whispered into her ear. “Be careful, he is a very dangerous man.”
“Seize them!” Dunbar ordered, and before the Darrians could respond, Nolan was struck down. Several knives pierced his body. Regret was replaced with the glaze of death, and he muttered, “I am sorry, my lady.”
The men in the room turned to her. Their cruel eyes revealed no regard for her tender age when they moved toward her with raised weapons. Shortly after her torment began, Felice’s Panther erupted, and her life changed forever.
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D. V. Stone is an award-winning, multi-genre, traditionally and independently published author. She writes books people want to read. Whether romance or fantasy, her stories are about the importance of friends and family and overcoming obstacles, often with humor.
Around the Fire is a popular weekly blog where she introduces both established and new authors, giving an insider’s look into their lives and books and tidbits about her own life.
A former Emergency Medical Technician, she volunteered in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At the same time, she worked as a professional EMT in a women’s state prison. She was the proprietor of a coffee shop and a small restaurant/ice cream stand in the years that followed. The years following were as a manager in an animal emergency hospital, while her last position was in a human medical office. After retiring, she is now a full-time author and incorporates her life experiences into her books.
When not behind the wheel of 2Hoots—a 41 foot long 13.2 feet high 5th Wheel camper, she rambles around town in Northern New Jersey in a white Camaro. She also loves travel and history. D.V. is wife to an amazing husband, mother to one son, and not your average grandma to three beautiful grands. A woman of faith, she believes and trusts in God.
“My greatest pleasures are spending time outside with friends and family, cooking over the open fire, sipping a glass of wine, and reading.”
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