Magic in the Storm by @merrybond is a Backlist Bonanza pick #fantasyromance #regency #giveaway
Title: Magic in the Storm
Author: Meredith Bond
Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance
Destined for power…
Prophecy foretold the coming of one who would be the most powerful of the Vallen, destined to renew their magical energies. Born male, instead of the anticipated female, Morgan Vallentyn is outcast from birth, banished to the forest by his vengeful mother. His magic weakened, and caged by unknown forces, one goal drives Morgan: if he can’t harness his powers by his birthday, another will take his destined place.
Bound by convention…
Adriana Hayden paints with rare passion and vision. But Regency England is no place for such an unconventional woman. Fleeing from a proposed marriage arranged by her domineering guardian, Adriana escapes to the forest and into the arms of a mysterious man with strange powers. A man who unleashes forces she never suspected existed.
A coming storm…
As the summer solstice approaches, the electricity crackling between Morgan and Adrian is only a prelude to the building tempest crackling across the skies. There’s magic in the storm they create together, but to fulfill their destinies, each must find the key to unlock the powers in the other and claim the most powerful magic of all.
Another deep roll of thunder shook the walls of the old barn, while the wind outside howled with fury as it picked up strength. The door to the barn smashed open and closed behind Morgan. The wooden building groaned at the onslaught.
Apollo whinnied and stomped his hooves in agitation. Morgan turned toward the horse, following his line of vision, but there was nothing—nothing other than a barn full of creatures of every sort.
There had better not be any fighting. Prey and predator were jammed into this too small space, but it would just be for a short time. Surely, they could control their instincts until the storm was over—they had before. But Apollo was clearly agitated.
“What...?” Morgan began, when from somewhere deep within the forest, he heard another horse shriek out in fright. This was followed by a loud crash, and an agonized scream.
This one sounded almost... human.
Morgan froze. How could that be? There was no one in this forest besides him. Neither his cousin nor his old nanny, who sometimes came to visit him, would ride out on a day like today. It must have been an animal.
Still, it was an animal in need. Morgan could almost feel the creature’s pain radiating out, calling to him for help.
And there was something else entwined with the need. Deep within him, he felt the same sensation he’d had earlier—a sense of anticipation, of beckoning, of portent.
He looked down at the tiny foal in his arms. The poor thing was shaking with fright, and his mother was gently nipping at Morgan’s shirtsleeve—reminding him that he had been in the middle of doing something when the scream had distracted him.
Looking quickly around the barn, Morgan swallowed a moment of panicked frustration. How were they all going to fit? If any more came... but there would be more, at least two—the horse he had heard and... whatever else had made that scream.
But there just wasn’t space!
Morgan squeezed into Apollo’s stall. The small pile of hay in the front corner would have to do for now. Gently settling the foal in the soft hay, he turned back to his horse. “Sorry about this, but you’ll just have share.”
The horse whinnied resignedly.
With the foal settled, Morgan turned to look for Oberon, his black Labrador.
“Oberon!” Morgan called out. His loud, deep voice caused some of the smaller animals to scurry for cover.
The dog trotted out of the last stall, where Morgan supposed he had been settling in the new litter of pups that a vixen had just brought in.
“I need you to watch over the animals. I’ll be back soon.” The dog barked his assent, and Morgan knew that he was leaving the creatures well cared for.
As soon as he stepped out of the door, Morgan was buffeted by the strong wind. Despite the urgency of the situation, he stopped and took a deep breath of the fresh air basking for a moment in the wonderful anticipation of the storm.
The expectant feeling he had sensed earlier overcame him once again. It was so close. He reached out with his mind—what was it? Then a thought stopped him.
Could it be? Could it be the destiny his nanny had whispered about as she had soothed him to sleep when he was a child? Could it possibly be exactly what he’d been waiting for all these years?
A flash of lightning arched overhead, sending a shiver of anticipation shooting through him. He loved a brilliant storm. It made him feel vibrantly, joyously alive. This new sensation just added fuel to his exhilaration.
Whatever it was that was coming, he would meet it head on.
He set off, running through the forest, weaving in and out of trees, avoiding the branches trying to reach out and grab hold of him. As a clap of thunder shook the ground, he exulted at the sensation. It was incredible to be out and a part of the storm.
His muscles flexed and flowed like the wind, as he skipped over fallen debris, ducked under low branches, and moved rapidly through the closely grown forest. Flashes of waving branches caught his peripheral vision, but he kept moving forward toward whatever it was that had called out to him. He was moving toward his destiny—he knew it deep in his heart.
He ran faster, eager to get there—until a large half–fallen tree brought him up short. Morgan urgently shoved his shoulder against the trunk, frustrated at the delay. He needed to get through—now.
Amidst the rustling of the leaves and his own heavy breathing, he heard the horse’s agonized whinny again from somewhere to his left. The tree was wedged in tight. It wouldn’t budge. He would have to find another route, and quickly; the cries were becoming more distinct, urgent. His heart pounded in his ears as he doubled back, looking desperately around for a break in the growth. Within a minute, he found another path and ran along it as fast as he could.
The sounds were closer. They almost seemed to be grunts or groans rather than cries, but he knew of no animal that would make such sounds. He was nearly there!
Finally, shielding his face with his arms, he leapt through the undergrowth into a newly made clearing. A flash of lightning illuminated the scene before him, but as he stood there panting, he could barely believe his eyes.
A sense of brilliant auburn hair glinting in the lightning—red and a touch of gold mixed in with the soft brown. Deep blue clothed arms reaching out from a slender form.
Disappointment dropped in Morgan’s stomach. It wasn’t his destiny that had been calling out to him. His destiny didn’t lie with a girl.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
Magic in the Storm is one of a very few books that is both a fantasy, filled with magic and intrigue, but also a Regency romance. For lovers of Regency-set romances and fantasy/paranormal romance, this is a must-read!
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 66 books featured in the Backlist Bonanza:
Runs August 25 – 31, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on September 7, 2020.
Meredith Bond's books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith loves to take her readers on a journey they won't soon forget.
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