Volume Two of Song of the Arkafina
Gwenn Benet is a princess with a difference–she is the second greatest sword fighter in the history of Beaumarais. Her mother, Queen Katrione Arkafina, doesn’t approve, but Gwenn knows a secret that means she always gets her way. Gwenn also has a special friend, a Goddess, who lives inside her, and gives her strength and stamina far beyond those of ordinary mortals. But what does this Goddess, Keth Dirane, really want with Gwenn, and do the other Amaranthine approve?
Gwenn runs away from the City of Isle St. Valery to ally herself with the dreaded Fynära raiders, led by Gunnar Strong Arm. She is happy to have him as her lover, until an old friend unexpectedly reappears.
Katkin’s worst fears are realized when the Raiders, led by Gwenn, attack Isle St. Valery. Only Jacq, the mighty Dinrhydan, possesses enough skill and strength to defeat Gwenn. Will her daughter and her husband meet on opposite sides of the battlefield? But Gwenn’s heart is changing, and under the gentle tutelage of Arkady Svalbarad, she is learning the way to freedom.
Arkady sidestepped rapidly, caught her behind the thigh with his knee and pushed her down into the sand. She looked very surprised, and scrambled to her feet immediately. Another quick lunge brought the same result. This time she stood up more slowly and thoughtfully circled him, the dagger held loosely in her hand. She feinted several times and watched his reaction carefully. Arkady knew he would not be able to use the same move on her again. When she thrust the dagger at him he caught her by the wrist and twisted hard. With a cry of pain, she dropped the weapon and Arkady kicked it away across the sand. Now she furiously threw herself forward and tackled him. He let her momentum carry him backwards and flipped her neatly over his body so that she landed hard on her back. She lay there, panting, as he rose and brushed the sand off his clothes.
Arkady stood above her and offered his hand. “Have you seen enough?” he asked.
She reached for his outstretched hand and then quickly kicked out, catching him on the shin with her boot. Arkady felt his legs go out from under him and he landed awkwardly on the sand next to her. Krikka dropped on his midsection and drove the air from his lungs in an explosive rush. He rolled over and tried to extricate himself from her grasp, but she had her legs around him in a scissor lock. Arkady could not believe how strong she was. Obviously, she did not intend to give up without a prolonged battle.
After trying once more to gain the upper hand, he suddenly found himself on top of her. She stopped struggling immediately and looked up at him, her eyes glinting with fire in the dim light. Her hair spread out on the sand like a golden halo around her face. Abruptly, desire raced through him, setting fire to every nerve before settling like a blazing inferno in his belly. A second later she fastened her mouth to his with such abandon he could hardly breathe.