The sixth Tale of the Order
Genre: Fantasy Romance
This is the first publication of this brand new title!
This title has never before been released….this is a brand new title from Candace Sams.
Since his wife died, Soland Leigh’s daughter Autumn has been his whole world. Now, though, the time has come for him to step up and behave like the leader of the Satyrs that he is. The Order has acquired additional acreage next to their forest and it’s up to Soland to make the new land habitable.
The only person Kyndall Taylor trusts is Lady Anna, her elderly employer. But lately Anna’s behavior has been strange—she has gifted all her land to a strange woman called Shayla and replaced her staff with a steady stream of odd people from deep in the forest. One such character is Soland. When Kyndall is assigned to care for Autumn while Soland works on the land, the two adults find common ground—and a growing mutual attraction. But Soland is very secretive, too…and the Sorceress seems to have plans of her own.
Reader Advisory: Though this book is the sixth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.
Copyright © CANDACE SAMS, 2008
As Kyndall kept walking and considering her fate, the sun slipped farther into the horizon. The sound of a car engine halted her progress. Two headlights could be seen coming up the drive. And she knew from past experience exactly to whom the old truck belonged.
“Oh great!” she muttered to herself. “Not them again.” The truck came to a shuttering halt about forty feet in front of her. Two fat, balding men got out of the cab and one who was even larger jumped out of the bed. Since it was far too late to hide in the brush or obscure herself some other way, Kyndall stood her ground. Bullies were no new experience. She’d dealt with them all her life.
“Well, well. Fancy seein’ the lovely Ms. Taylor out for a nice evenin’ walk. Eh, m’ lads?”
Kyndall pasted on her fiercest expression, one she’d been told could melt steel. “What do you want, Ed? The constable has told you to stay off Lady Dunnemore’s land.”
“We ain’t hurtin’ nothin’. Just out for a bit of a drive. Lady Dunnemore wouldn’t begrudge some folks from town a small thing like that, now would she?”
She knew the men were circling her. Ed and his brothers were nothing but cowards. But she also knew she could handle it. She’d dealt with much worse. “Something tells me you aren’t out for just a drive, Ed.”
“Ohhhh, you ’ear that, m’ lads? Ms. Taylor don’t think we’re out drivin’.” Ed heard his brothers laugh and he continued. “It’s a shame a lovely piece like you ’as got nothin’ better to do than look after an old woman and walk up and down roads at night. All by ’erself.” He paused to move closer. “Now if you was to be more friendly like, m’ brothers and me could show you a better time than what you gets ’ere.”
“Why do I doubt that?” Kyndall snorted and looked the men up and down in the most arrogant fashion she could muster. “You can’t even spell what you want to do.”
“Now don’t be that way, m’ pretty. Once we get better acquainted, you’d like me an’ my brothers right well. In fact, you could call it a bit o’ diplomacy. Brits and Americans. Good old chums, we are.” He moved very close to her, picked up a strand of long red-brown hair and stroked it with his thumb.
Kyndall immediately slapped his hand away with one hand, then backhanded him in the face with the other. “Touch me again, and I’ll break your ignorant neck.”
A sound from the back of the truck caught Kyndall’s attention. Something was thrashing about as though it was unused to being where it was. Before Ed could recover or move to block her way, Kyndall walked past him to the bed of the pickup. She threw a tarp off an old wire cage and looked inside.
“You son of a bitch!” She immediately opened the door to the cage and let the large hare inside jump from its confinement and straight to freedom. It ran into the nearby woods as fast as its paws could move it. Kyndall immediately stalked back to where Ed stood, still rubbing his face. His brothers were laughing uproariously at his expense. “Don’t you ever catch another animal on Dunnemore land again, or I’ll cut your balls off!” She pushed him backward to make her point then walked past him.
Angered by the threat to his masculinity and of being spoken to in such a way by a woman, Ed grabbed her arm as she started to walk away. He opened his mouth to speak, but never saw the very large fist hurtling toward the middle of his face. He landed on his back a good ten feet away, while his brothers backed up and scrambled to help their sibling off the ground.
Soland planted his feet firmly, ready for a counterattack. “You’re on land that doesn’t belong to you. And the woman has already told you once to keep your hands off her.” He ground his teeth, clenched his fists and hoped the idiot would get up and try something. It had been a long time since he’d fought anyone other than for sport. And beating an outsider would please him no end. Especially a poacher. As far as he was concerned, they were among the lowest life forms on Earth. His blood boiled at the thought of innocent animals being frightened and trapped by men who didn’t give a damn about the pain the creature would suffer before death. Poachers often used traps that were as cruel as anything he’d ever seen. But that was the way of outsiders.
Ed backed up, blood spewing from his injured nose. “You’ll ’ear from us again,” he promised as his brothers hauled him toward the truck. “It ain’t over.”
Kyndall watched as the truck backed up, turned in the narrow road and headed away at a fast clip. She expelled a deep breath and turned to face her unwanted ally. “Thanks for the help, but I can take care of…” she stopped. Whatever she might have said floated off to infinity, never to be uttered. Before her was the largest man she’d ever seen in her life. At least six feet, six inches tall, he had shoulders as wide as the Hoover Dam, a narrow waist and long brown hair that had been tied back and fell over one shoulder to the middle of his chest. Looking him over quickly, she saw hands that could have easily broken Ed’s neck with a simple snap. His blue cambric work shirt, jeans and hiking boots hugged his massive body like sandwich wrap. There wasn’t much of his defined musculature that was left to the imagination. And nothing she could have imagined would have been more ruggedly, ungodly handsome.
Soland arched one brow and looked the tall, slender woman up and down. In the evening sunset, her eyes were an unholy aqua color. They almost glowed in the evening light. Straight auburn hair fell from a side part to just below her shoulders. She had a face very like the models he’d seen in magazine ads. Her high cheekbones, full lips and strikingly fair complexion were all flawless. It was a countenance that could turn a man inside out with desire. And she had guts but absolutely no sense. “You have a nice backhand, woman. But you might want to be careful when you choose to use it.”