To Love a King
Annwyn Book 3
Genre: paranormal romance
Date of Publication: 7 October 2014
Number of pages: 352
Word Count: 80,000
To keep the balance between good and evil at the court of Annwyn, Prince Felan ap Gwyn has two weeks to marry and take the crown. But he wants more than just power—he wants love; a love he once had but was too stubborn to hold on to.
It took years for Jacqueline Ara to put her life back together after Felan abandoned her. And she doesn't want fairies back in her life—even if her heart still burns for him. With war in Annwyn looming and death bleeding into the mortal world, Felan and Jacquie will need to heal old wounds for one last gamble. It's all or nothing to save both worlds.
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The fairy man took off his sunglasses, revealing pale green eyes like the edge of a glacier.
Her heart stopped. Or time stopped. That split second hung incomplete as her brain tried to rationalize what she was seeing. It couldn’t be him. Not here. Not now. Her heart gave a beat and noise rushed back in to fill the silence she hadn’t noticed. Felan, the fairy Prince who’d ridden away with her heart and never thought to return it, was in the coffee shop. She blinked and glanced away, pretending she didn’t recognize him.
The doctors who’d told her fairies weren’t real had never been confronted with the truth—the truth that was walking steadily closer to the counter as if it wanted to order a cup of coffee.
Last time, it had been hard to say anything with her mother standing there. He’d never come back and given her the chance to speak or explain what had happened. And she’d never had the chance to ask him to send the monsters away. Everyone had just thought she was crazy. Then, as the years had passed in drug-induced grayness, she’d begun to hope that she would never see him or any fairy again. It hurt too much.
As he strolled toward her, the old doubts began to rise. Why was he here now? Had he come back, thinking it wasn’t too late, that maybe only days had passed when it had been years? Or had he come to take her to Annwyn? Why would he bother chasing her? He could have any woman he wanted. She was just the girl who he believed killed his baby.
If he wanted revenge, he was a little late. She’d been to hell and back, and she had nothing to say to him.
He glanced at her and looked away as if he didn’t recognize her.
Maybe he didn’t. She’d grown up and changed. She’d had to.
He hadn’t changed a bit. His cheekbones could still weaken women’s knees, and the curve of his lips could melt hearts. But it was the way he acted, as if he didn’t know women were watching him over their coffee cups. The trouble was she knew it wasn’t an act. When he’d been with her, his attention had always been on her. He’d made her feel like the most beautiful woman in the room even if she wasn’t. He’d had a confidence she’d always lacked.
He’d seemed stable, calm, and wise, while at the same time he’d craved freedom from Annwyn. That her parents had hated him had been the cherry on top. He’d been her rebellion. Even though he knew that her parents didn’t like him, he’d always insisted on being polite and behaved himself around them, as if he thought he could eventually win them over. He believed family was important. And she’d lost his baby. She’d never forget the look on his face when her mother had said it was gone. Felan calling her name even as the door shut. She’d cried until her mother had forced her to take a sleeping pill. She’d slept so many hours away, hiding from reality.
He really had no right to be here, messing up her new life with his charm and looks.
Ash almost raced around the counter to take his order. Her eyes were bright and unable to look away from the fairy. That had been her once, stumbling into his arms, head over heels into love. Crawling out had been much harder than getting in. It was kind of like those coils of barbed wire and the mud pits army recruits have to slog through and over, only it had lasted for years.
She busied herself wiping the coffee machine and filling the next order on her list. It was better this way, that he didn’t recognize her. Easier if she never had to explain herself or listen to his reasons for abandoning her. Love. Fairies didn’t know the meaning of the word.
“Latte, please.” His voice was soft and smooth, just the way she liked to remember, not the tortured cry she’d heard last from his lips.
Jacqui had to close her eyes to hold back the memories. She opened her eyes, expecting him to be looking, but he’d taken his table number and found a seat by the window. Then he busied himself reading the newspaper. He had always liked to follow news from around the globe.
She frowned. How long had it been since he’d been in the mortal world?
Ash slapped the order in front of her. “How gorgeous is he? I bet he’s an actor or something.”
Or something was closer to the truth. “Trouble I bet.” Jacqui glanced at the till, wondering how he’d paid. When they’d been together, she’d helped him set up a bank account. Did he still use it, or had he simply tricked Ash into thinking he’d paid?
“I wouldn’t mind that kind of trouble.” Ash sighed.
Jacqui looked at Ash. She wasn’t even twenty, but she was pretty—she’d be prettier if she didn’t bleach her hair to within an inch of its life and she quit the fake tan. She looked like every other girl here. Didn’t everyone go through that phase of trying to fit in? Jacqui had dyed her brown hair black and straightened it every day through high school, partly to fit in but mostly because her parents had hated it.
“You would when he left you heartbroken.” The words came with more bitterness than she’d planned.
Ash raised her eyebrows. “You have to kiss toads to find a prince.”
“I don’t want a prince.” She’d had that once, and she wouldn’t make the same mistake again.
About the Author:
Three time ARRA finalist Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back.
With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance.
You can find out more at www.shonahusk.com