Heart of a Warriorby Johanna Lindsey
Stunning statuesque Brittany Callaghan isn't used to seeing Nordic gods in her tiny California town. But when the spectacular blond Viking—whose name is Dalden—turns up at her doorstep, Brittany knows her dream man is very real. Dalden claims to be a barbarian warrior—since Brittany's passion has been running red–hot since she first saw him,… See more details below
Stunning statuesque Brittany Callaghan isn't used to seeing Nordic gods in her tiny California town. But when the spectacular blond Viking—whose name is Dalden—turns up at her doorstep, Brittany knows her dream man is very real. Dalden claims to be a barbarian warrior—since Brittany's passion has been running red–hot since she first saw him, the sexy giant can fancy himself anything he pleases!The truth is a very rude awakening—for Dalden is exactly what he claims to be: a warrior to the depths of his soul from a place where the women always obey. Intelligent, independent Brittany isn't about to be subservient to any male—not even one who's everything she ever wanted in a lover. But the proud, powerful barbarian is accustomed to fighting for what he wants—and winning. And what her wants most of all . . . is Brittany.
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The Ly-San-Ters were finally going home. This visit to his mother's homeworld of Kystran had been a much longer journey than Dalden Ly-San-Ter had counted on. Still he was glad he had elected to go along. Unlike his sister, Shanelle, who had gone there to study for a while, he had never been to Kystran before. He'd heard much about it from his mother, had seen computer-simulated pictures of life there, but it simply wasn't the same as seeing it firsthand. It was also something he hoped to never have to experience again.
But it was where his mother came from, and he felt he understood her a little better by seeing firsthand the things that made her so different from the Sha-Ka'ani people whom she now lived among. He had always been torn, nearly literally, in two by his parents. His mother, Tedra, represented all that was modern and "civilized," while his father, Challen, represented old beliefs and what most worlds termed barbaric.
There was no compatibility between two social cultures of such complete and utter differences, and yet his parents had managed to become lifemates anyway. Not an easy thing for them, and not easy for their children, who grew up wanting to please them both.
Dalden had finally had to make a choice, and thankfully, his mother not only supported it, but had expected it. He was a ShaKa'ani warrior, after all. He could not be that warrior if he was going to slip every once in a while and talk as she did, or worry whether he would be displeasing her. So he had fully embraced his father's ways and never regretted it.
His sister, on the other hand, was comfortable with both cultures, could be adutiful warrior's lifemate, as she now was, adhering to rules and laws that she knew were antiquated by most standards but worked well on Sha-Ka'an. Or she could go out and discover new worlds, as she had once planned to do.
Shanelle hadn't been the least surprised by her first visit to Kystran. Dalden had been nothing but surprised.
He had thought it would be fun. He had expected to be amazed. He even knew the language as well as his own, since, unlike learning it from a Sublim Tape, he already knew all the words that otherwise might not match up without explanations. But nothing could have prepared him for feeling so out of place, for being in a near-constant state of awe. His mother called it culture shock."
Even after some of the awe died down, which it did because they ended up staying longer than planned, he still couldn't be comfortable in a land where he wasn't just considered a giant, he was a giant by their standards.
Even during the short time they had stopped on the planet Sunder last year to collect Shanelle, his "runaway" sister, Dalden had felt he was dealing with children, those people had been so small.
The Kystrani weren't that small, but even their tallest was a good foot shorter than Dalden, and their average a lot shorter than that. It was distinctly uncomfortable to always be looking down on people, and to have those people always staring at you in fear or shock.
The fear was understandable. Some of the Kystrani still remembered all those years ago when warriors like Dalden had tried to take over their planet and had succeeded for a time, enslaving their women, taking away their rights, holding their leader hostage. It was Dalden's mother, with the help of his father, who had defeated those warriors and won Kystran its freedom again.
Tedra had become a national heroine in so doing, and that was the main reason their trip had been extended. They had gone because her longtime friend and old boss, Garr Ce Bernn, director of Kystran, was retiring and had requested their presence for the ceremony. Because it had been more than twenty years since she had been back to her homeworld, he had also arranged for her to be honored while she was there. This amounted to not one but many ceremonies, in many different cities.
Tedra De Arr Ly-San-Ter did not take honoring well. It embarrassed her. To her, she had just been doing her job as a Sec 1 back then, which was to rescue her boss and put him back in power -- exactly what she'd done. She had then retired from her life of security enforcement to live with her lifemate on his planet of Sha-Ka'an and had never regretted it. All that honoring had put her in a testy mood that was still with her, even though it was over and they were nearing home.
The trouble was, as Dalden had heard Martha, his mother's Mock II computer, point out more than once, there had been no way to let his father know why they hadn't returned home two weeks ago when they were expected to. Long-distance communication did not include reaching across two star systems.
The distance had been shortened by the discovery of gaali stones on Sha-Ka'an as an energy source that far surpassed anything else known to either of their star systems, but communicating between those star systems was still only possible by the old-fashioned way of sending a ship within range. They would be home by then. So Tedra expected to be facing one very angry lifemate for the worry her longer absence would have caused him.
Dalden was merely amused, but his mother, who would hear no reassurances from him, was determined to fret and worry over the matter, He knew his father would be worried, extremely so. Challen didn't like it when he couldn't protect his lifemate himself, which was why he had "insisted" on...Heart of a Warrior. Copyright © by Johanna Lindsey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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