Cate Rowan has washed laundry in a crocodile-infested African lake, parasailed over Cabo, had monkeys poop in her hair, and swum with dolphins, but her best adventures are her story worlds. Her lush fantasy romances about magic, danger and passion in faraway realms have won more than thirty awards. Her debut novel, Kismet's Kiss, was a two-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart� finalist.
Sword and Lute: A Fantasy Romance Novelette (Alaia Chronicles: Legends)by Cate Rowan
When a cursed sword slashed the god Taso, his immortality gushed into the grass along with his blood. He escaped death�barely�by transforming into stone. Centuries later, the aspiring musician Amara stumbles across the stone and inadvertently morphs Taso back into his dying body. To save him, she must sacrifice her precious lute and her life-long dream. But in return,… See more details below
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When a cursed sword slashed the god Taso, his immortality gushed into the grass along with his blood. He escaped death�barely�by transforming into stone. Centuries later, the aspiring musician Amara stumbles across the stone and inadvertently morphs Taso back into his dying body. To save him, she must sacrifice her precious lute and her life-long dream. But in return, she might find her heart's desire�
Sword and Lute is a 16,000-word novelette about the immortal twin founders of verdant Teganne and desert Kad, two rival realms divided by magic�yet bound by blood, mistrust, and love.
The Alaia Chronicles series begins with the historical fantasy short story SWORDS AND SCIMITARS and continues in the fantasy romance novels THE SOURCE OF MAGIC and KISMET'S KISS. Cate Rowan's stories have won more than thirty awards.
"Lie down," she said. "You lost too much blood."
He gave her a mulish look.
She hastened over, put her hand on his chest and gently pushed him down to the earth. A mistake, because once he was down, he captured her wrist in his warm palm.
"Who are you, maiden fair?"
She shrugged, striving to keep her face composed. "You first. You're the interesting one."
"I wouldn't say that." His fingers softened their grip and caressed her skin. "Not at all."
She gave a noncommittal smile, tugged her hand from his, and stepped away to tend the fire.
"My name is Taso," he said at last into the silence. "And what is yours, milady?"
Her teeth clamped over her name, and then she flushed. Why should she keep it from him? It was simply a word.
But each piece he knew of her was leading to someplace larger. Deeper. Perilous.
"I'm Amara." She sprinkled a few grains of precious salt over the meat and didn't turn around.
"Amara," he repeated, as if he liked the sound of it. Hells, she liked the sound of it when he said it in that mellow voice.
"This will need to cook a while, but I'm sure you're hungry," she said briskly, and knelt to rummage in her pack for the bread and cheese.
"Amara," he spoke again, stopping her as easily as if he'd bespelled her. "Thank you. For your help. For your kindness to a stranger."
She looked at him at last, and shivered. "Did I truly break a spell?"
"Why? How?" She rose and took a step closer to him. "Who are you?"
"I'm Taso." He smiled, teasing her as firelight danced across his face.
She held still. "Are you a god?"
His chest rose with a long breath and he rolled his gaze up to the star-dusted sky. "I'm not sure."
- Cate Rowan
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