Bryton Haruk sets out on a suicide mission to stop the bloodthirsty Skullmen from terrorizing the war-weary Land of Eldwyn. Consumed by guilt over the death of his wife, Bryton seeks revenge and reunion in the afterlife with his lost love. His purpose is determined, his bravery unmatched, until the queen casts a spell to save Bryton from himself.
Salome is that spell. A bird-shifter, she can harness the earth's breeze and take the form of a beautiful, innocent woman. Her challenge is to harness Bryton's pain and guide him to peace. She entrances and irritates him, tempting Bryton from his mission. Even as he gives in to the passion between them, Bryton insists on mounting a solo attack on the brigands' compound, and Salome fears her love won't be enough to save him...
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About the Author
Inez Kelley has been telling stories since she learned to speak. She wrote her first tale at age eleven and hasn't stopped since. She read her first romances in elementary school, under the bedcovers by flashlight, when she was supposed to be sleeping. They spawned dreams that never ceased.
Inez is a recent transplant to the Midwest from the deep mountains of Appalachia. She packed up her children, her home and all those dreams, but still spends most nights creating romance on the page.
Find Inez at inezkelley.com/ or twitter.com/Inez_Kelley.
Read an Excerpt
Wet blood stained the parchment in a perfect circle. Tiny ridges and whorls from a large finger held Taric's attention for far too long. He tore his gaze from it with difficulty to the man who'd left the smudge. No wound marked him, but then, Taric hadn't thought it was Bryton's blood. Bryton was far too skilled at questioning prisoners.
"You got him to talk?"
Bryton tightened the cinch on his destrier with a sharp tug and moved to the pack mule behind him. "Enough pain'll make anyone scream secrets like a girl and beg for mercy."
"Did you give him mercy?"
A whoosh whispered through the stable when Bryton palmed his dagger. Unsatisfied revenge tightened his jaw as he spun the knife, presenting the hilt to Taric with a raised brow. "Meet Mercy, Your Majesty. She's delighted to make your acquaintance."
Mercy, carved along the handle in a scrolling script, was darkened with age and worn smooth with use. Taric didn't blink and Bryton thrust the dagger back into his belt. The blade glinted with malicious hunger but not one drop of red marred the steel. Bryton had taken time to clean his weapon, long-instilled duty overriding his consuming anger.
Taric scanned the orderly list of names and prison numbers, his mouth filling with sour distaste. So many were crossed off, but not the one Bryton hungered for. He refolded the parchment and tucked it into his belt. "I still don't like this."
"You don't have to," Bryton muttered.
"I don't have to let you go, either."
Bryton ran a huge hand through his hair and jerked his head, cracking his neck with a loud pop. Lines of stress and strain furrowed his brow beneath the shock of inky black now staining his long copper hair. The wide line of black hair had appeared overnight, over one long terrible night more than a full summer ago. That thick swatch wasn't the only darkness Bryton now carried.
The determination blazing from his bright blue eyes would have made a lesser man cringe. As it was, Taric fought the urge to step back.
"I'm going," Bryton snapped. "The plan is sound. One man has a better chance of sneaking into their camp and executing an ambush. I'm the best soldier you have and you know it. Even Myla agrees tha"
"No, Myla agreed a platoon would be too easy to spot. You took it on yourself to plan this suicide mission." Fisting his hands, Taric fought for an even tone. "You haven't slept. You look like shit. A few days won't matter."
"I'll sleep when I make camp. I'm not letting that son of a bitch go, not when I'm this close."
"You?" Taric roared, his temper slipping. The stable boys dropped their water buckets and scurried away like mice. Bryton never flinched. "Over two hundred murderers were wrongly given their freedom and turned loose on my kingdom. It's taken over three long bloody summers but I've been right there beside you, my friend, sending the Skullmen back to hell."
"There's no way in hell's asshole Karok is getting away from me this time." Bryton locked eyes with Taric and gritted his teeth. "That bastard murdered my wife. You can bet your royal ass I'm going to kill him, and I'm going to make it hurt."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Bryton Haruk has a sworn duty to protect his king and his country, but his duty has been difficult ever since the day he wife was killed by invaders. And now he finds the invaders returning and threatening all that remains dear to him. He swears vengence and justice, to be the lawful executioner of the invader's leader. The King watches as Bryton is eaten up from within and summons a powerful spirit to help ease his pain and teach him to love life again. Salome, a bird-shifter, answers his summons and swears to find a way to bring Bryton peace before he dies. Salome is an absolutely amazing character. Watching her learn the ways of the human world she has been summoned to brings a lightness to the story that keeps it from becoming too dark. Bryton can't stand Salome and her gentle ways at first, but as they come to know each other he sees a different part of him unlocking. As they come closer and closer to Bryton's goal, both are forced to re-evaluate the reasons behind their actions and learn to look to the future instead of the past. 3/5
Originally posted at: www.longandshortreviews.blogspot.com*****Salome at Sunrise by Inez Kelley is the sequel to Myla by Moonlight, but can stand alone. I read the first book and loved it so much that I knew I had to check out this second book in the series. I had high expectations, due to the first book, and I was not disappointed. The setting is a Medieval-type world steeped in legend and magic, a kingdom of old with its hero, the king's captain, Bryton. Bryton is great. He's funny, sarcastic, brave, and complex, and sadly, he's a widower with a small child in this book. He's just so real that you can't help but to know him and to admire him for his integrity, honor and courage. Salome is a magic spell, cast by the queen, sent to help Bryton find peace even as he plans his revenge against the criminals who killed his wife. She's innocent and adorable. Her talents make for some entertaining scenes as well. These two have quite the adventure. The story presentation is memorable. Inez Kelley is an artist with words. The book unfolds like poetry with its gorgeously written lines. It is a colorful tapestry with words that invoke pure beauty. The tension is carried throughout as Bryton prepares for the revenge that is sure to cost him his life, but dashes of humor are mixed throughout the telling of the tale, often drawing a smile with witty dialogue and charming banter. Within the tension, one will find utterly adorable scenes as well. The steamy love scenes are written out with excellence. The emotions are tender and passionate, reaching deep within the characters' hearts. When Bryton comes face-to-face with the guilt of not being able to save his wife, he begins to understand and heal. It's a rewarding scene to read. I also liked when he spoke to his wife, Kat's ghost. Even though he grew to love Salome, he still loved his wife, making this very realistic. I love this line from the book: "Love never dies, it just changes form." The way Bryton is pushed toward finding peace is written in an authentic way. He's a warrior, and there are some bloody scenes throughout, but it's all tied in to the superb plot. As with Myla by Moonlight, Salome by Sunrise is a top-notch story, touching and so beautifully written that I'd highly recommend it.