Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Northman's Pleasure Teaser Tuesday


Northman's Brides 2

 

Historical Romance

Date Published:  03-02-2024

 

 

Stories say that in the heat of battle, Grim Hammerhand becomes a two-legged wolf. His prowess prompts the king to send Grim after his daughter Asgerd who has been captured by the brutal warrior Stein. In return, the king offers Grim Stein's land as well as Asgerd's hand in marriage. Mistrusting of all women, Grim vows never to marry. He reserves his passion for battle and the forge.

Asgerd has loved Grim for years, but the handsome red-haired warrior has never noticed her. Defiled by Stein, Asgerd doubts she could ever desire any man again, but when Grim defeats Stein and claims Asgerd as his wife, she realizes her feelings for Grim are stronger than ever, but can she win the trust and heart of her reluctant husband?

 

Excerpt

 

“Come face your destiny,” Grim bellowed. “I grow tired of waiting.”

A moment later, Stein and Asgerd emerged from the longhouse. She was more beautiful than ever. Even her worn tunic couldn’t hide her generous curves. What impressed him most was that her eyes shone with rage instead of fear despite the rough hold Stein had on her and the threat of his blade against her throat. She had always been an uncommonly beautiful woman. Now he saw that she had courage as well.

“You know why I’m here, Stein.” Grim tightened his hold on his sword. “You have cheated the king and abducted his daughter. Now you'll pay your debt.”

“If you want to kill me, Grim, you’ll have to go through her—the king’s daughter.”

Stein’s attraction to a woman as luscious as Asgerd was understandable, but it was no reason to abduct her, and nothing could excuse his behavior at this moment.

Grim had once fought alongside Stein years ago, but the man who stood before him was a shadow of that young warrior. Dressed in filthy clothes, his hair and beard matted, he stared at Grim with eyes glazed from too much drink. What had happened to him over the years Grim couldn’t say, and he had no time to ponder it. Asgerd’s safety mattered more than figuring out the reason for Stein’s downfall, as did reclaiming this land that the king had given to Stein when he’d been in favor. Clearly the king hadn’t realized how low Stein had sunk over the years.

“You call yourself a warrior?” Grim curled his lip in disgust. “What manner of man hides behind a woman? It seems you haven’t lived with dignity, Stein, but perhaps you can die with it. Release her and face me.”

A look of defeat and terror passed across Stein’s face. A bit of reality must have penetrated his madness and made him realize that no matter what he did there was no escaping Grim’s blade.

Surprisingly, Asgerd took advantage of her captor’s moment of doubt. With a mighty effort against the hold of Stein’s burly arms, she managed to thrust all her weight to one side and slam her fist between his legs.

Grunting in pain, he loosened his grip. She tried to flee, but only managed a few awkward steps before tumbling to the ground.

Grim howled, a battle cry that never failed to instill fear in his enemies. He raced for Stein who managed to deflect several blows before Grim’s blade rammed his gut.

The defeated warrior’s eyes bulged. He dropped his weapon and sank to his knees.

With a fierce tug, Grim withdrew his bloodied weapon from its cocoon of flesh and bone. Stein fell to the ground, dead.

Grim turned to the crowd of villagers who had gathered to watch the spectacle.

“By order of the king I lay claim to this house and lands,” he said in his most resonant voice. “Obey me and we will live in peace. Cross me and suffer Stein’s fate. Now go about your business.”

The crowd dispersed, and his men went about interrogating Stein’s warriors, deciding who would take orders and who might cause problems.

Grim turned to Asgerd who had risen awkwardly to her feet, her face and tunic stained with dirt from her fall. She stared at him warily. The delicate tip of her tongue moistened her full pink lips and her blue eyes gazed into his.

For years he had tried to ignore her. Grim wouldn’t allow a woman’s claws to sink into his heart. Bedding them was one thing, but caring for them was another. Something about Asgerd had always tempted him far too much, which was why he paid so little attention to her. She was almost irresistible, and that made her dangerous.

Now he realized her beauty was only a small part of her charm. The way she’d used her wits and meager strength against Stein inspired his admiration, and he wasn’t easily impressed. Still she was a woman and they were crafty.

“Are you hurt?” he asked.

“No,” she replied.

“Then we should go inside and talk.”

Asgerd nodded and took a few awkward steps. It was then that he noticed the chains on her ankles.

“Wait,” he ordered, placing a hand on her shoulder. When she stopped, he squatted in front of her. His hand curled around her slender ankle that was luckily protected by a boot. The soft leather was worn from the shackle. He checked the strength of the chain and realized he would need tools to free her.

Grim lifted his gaze to her face. “He kept you like this?”

She nodded, staring at him. He imagined looking into her large blue eyes while coupling with her. Those beautiful eyes looked wary, but deep inside he saw a spark of desire. No doubt Stein had used her badly, but he hadn’t killed her passion.

Grunting softly, he stood again and swept her into his arms.

 

About the Author

Kate Hill is a vegetarian New Englander who loves writing romantic fantasies. When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, watching horror movies, and researching vampires and Viking history. She runs the Compelling Beasts Blog that is dedicated to antagonists, antiheroes, and paranormal creatures. Kate also writes as Saloni Quinby

 

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