Bound (Bound Trilogy #1)
Author: Kate Sparkes
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Synopsis: Welcome to Darmid, where magic is a sin, fairy tales are contraband, and the people live in fear of the Sorcerers on the other side of the mountains.
Rowan Greenwood has everything she's supposed to want from life—a good family, a bright future, and a proposal from a handsome and wealthy magic hunter. She knows she should be content with what she has. If only she could banish the idea that there's more to life than marriage and children, or let go of the fascination with magic she's been forced to suppress since childhood.
When Rowan unknowingly saves the life of one of her people’s most feared enemies, that simple act of compassion rips her from her sheltered life and throws her into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.
Rowan might get everything she ever dreamed of—that is, if the one thing she's always wanted doesn't kill her first.
The scream stopped, and footsteps followed me, more slowly now. I'd lost my knife, but I picked up a sharp rock, flipped myself around, and pushed my back up against a boulder.
A shadow fell over me, and I looked up to see another stranger. He was far leaner than the bald one, younger and taller. The way he stood gave an impression of graceful strength that made me more afraid of him than I'd been of the mass of muscle that attacked me. The sun behind him left his face in silhouette. His hair was dark, just long enough for most of it to be pulled back and tied behind his neck.
Darmish men don't wear their hair long like that.
He watched me, catching his breath and apparently considering my situation. I glanced back at my previous attacker, who lay flat on his stomach with his face pressed into the rocks, not moving. Nausea washed through me, and I grasped my chunk of rock so tightly that it cut into my fingers. I wasn't about to go quietly.
The stranger stepped back, allowing sunlight to fall on his face as he watched me. I had expected a scarred warrior, but found quite the opposite. His unblemished skin and high cheekbones would have seemed more at home on a pampered aristocrat or a prince. His brows shadowed dark eyes in a stern expression that seemed familiar, though I was certain I'd never met anyone like this before. He reached up to rub a hand over the dark stubble on his jaw.
"It's all right," he said, his voice calm and heavily accented. He stepped around so that he stood beside me, then crouched. In a movement that was too swift for me to follow he caught my left hand in his own. I tried to pull back, but the strength drained from my arm, and the rock clattered to the ground. I was completely at his mercy, and though he'd saved me from my attacker, something about him filled me with terror. I met his gaze, and my mouth went dry at the sight of his cold, green-flecked, brown eyes.
I'd been wrong when I thought this man was completely unfamiliar.
He let me look for a few seconds, then said, "I'm not going to hurt you. Will you listen while I explain?" His speech was clear, but his accent made everything sound strange.
I was afraid to answer. Someone yelled from near the road, and the stranger frowned.
"I'm sorry." He reached his free hand toward my face. Blood streaked his knuckles. I flinched, expecting him to hurt me, but he only laid his hand on my forehead. The world grayed out, and I fell away as I had the first time I looked into those strange, beautiful eyes.
About the Author
Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, three cats with more personality than most people she knows, and the saddest-looking dog on the planet. She'll keep writing and sharing stories as her imagination lets her... and assuming the dragons don't eat her.