Saturday, 12 April 2014
Book Spotlight & Bargain Book: The Chosen by Annette Gisby
by Annette Gisby
Cover art by Ravven
Get the ebook for only 99 cents this week (Normal price $4.99)
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The neighbouring kingdoms of Oscia and Arcathia have been at a tentative peace for three years after centuries of warfare. Prince Severin of Arcathia has been brought up to put duty before all else and as the only son of the King and Queen, it is his duty to marry and produce an heir. His parents want him to marry an Oscian princess to cement that tentative peace. Unfortunately Severin isn't interested in princesses. Now, if he had his pick of princes that would be another matter.
Havyn has been a slave all his life. When his aptitude for wizardry is discovered, he finds himself purchased and freed by Prince Severin and apprenticed to the royal wizard, Ildar. His duty is to stay chaste to keep his powers strong, but his feelings for Severin sorely test his resolve.
With kingdoms at war, the throne hanging in the balance, magic in the air, and outside forces trying to keep them apart, can the two men find happiness together, or is duty more important than love?
There was a small table, which had a candle, a sponge, and a basin with a jug of water sitting atop it. The jug was cracked, but Severin didn’t mind. As soon as Halan left them alone, he stripped down to his breeches and began to wash his face and chest. Despite being a little thinner after his bout of seasickness, Severin knew he was in good shape and wanted to show off his body to Havyn. Severin lifted his arms to wash under them, stretching his body taut. Havyn gasped behind him. Severin smiled to himself and turned around, his face impassive once more.
“Havyn, don’t you need a wash too?” asked Severin, holding out the sponge, the water dripping with small ‘plops’ onto the wooden floor.
Havyn visibly swallowed as he took the offered sponge and began to wash his face without removing any of his clothes.
“Shirt off,” said Severin. “You’re probably so sticky after the horse ride. The water’s wonderfully refreshing.”
Severin wondered if Havyn would make any objection, but considering they would both be naked to the waist, perhaps Havyn didn’t mind because he set the sponge down on the table while he removed his tunic and undershirt. Severin let his gaze travel from Havyn’s head to the waistband of his leggings. He felt like whistling in appreciation.
“Your chest is so smooth,” said Severin, lifting the sponge and beginning to wash Havyn’s chest without asking. Havyn didn’t protest, and Severin wondered if it was because the boy was used to doing what he was told without thought for his own needs or desires. Perhaps he didn’t really want this? Didn’t really want Severin?
Havyn closed his eyes and swayed slightly, his hands fisted at his sides.
“Ildar said it’s because of the Aldari. They are smooth too, no hair except for their heads and eyebrows.”
“Really?” Severin glanced down at Havyn’s groin, noticing the growing bulge there. He smiled again. It seemed that despite Ildar’s anti-sex lessons, Havyn was still capable of desire. What would happen if he reached out and kissed Havyn? Would Havyn push him away? Severin’s mouth watered at the thought of kissing those delectable lips. He set the sponge down and dipped his hands in the water before returning to Havyn’s chest and rubbing the water all over his neck and chest again. Havyn moaned and swayed against him.
Havyn’s nipples stood up in little points, but Severin didn’t know if it was because of the chill of the water or because he was enjoying the caresses. Severin’s own nipples peaked in sympathy. He caressed the smooth planes of Havyn’s chest. The blood pounded in his ears and pooled in his groin. Halan had finished bringing all the pallets and they wouldn’t be disturbed until the others returned, but Severin went to the door and latched it just in case.
Havyn’s eyes flew open at the noise. “Master Severin?”
“When we’re alone you may call me Severin,” he replied, turning back to Havyn, it was quite an uncomfortable walk. “I’m not a king with you, Havyn. I’m just a man.”
“I—” Havyn began, but Severin stopped him by pressing a forefinger to Havyn’s lips.
“Sssh. No words. Not now. I just want you to feel.”
Severin had kissed his fair share of girls at all of the balls his parents had hosted at the palace, but until now, he had never dared to contemplate kissing a man. Havyn looked up at him with something akin to awe, his eyes bright, and Severin relished it. “You know I can’t lie to you,” whispered Severin. “I want you, Havyn. Do you understand?” Havyn was a little bit younger than him, and Severin wondered if perhaps Havyn hadn’t yet understood what two men could do together.
Havyn nodded, his eyes fluttering closed, his mouth hanging half-open. Severin took that as an invitation, and he leaned closer to Havyn, so close their chests were almost touching. He cupped Havyn’s face in his hands and pressed his lips softly against Havyn’s. His eyes closed at the sensation while the two of them stood there stealing the breath from each other. Severin knew he wanted a lot more than kisses, but he didn’t want to scare Havyn away with too much too soon, despite his own desire. Severin let his hands wander down Havyn’s back, trailing softly over his skin. He held back the moans that wanted to fly free from his throat.
Severin only pulled away from the kiss when his need for air became too great. Havyn stared at him with wide eyes, his fingers trailing along his lips, as if he couldn’t quite believe it had happened. “You kissed me,” Havyn said with a sigh.
“I’d like to do it again if you will permit it,” said Severin. “I only want what you are willing to give me.”
“Everything,” breathed Havyn. “But Lord Ildar said I mustn’t.”
“What Ildar doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” said Severin. “I won’t take your virtue, Havyn. There are other ways we can take pleasure with each other.”
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