Gisla has escaped the clutches of magician, Karli Olafsson, but can she continue to evade his demands? In desperation she turns to a handsome young stranger who doesn't believe in magic. His name is Olli...and luckily he has friends who will help….This exciting story is set in Ireland and Scotland in AD 1046, a decade after Far After Gold.
Thorkel turned his head and spat on the floor. ‘Enough of this,’ he muttered, and nodded at the man who held me. ‘Get her to the ship.’
In spite of my exhaustion, that woke me. I squealed ‘No!’ and threw myself toward Olli, but weakness made me stumble. The guard caught my plait in one brawny fist and reeled me in. I yelled and clapped my hands to my head. I heard his laughter as he hustled me toward the door.
The crowd did not make a space for him as he expected, but forced him to halt. His back stiffened and his grip tightened on my arm. Desperate, I hurled words over my shoulder.
‘I cannot marry Karli now. I have lain with another.’
There was a moment’s shocked silence and then a sly snigger ran through the crowd as everyone stared at Olli. Thorkel seemed stunned and stood there with his mouth hanging open.
I hardly dared meet Olli’s shocked gaze, much less sustain it, but I hoped he would not let me down. Claiming we had bedded when we had not was a risk, but there was nothing else I could think of to say that would stop Thorkel taking me back to Karli. I would apologise to Olli as soon as I could.
Blood rushed into Olli’s face. Our glances met briefly before he dipped his head and turned shiftily to meet his foster-father’s considering blue stare. I expected Olli to be annoyed with me; but he was trying to suppress a smile and seemed both flattered and embarrassed by my claim. Emer had one hand to her mouth and slowly shook her head. I hated to have her think badly of him, but the lie was the only thing that might save me. I could repair the damage with Emer and Flane later.
Somewhere in the crowd, a man laughed and a woman called out ‘She’s no good to you now, man. Let her go.’
Thorkel stood in frowning silence, as if thinking very slowly. Olli braced himself as if he suspected it was only a matter of time before Thorkel’s brutes turned on him. He flexed his shoulders and casually rested his hand on his dagger.
http://tinyurl.com/ovvpmeu for the UK