My book spotlight guest today is Ashley York. This historical romance author is here to talk about CURSE OF THE HEALER, which is set in medieval Ireland. Please welcome Ashley York!
After the death of Brian Boru in 1014, a legend arose of a healer so great she could raise a man from the dead, with a power so strong it could make any warrior the next high king of Éire...and to steal it away from her, he need only possess her.
Fated to be a healer…
Aednat has spent her entire life training to be the great healer, knowing she must remain alone. When she meets Diarmuid, the intense attraction she feels toward him shakes her resolve to believe in such a legend. If she gives in to the passion he ignites in her, can she settle for being less?
Destined to be his…
Diarmuid of Clonascra is renowned for his bravery in battle. Only one thing daunts him: the prospect of taking a wife. The safest course would be to keep his distance from Aednat, the bold, headstrong healer who's far too tempting for his peace of mind. But his overking orders him to protect her from a group of craven warriors intent on kidnapping her to steal her power.
What starts as duty for Diarmuid quickly transforms into something more. Aednat's power might be at risk, but so is his closed-off heart.
The warrior’s expression did not change.
Aednat swallowed down her fear and used her most commanding tone. “Ye’re on Meic Lochlainn land.”
The man continued toward her, looming over her. “And well I know it.”
“Mayhap ye need to seek the rí túath’s permission to be here.”
“Mayhap I have the overking’s permission.”
The Meic Lochlainn had attained overking status, with several lesser kings under him. These men, the ríg túaithe, were from the direct line of former kings, had proven themselves in battle, and had been properly anointed. This man could be one of the visiting ríg túaithe, but Aednat sensed he was not.
She scoffed. “I do not believe ye.”
He stopped close enough for her to see the tiny lines at the corners of his bright blue eyes and the quirk of his heavy brow before he asked, “And why would ye not believe what I say to ye?”
“I do not know ye.” Arrogant! “And who are ye to say what the lad’s punishment should be?”
He had long, dark hair. Taller than most, he was probably seldom overlooked, and she had a notion his will was rarely denied. His broad shoulders and warrior’s stance were, no doubt, quite frightening… to some. Then he crossed his arms about his broad chest, tucking a hand under the intricately carved silver band clasping his bare upper arm. A wealthy man, then. Perhaps he was a rí túaithe.
“Mayhap ye do not recognize me, but ye should heed my warning.”
Any king could order that a little boy be punished with a strip of leather, if he were cruel enough, but it was not an accepted practice. Her grandfather had been a cruel rí. She’d witnessed one lad, Will, barely older than Lorccán, having his fingers sliced right off his hand for stealing food. Aodh Meic Lochlainn had thought it better that the boy starve to death than steal. Will had become her friend—a fellow outcast in the woods.
The stranger’s eyes narrowed and she nibbled her lower lip. She couldn’t back down now. “Well, then, ’tis a good thing ye do not get to decide.”
He closed the remaining distance between them in three strides, his face etched in angry lines. She instinctively backed away, half expecting him to grab her arm.
BUY LINKS - Curse of the Healer
Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author's imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.
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