Genre: Historical Romance with Paranormal Elements
Word Count: 76,000
In Regency era London, where the smallest faux pas can cause irreparable scandal, half-elven Katherine Sinclair has more to hide than anyone else; especially when drawing notice by the wrong people can get her killed.
With the ability to harness the power of nature and heal others, ruining her family’s good name isn’t the only thing she must guard against. According to her late mother’s enchanted journal, a secret brotherhood exists amongst members of elite society, some who even feed on the magic energy of others. When two suitors present themselves, Katherine is understandably suspicious. The Duke of Thornewood is as arrogant as he is darkly handsome, and the Earl of Byron is charming and the clear choice of her society-savvy grandmother, but Katherine fears her attraction and prejudice will lead her astray.
But Society intrigue can be just as threatening. Her grandmother has secrets of her own and is willing to force Katherine into an arrangement with a dangerous man to keep them hidden. Katherine never believes she’ll succeed—until Katherine heals one of her fellow debutantes after a riding accident, with the Duke of Thornewood as a witness. After such a catastrophic mistake, Katherine believes her reputation—and any chance at love—has been ruined for good. Such a misstep puts her at the mercy of not only her grandmother’s machinations, but the brotherhood who could drain her magic. Since Katherine's magic is irrevocably tied to the energy which keeps her heart beating, she risks death if caught.
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The horse's hooves thunder across the hillside, and my heart pounds with each bunching of his muscles. My hair breaks free of its pins, pale strands sweeping across my cheek. Though the wind breaks through the thin barrier of the breeches and tall boots borrowed from my brother’s wardrobe, the smile never leaves my face. Mild discomfort is a small price to pay for a ride unhindered by the thick skirts of my riding habit.
I glance at Robert, who is keeping easy pace with me.
"Careful, dear sister," Robert calls out, the wind snatching at his words, "I'm gaining on you."
I laugh. "Serenity will refuse to jump this next bank, just as she always does."
I press my booted heels to Orion’s sides, and a little thrill jolts through me as he charges forward. His excitement bubbles over my skin, making it hard to distinguish from my own. Magic derived from the warmth of the sun cloaks us both, its invisible golden bands connecting us until we are nearly one creature. He floods my mind with his every thought: the way the light layer of snow gives way beneath his hooves, how crisp the air smells when he takes deep breaths, the light pressure of my weight on his back. The mare behind him is on his mind too, a speck of awareness I take advantage of; it tells me how close I am to reaching the creek before my brother, therefore winning our little race.