This #CSSundays snippet is just for you from Antonia Aquilante’s new book: (It’s available tomorrow!)
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Release Date: Nov 28, 2016
Savarin, the most powerful sorcerer in Tournai, has honed his Talent through years of study and made magic his life. Among the wealthy and noble circles he moves in, no one would suspect the handsome, refined, and arrogant sorcerer’s humble beginnings, which is how Savarin prefers it. Tournai’s princes task Savarin with studying and strengthening the spells that protect the principality from magical attack. They are complex, centuries old, and exactly the type of puzzle Savarin is eager to solve. To his annoyance, the princes insist Loriot accompanies him.
Loriot worked his way up the ranks of the royal guard to captain and takes pride in his service. He must obey the princes’ orders to protect Savarin, despite believing his skills would be best used elsewhere. And despite his wariness of magic. UnTalented himself, he has learned not only the benefits of magic but also its potential for harm—and how to counter it. Loriot and Savarin clash during their journey, but there’s another reason for the tension between them, and passion develops into feelings neither expected. But Savarin must still fortify Tournai’s magical barrier, and his only solution endangers both him and the royal family.
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Savarin sank into a chair in his study and reveled in the quiet. He tipped his head back to rest against the back of his chair and closed his eyes. Aside from him, only the cook and a maid remained in the house, and they wouldn’t bother him. No one would see him take this moment to himself.
What he needed was sleep. He hadn’t gotten enough since he’d been pulled in to help find the kidnapped baby. The magic use had worn him down, even without lack of sleep, but he hadn’t wanted to be unavailable until the baby was found in case he was needed again. The baby was home with her father now, unharmed and seemingly no worse for her experience, and the culprits were in Loriot’s hands, as they should be. The captain of the royal guard was more than capable of handling everything from there; Savarin’s part was done.
Just in time for him to lecture at the university.
Which he had done, without showing that he was so tired he thought he could feel his bones creaking when he moved, and he wasn’t old enough for his bones to creak. At least it was only a lecture, not a demonstration or work with a student. For that, he’d have needed his wits about him.
He’d briefly considered trying to track down Master Corentin while he was at the university. But there would be time to find the visiting scholar when Savarin wasn’t nearly asleep on his feet. The description of the magic Master Corentin had used to narrow down the area to search for the missing child had ignited Savarin’s curiosity. He’d never heard of a spell like the one Master Corentin supposedly used, and he was eager to discuss it with the man, to learn what type of Talent Master Corentin had and what kind of training he’d received. And whether it was a type of spell Savarin would be able to learn and use.
But all that could wait. Tomorrow. He’d send a note around to Master Corentin tomorrow. For now, he would get the rest he needed.
He pushed himself out of his chair. He’d slept in the chair before, more than once when he’d been too tired or drained to get any farther, but it would never be comfortable or his first choice, if he had one. Savarin climbed the stairs to the next floor and his bedchamber with slow steps, lifting each foot and setting it on each stair carefully. The thick carpet running along the center of the corridor muffled his slow steps as he made his way toward the back of the large house. At the time he’d bought it, he’d liked the architecture of the house and its conveniences, and yes, how large it was. Larger by far than the home where he’d grown up. Larger, perhaps, than he needed, but he regretted it only when he was too tired to get from one end of the house to the other.
The door to his bedchamber was finally in front of him. Savarin stumbled inside and closed it firmly. No one would disturb him here, unless the house caught fire or Prince Philip summoned him. And the house was spelled against fire and other catastrophes. He’d have to hope for no royal summonses.
He’d like a bath, but he didn’t want to wait as long as it would take to fill the large tub in the bathing room—and as tired as he was, he couldn’t use his Talent to hasten it along. Putting aside the idea of bathing until after he had some sleep, and possibly something to eat, Savarin discarded his clothing as he made his way across the room. He left each garment where it fell. He could pick them up when he woke. The maids wouldn’t complain if he left them—they were too wary of him and his Talent to complain about anything he did—but he wouldn’t make extra work for them for no reason.
The large bed with its tall, heavily carved posts and soft mattress beckoned, but he forced himself over to the windows first and tugged the velvet curtains closed, shutting out the late afternoon sunlight. With the room dim, he staggered back to the bed, the last of his energy deserting him the closer he got, and crawled between the sheets. He sighed as he stretched out on the silky sheets. His head had barely settled on the pillow before he was asleep.
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About the Author:
Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.
She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.
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