Harald the Beardless was desperate. With his farm failing, he needed coin to feed his mother and sisters. But he was captured on his first raid as a Viking, made the slave of the lovely but cold-hearted Fiona.
But even Fiona can't deny her attraction to the handsome young Viking. Desire rises faster than the heat from Fiona's forge. Will she risk all to win the heart of "Her Viking Slave?"
~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~
Gentle Rhiannon protect me. I never thought I would find him beautiful.
He lay on his back on the thin, narrow cot. The blankets she had lent him had been kicked off sometime in the night, and his nude body, caught in the low, slanting sunbeam that streamed through the open shutter in the opposite wall, was gilded in shades of honey and gold. His belly was flat, his chest broad and strong, his lips curved in the faintest of sweet smiles, as if he dreamed of home. Soft hair that made her fingers itch for its touch circled his areolae, then gathered in a downy river past his breastbone and navel, there to pool in a lovely thicket that surrounded his hard, jutting manhood. It rose hard and rampant from his groin, aroused by who knew what signal in his sleeping mind. Long and thick, but somehow innocent at the same time.
A pang struck her. She had been kidnapped, enslaved, and brutalized when she was little more than a child, her budding body used for the pleasure of men who gave no thought for her own. The memories of the shy kisses and furtive caresses she had shared with the young men of her own age in her home village had been all but erased from her mind by a decade where the only thing at stake was her own survival. It had not quite been rape, as she had callously used every tool that came to her hand to make sure she lived, up to and including her own body. But as the sweating, stinking northmen had grunted on top of her, her youthful body little more than a receptacle to slake their own lusts, she had received no pleasure from the act.
Some women were different, she knew. At the Kinvarra village well, in the small market, in the communal bath-house where maidens and crones alike gathered to talk and gossip, there were sly glances and hidden giggles as the married women spoke of how their menfolk served them at night. Some were not bashful at all, but openly bragged about the lusty power of their husbands and lovers, or how many times they could make their staffs rise in one evening.
But not her. Never her. She stared at Harald’s sleeping body, her fists clenched in helpless fury. Even after she had found a home in Kinvarra, she had avoided men. And the men of the village had avoided her as well, knowing she was no maiden, that she had bartered her body in exchange for her own freedom. She had won a place there by her skill in the smithy. But no man chose to woo her.
Well. One did. But she would sooner cut off her own breasts than take Ultan to her bed.
Why not? A whisper in the back of her mind. Why not the northman? You have brought yourself pleasure with your own hands and fingers. Why not use his body? Do not his people owe you that much at least, after all the pain they brought you?
She blinked. Did she dare? Between her legs, a throbbing pressure grew, and drops of sweat beaded her brow. Through all the long years since her capture, she had never chosen. Never been the one who had reached out her hand to a man, bidding him to her bed. Could she do it now? Even with the object of her desire sodden in sleep?