Romance seems to be everywhere nowadays. There’s fantasy romance, historical romance, even western romance—I think (Hey Tex, pass the biscuits). I don’t really care to read a lot of erotic stuff, but I believe every story needs a little romance. Even a gritty mercenary story like The Order of the Wolf has some romance.
Actually, one of my favorite scenes is when the protagonist meets his lady love for the first time. He’s a gruff mercenary with a death wish, who’s never had a real relationship with a woman, and she’s an old farm wife who’s lost her husband to war. She found him near her farm, collapsed from a festering wound, and brought him back to her shack to mend him:
I woke to excruciating pain—and, strangely, comfort. Where did this bed come from? A scratchy pillow cushioned my head enough so that I could scan my surroundings.
I was in a peasant shack with stick furniture and herbs hanging from the wall. My borrowed sword hung on a hook by the door; seeing it prompted me to struggle to me feet with a grunt. I shuffled, naked, across the dirt floor and grabbed the sword, feeling better when I had it in my grasp. I scanned the room for my missing tunic, shaking my head to clear the feeling of light-headedness.
The hovel’s door scraped and I dropped into a fighting stance, my sword poised to strike. The afternoon sun beamed through the opening, blinding me. I blinked to clear my vision and jumped back when a shadow passed before the door.
It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the sunlight. A woman stood in the doorway with one hand on her hip and the other holding my missing tunic—which appeared to be clean. She looked strong enough to put up a good fight if I set my sword down, so I held it at the ready and I studied her face, trying to gauge her intentions.
She smiled at me, running her eyes down the length of my body. “You going to stab me with that?” she asked—only she wasn’t looking at the sword in my hand.
I cleared my throat and her focus shifted to my face. Her scrutiny was unnerving. I hadn’t been with a woman since before my mates had died, and I hadn’t stood naked in front of a woman since long before that. I tried to ignore my condition and regain control of the situation.
“How did I get here?”
The woman frowned. “If you put your sword down, I’ll tell you.”
I held out my hand for my tunic. “Can I have my clothes?”
Her smile returned. “I didn’t say you had to get dressed.” She gave me another appraising look. “Besides, your tunic is still wet.”
I knew that she was just baiting me, but I refused to give her the satisfaction by covering myself. I would rather have faced the Imperial cavalry again than stand there being ogled—but I didn’t move.
Finally, she laughed and gestured toward the back corner on the opposite side of the bed. “In the corner is an old tunic what belonged to my man. You can put it on.”
I lowered my sword and laid it on the bed as I crossed the room, but it’s hard to look dignified when a strange woman is staring at your naked ass. I shuffled over to the tunic and put it on. Homespun and too small, it began to itch as soon as it touched my skin.
“Where’s your man now?”
The woman frowned again and spat on the dirt floor. “The fool went an’ got himself killed in the Prince’s army.”
It’s not quite a fairy tale romance, but the relationship that develops is a critical part of the story. If you want to read more, you can find a copy of The Order of the Wolf on Amazon or Kobo. Or you can sign up for my author newsletter and get one for FREE.
If you decide to give The Order of the Wolf a gander, please don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or KOBO, or wherever else strikes your fancy. Reviews are more precious than gold to us independent authors. My current goal is to get my books on BookBub and I need reviews to do it. So help a starving author out.
(Okay, to be honest, I’m not starving. Right now my belly is full of leftover Reese’s cups from Halloween . . . . . All right, they aren’t really leftover. I sneaked them out of the candy bowl when the wife wasn’t looking. But hey, I’m a fiction author. I’m supposed to make this stuff up, right?)
Thanks for your ear rent.