The Sorcerer’s Guardian
by Antonia Aquilante
M/M Fantasy Romance
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: November 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.
Commander Oudin led them up a flight of stairs and to the end of a corridor to the two doors there and left them with assurances that they should come to him if they required anything further. The commander strode back down the corridor to the door at the other end that he’d pointed out as leading to his office and bedchamber.
He turned to Savarin once the commander left them, but before he could say anything, Savarin spoke. “May I see the mirror now?”
He’d been about to suggest an early night since they’d set out before dawn that morning and should do the same the next, but he doubted he could put Savarin off for long. Not with how eager the sorcerer seemed to examine the mirror.
“Certainly. Come in.” He let them into the bedchamber on the right, the one Commander Oudin had pointed out as his. The bedchamber was small, just large enough for a single bed, a chair, and a narrow chest of drawers. The one small window let in just enough moonlight for him to see but left the room in shadow. He moved to grab the candles from the chest and light them from the candles in the corridor, but Savarin was faster. He took hold of Loriot’s arm, keeping him back from the candles, and an instant after, the wicks ignited into steady, glowing flames.
He sucked in a quick breath. At the surprise of having the candles light on their own? Or at the surprise of having Savarin touching him? Both were unexpected, and both kicked his heartbeat up. The idea that Savarin had used his Talent to light the candles settled into his mind, becoming far less jarring. But Savarin was still touching him, his grip firm on Loriot’s forearm. Loriot was suddenly much more aware of Savarin’s presence close by his side, of Savarin so much taller than Loriot was. But Savarin’s hand holding his arm, that was almost devastating in the awareness it produced. Yes, he’d always known Savarin was an attractive man, but he’d thought of the trait in a more detached, aesthetic sense, and less on the level of being attracted to Savarin himself.
But in that breathless moment, heat rushed through him from the one point of contact between them, and he wondered in what was obviously lunacy what it would feel like to turn and push Savarin up against the closed door, trapping him there with his body and kissing him. He wondered what Savarin would feel like against him, under him. Would he melt into Loriot’s kiss? Would he push back and fight for control?
He looked from the elegant, long-fingered hand on his arm up to Savarin’s eyes and saw something flare in the gray depths. Was it the same mad awareness Loriot was suddenly feeling?
They stared for a long moment, and the reckless impulse to actually find out the answers to those questions swept through Loriot. But Savarin dropped his arm and broke eye contact, looking past Loriot to the candles, and Loriot felt as if he’d been doused in cold water.
What had he been thinking? He must be mad.
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.