By Eleri Stone, author of THE SHAPE OF TEMPTATION
My first book boyfriend was Jimmy the Hand from Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Saga. I’m talking about the young Jimmy the Hand from the Magician books—the clever teenaged orphan thief who gets swept up in an epic battle between good and evil. I was only about twelve or thirteen myself at the time so the teenager thing worked for me then. The thing is, the Riftwar Saga is fantasy, not romance, and Jimmy the Hand is a very minor character. This is how fanfic happens.
I made up great adventures for Jimmy where he got to be the star and not the sidekick. Stories where he fell in love with nerdy girls who liked to read too much but would drop everything to go on an adventure with a smart-mouthed pickpocket who needed help saving the world.
Fantasy was my favorite genre at the time and, while I liked the adventure parts of the stories just fine, I often found the romantic subplots unfulfilling. So, I owe a lot to Jimmy who inspired me to start writing my own stories where I could combine adventure and fantasy and romance all together. And I do still have a preference for heroes who are roguishly charming. You can see a touch of that in Benim, the hero from my new fantasy romance, The Shape of Temptation. He’s a soldier, not a thief, and he’s not out to save the world this time around. But he does fall head over heels for Kailey, who is both a powerful mage from a backwater territory and a completely unsuitable woman for a city-born soldier to fall in love with. The world they’re living in is full of magic, political machination and inconvenient class rules that keep Benim and Kailey apart. I hope you like their story!
Living in a humble village at the edge of the Sarian Empire, Kailey is a gifted but untrained mage with an affinity for stone. She believes herself well beyond the reach of the guild that controls all magic within the empire until Benim, an unwilling guild soldier, appears at her door. She’s part of his quest to assemble gifted citizens for entrance to University.
As Kailey struggles to navigate the strange society of the Sarian upper class, she’s tasked by a guild master to create a masterpiece for the emperor. And when Benim is commissioned as her model, Kailey comes to crave the hard-bodied soldier she spends her days sculpting inch by intimate inch.
Benim cannot resist the warmth of Kailey’s spirit nor the comforts found within her body, though he knows that a poor soldier has no place in a mage’s world. But he and Kailey will have to overcome more than just class differences in order to remain together. For someone has made Kailey a pawn in her mentor’s ambitious play for power…
This is Book Two in the Spellcraft series, but the books don’t need to be read in order. They share a common world, but there’s not an overarching plot or shared characters.
Get your copy of THE SHAPE OF TEMPTATION from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
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Eleri Stone is a RITA-nominated author of paranormal and fantasy romance. She was born in New Jersey, but now lives in Iowa with her husband and their three children. All of her stories have some element of speculative fiction in them and they all end with a happily-ever-after.
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