by Jennie Lynn Roberts
(The Hawks, #1)
Publication date: February 22nd 2021
His redemption might be her downfall… Tristan has nothing left to lose. His best friend’s betrayal cost him everything. Now, he’s going to take it back. All he has to do to get the Hawks reinstated to their rightful position at the palace is track down the traitor’s younger sister and turn her over for execution. But Nim’s not the girl Tristan left behind years ago; she’s a stubborn, loyal, beautiful woman, and he can’t stop himself from wanting her. Nim fled with nothing when the king’s favorite came for her. All she has left is the conviction that her brother is innocent—and her determination to free him. She’ll do anything…even if it means convincing Tristan to help her. But the man he’s become is a far cry from the boy she fell in love with so long ago. He’s formidably stern and deeply untrusting. She’ll just have to hope he still has a heart under that battle-scarred exterior. When love and duty collide, will Tristan follow his orders or follow his heart? Tristan, book 1 in The Hawks series, is a sexy, steamy, adult fantasy romance full of swords, shifters (kind of), and tons of action. But fair warning: This book is intended only for readers who love slow burn romance, fast-paced adventure, soul mates and found family—and characters who curse when they fight for survival. If that’s you, happy reading.
Gods, warm water. She could cry just at the idea of being clean.
She undid the stiff ties and breathed a sigh of relief as she took off the tight jerkin for the first time in days, letting her soft cotton blouse fall loose. She unlaced her long boots and yanked them off with a groan. She was about to pull down her breeches when she heard a quiet knock at the door.
“Who’s there?” she called, damping down her sudden nerves. The noise had startled her, but if someone wanted to hurt her, they wouldn’t have bothered knocking.
She didn’t want to face him again. Didn’t want to be reminded of her lonely teenage years as she slowly realized that what she wanted from him was never going to happen, that no matter how many times he visited, he never, really, saw her. Her even lonelier years as an adult, knowing that he didn’t want her and she didn’t want anyone else.
“What is it?” she asked, wishing he would go away.
His annoyed grunt was loud enough that she could hear it through the door. “I brought you some fresh clothes.”
She padded over and opened the door a few inches. “Here.” He thrust a small bundle at her, no doubt his spare shirt and socks.
She hovered for a moment, uncertain. She didn’t want to take anything more from him, but she really wanted to rinse out her clothes.
He pushed it toward her. “Just take it.”
She reached out and took the bundle, glancing up at him as she did. As soon as he noticed that she was looking at him, the shutters came down and his face blanked, but what she’d seen in the moment before rocked her.
Just for a second, he had looked so much younger. Almost his old self. His eyes filled with a deep, complicated expression. Need. And uncertainty. And something like yearning.
But whatever it was, he hadn’t wanted her to see it.
“Why are you doing this, Tris?” she asked him carefully.
“Jos said you’d like fresh clothes.”
“No, not the clothes.” She waved her arm around the hut, indicating herself. “This. Bringing me here, helping me with Val.”
He looked confused for a moment, as if he didn’t understand the question, before replying, “It’s the right thing to do.”
“No,” she said, “it’s not. You are obliged to follow orders. That would be the right thing for you to do. Not this.”
She realized that she was clutching his shirt as if it could somehow save her from the dark look on his face and loosened her fingers.
She squared her shoulders and said what she had to. “You can leave me here. I don’t mind. I thank you, genuinely thank you, for bringing me all this way. I understand that this is against your orders and that it would be better for you to go.”
He strode into the hut and pushed the door closed behind him with an irritated click. “What the fuck are you talking about?”
She stayed exactly where she was, determined not to be intimidated. “I’m not that little girl anymore, Tris, the one that annoyed you so much. I don’t need another big brother bossing me around, and I’m very tired of you looking at me like you wish you’d never found me. I understand that you don’t want to be here with me, so just go.”
He stared at her for a moment before replying, his voice rough, “You’re right.”
“Okay.” She took a breath and let it out slowly, determined not to show how much that hurt.
“But not how you think.”
He stepped closer, and that time she did step back. He stepped closer again, and she tried to step back again, but realized she had her back to the stone wall of the hut.
He pressed one hand upon the wall behind her and leaned down, hard masculine body towering over her, lips against her ear, hot breath on her skin. “You’re right. You’re not a little girl anymore.”
He pushed himself a few inches away. Just enough that he could watch her, his eyes clear and completely focused on her. She felt herself flush, her breath coming quicker as a deep longing pooled inside her.
His eyes flicked to the open neck of her blouse, and he lifted a huge hand and ran the back of his knuckles ever so slowly just under the cotton, along the top of her breasts as he whispered, “And the last thing I feel toward you is brotherly.”
Jennie Lynn Roberts believes that every strong, kickass heroine should have control of her own story, a swoony hero to support her at every turn, and a guaranteed happily ever after. Because that doesn’t always happen in real life, she began creating her own worlds that work just the way they should. And she hasn’t looked back since. Jennie would rather be writing than doing anything else—except for spending time with her gorgeous family, of course. But when she isn’t building vibrant new worlds, she can be found nattering with friends, baking up a storm, or strolling in the woods around her home in England. If you want to talk books, romance, movies, reluctant heroes, or just about anything else with Jennie, feel free to contact her atwww.jennielynnroberts.com. But be prepared to settle in for a long chat if you bring up shifters, vampires, Star Wars, or The Princess Bride…. Author links: https://jennielynnroberts.com/ https://www.facebook.com/Jennie.Lynn.Roberts.Romance/ https://www.instagram.com/jennielynnroberts_author/ https://www.pinterest.com/jennie57930310/ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20984183.Jennie_Lynn_Roberts