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Starry Night

Author(s): Lea Griffith

She was banished but has never given up.

Three hundred years spent on an ice planet has not broken Talini. As a daughter of the Fae, Jack Frost, she is made of all things ice and snow. But then she meets a man who warms her as no one ever has and she is set adrift with desire.

He has contracted to find a woman lost for three centuries.


Kian has searched for a long time. Jack Frost has agreed to pay him a lot of money to find his daughter and he’s determined to see his goal met. Then he meets a woman who makes him shiver and shake, thawing his cold heart.

She has been lost but now he has found her.

Together they will set on a journey that will lead them down a perilous road. They will forge a bond as fragile as a snowflake but as strong as forever. Together they will prove that love can bloom amidst the frost.

Excerpt


Her wind pants were soaked. The white bear-hide sloughed off as much as it could, but not even it could prevent the freezing water from reaching her.
“Tik, to me!” She stuck the pickaxe deep into the ice in front of her and pulled herself to the tiny shelf above the water.
She’d made it. It became more hazardous each trip because she was losing her ability to withstand the brutal cold. As a child of Jack Frost she was half-fae and should have no issues with the cold. But the last hundred years or so, even her ability to create ice chutes on the waves had waned. Fear whisked through her, and she beat it back.
She glanced around and grabbed her hat, barely keeping the wind from snatching it off her head. Tiktok yelped, and she located him shaking water off his fur as he stood precariously on a ledge a few yards from her.
“To me!” she yelled, but her words were taken and flung to sea. The arctic blue fox took off, climbing higher on the glacier before he found a nicer spot to watch her make her own way.
A buzzing sounded above her, too different to ignore. She glanced up. The clouds above her roiled, tossed by winds that had become fiercer since she’d left her berg. Black mixed with gray and pure white rolled and writhed together, forming a beautiful combination the weak light only enhanced. Tal wished for her palette and easel, her brushes and canvas—she’d give anything to be able to paint the gorgeous scene above her.
Her eyes struggled to keep up with the frothy, windswept clouds as they combined and separated over and over in an orgy of cumulus ecstasy. Drops of moisture touched her face, stinging but redolent with icy benediction. Her eyes closed as the cold seeped deep, touching her heart and ironically warming her soul. For a moment she wasn’t Talini, the lost princess of the Inuit. For just a precious second she was simply Talini Frost—lover of ice and angel of snow.
A short yip and Tal’s eyes flew open. The winds growled. She’d not tasted storms earlier, but now the air sang with danger. As her gaze caught on the black clouds above her fear trilled as they parted, and the sun speared her eyes.
She pulled a glove from her hand and wiped her eyes before the tears could freeze on her face. She hastily donned her glove. Looking back up, amazement filtered through her, sharp and piercing, as an enormous ship descended from the heavens.
What. The. Hell?
A spaceship? Before she’d been jettisoned from Earth there’d been only a small effort going on to colonize space. The Space Shuttle program had actually been shut down, as NASA had struggled to come up with new and better ways to explore the solar system. They must’ve been hella busy the last three hundred years.
Then again, who’d thought a spell-weaver could send a person to outer space? Dread made her indecisive. What if they weren’t human? What if all the crazy-assed UFO conspiracy theorists had been right, and they weren’t alone in the great big universe?
Panic notched in her chest finishing off what the bitter cold began. Tal struggled for breath and dug her spike-toed boots deeper into the ice, wrenched out the pickaxe, and reset it. Getting to the top of the glacier became her sole motivation. But what would she do there with zero cover?
Think, Tal! Move, Tal! Go, Tal!
“Talini!”
What the hell? Had she conjured her name from thin air?
“Talini Frost!”
She stopped and lifted her gaze. There, at the top lip of the glacier, was a person — a really, big person. She amended that decisively—it was a male person, if the outline of the body was anything to go by. Impressive bulge you’ve got there, hoss.
Tal shook her head. Three hundred years with nothing but a fox for company—of course the first thing she’d key on was the bulge in his pants. She closed her eyes and gulped—of course.
The man reached down, offered a hand, and Tal struggled with indecision. Friend or foe? Had her mother or father sent someone for her? No, Cikuq hadn’t sent anyone for her. Frost maybe, but not mommy dearest.
She searched deep inside and made a decision. She had limited powers, and the truth was she had a leg up on this deserted planet. She’d damn well take his hand and find out his reason for being here.
She reached up and found her hand engulfed in an enormous, gloved hand. The man’s strength was conveyed in his grip, and she couldn’t contain the tiny thrill that ran through her. Heat radiated up her arm, melting a portion of her that’d been frozen for over three centuries.
No, no, no! Panic of an entirely different sort speared Tal.
He pulled her over the lip with an ease that spoke to the large muscles delineated with lust-inspiring clarity by his suit. The weird visor over his face hid his expression but his perusal was tactile. Tal shivered and inwardly cursed herself for it.
“Who are you?” she yelled over the wind.
The big male tilted his head and reached for her hat. She sidestepped the move and backed out of his range. He took a step forward and refused to let her leave his reach. Tiktok whined from nearby and brushed against her leg, the quiver of his body echoed in her heart.
Who was this man?
He reached for her hat again, and in a move that had her startled at his quickness, ripped it from her head, sending her hair flying in all directions.
He stilled.  
His hand tightened into a fist before he unclenched and moved it toward her. He stopped inches from her head, and Tal made her move. She ducked and stepped past him, turned at the last minute, and elbowed him in the kidney before she moved away several feet.
The man went to one knee, holding his side. Tal grinned. Gutter fighter to the end, my man. He’d decimate her in a hand-to-hand, but she was quick, and she’d found most people were unwary because of her size. She’d had to earn her way in the Unseelie court and learned the art of war from Iomlán’s bastard sons.
He struggled for several seconds and finally stood, removing his visor as he took a deep breath. His muscled chest rose and fell roughly, but it was his face that took her senses.
Beautifully sculpted mahogany, his lovely brown skin highlighted the planes of his cheekbones—a delicious backdrop to his full lips and gray-green eyes. He smiled, or maybe grimaced, but it displayed even, white teeth, strong teeth she wanted to rub her tongue across before she delved into that mouth.
Caribbean maybe? God, he was beautiful. Her hands itched for a canvas, yet even as the thought formed she realized he was the canvas, and her hands wanted to play, stroke, and mold his features.
Her breath hitched as his gaze met hers, and he cocked an ebony eyebrow. She went wet beneath her seal hide. Tal couldn’t move. She’d never experienced this type of immediate lust. Danger whistled around her, and all she wanted to do was climb up the incredible specimen before her and allow his hard edges to cradle her softer ones. She almost moaned the vision was so intense. Instead, she locked her knees and gazed at him, her brain daring him to do anything else to taunt her responses.
And, of course, once the dare had been given life in her thoughts, the man standing before her put it into action.
“You are Talini Frost?”
His voice kicked her in the solar plexus. She was afloat in a totally new sea—one of desire and need. Deep timbered, richly exotic—his voice tugged at her heart and her womb. The sound of it was soul-destroying. She closed her eyes and tried to force moisture back into her mouth; it had all departed to her nether regions.
He cleared his throat, and Tal realized she’d been devouring him with her eyes. She couldn’t muster any anger though—the man was simply too damn beautiful to be angry at him.
“Are you deaf?” Something wicked glinted in his eyes, and his mouth quirked up.
Oh, goody…there it was. Sweet, sweet anger. “I’m not deaf. Are you stupid?” Her stance widened in automatic response to his mocking.
He threw back his head and laughed. The sound rippled through her.
And just that quickly, the Inuit princess, who had been lost three hundred years ago, was lost again.


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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-62916-017-7
Genre: Paranormal
Date Published: 12/05/2013
Publisher: Taliesin Publishing

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