When two strangers request a hand of glory from the witch Briony, she is coerced into accompanying them to perform a sinister spell used by tricksters and thieves. Full of suspicion and prejudice, Briony takes with her a Vila imp for her protection.
To her consternation, Briony finds herself struggling against her attraction to the younger man, Gareth. She cannot possibly allow herself to fall in love with a thief, especially one who has the audacity to revile her lifestyle. And yet their mutual desire seems too strong to be denied …
Until, too late, Briony discover she has made a dreadful mistake. Can she undo the harm she has caused? And even if Gareth survives, could he welcome her into his arms once more?
At first glimpse the urn appeared to be filled only with salt, dotted with specks of spices, peppercorn and dried chilies. Margaret reached in, spilling more white grains, and pulled out a dark brown, leathery hand. Its skin sunk onto the bones, each pore clearly visible. Thin fingers bent slightly inwards toward the crease-etched palm, as though relaxed with sleep. The fingernails were ivory shells, bright against the darkened flesh…
William turned to her. “Can it be completed en route...or at a certain destination?”
“It can be done almost anywhere if you know the recipe and have a chimney.”
“There are the wicks to sew in place,” Briony said. “Gentlemen, it is simply not finished. If you wish to have it, come back...”
“We have no desire to ride up and down the country,” Gareth interrupted tersely.
Briony glared at him. “Then board at the inn.”
“No. But if you accompany us, you can finish it...”
“At your hideout? I would sooner enter a viper's nest!”