The Artist’s Masquerade by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

The Artist’s Masquerade

Series: Chronicles of Tournai, Book Two

Author: Antonia Aquilante

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 4, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 109700

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Fantasy, romance, gay, bi, cat shifters, royalty, court intrigue, arranged marriage, artist, spy

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

As the first-born son of a royal duke and cousin to the prince, Cathal has always put his duty to family and country first, even when it conflicts with his own wishes. When Cathal’s father arranges a marriage between him and Velia, cousin to the emperor of Ardunn, without consulting him, he sees no alternative but to go along with his plans for the good of Tournai. But it’s Velia’s companion, Flavia, who fascinates Cathal from the moment he first sets eyes on her. Cathal doesn’t know Flavia is really Flavian, an artist masquerading as a woman to escape Ardunn, a restrictive and repressive place where Flavian’s preference for men is forbidden.

Even when Cathal discovers Flavian’s identity, even as he struggles with his obligations and duty, he cannot fight his attraction to the sharp-tongued artist. Flavian is intrigued by him as well, but Cathal is still betrothed to Velia, and Flavian worries he is more taken with the feminine illusion Flavian presents than the man beneath it. He came to Tournai to start a new life—a safe one—as an artist, and an inconvenient attraction to his friend’s betrothed, a man who happens to be a member of the royal family, is not a part of his plans. While both men battle their longings for each other, spies from Ardunn infiltrate the capital, attempting to uncover Tournai’s weaknesses and secrets. They are also searching for Flavian, who possesses a magical Talent giving him the ability to see the truth of a person just by painting their portrait—something that would be invaluable to Ardunn’s emperor.

Excerpt

The Artist’s Masquerade
Antonia Aquilante © 2020
All Rights Reserved

“It’s time you took a wife.”

Cathal managed to keep his surprise hidden with some difficulty. That blunt statement was not what he’d expected when he received the summons to his father’s office. A discussion of family business, perhaps, or questions about happenings at the palace, even a diatribe about one of his cousin’s choices—since Father seemed to hate every one of them since the prince’s marriage to Amory—was what usually precipitated a call to Father’s presence.

He’d never imagined Father would bring up marriage. Cathal had seen no indication Father was even thinking in such a direction. Father had said plenty as he’d pushed the prince to marry, and plenty more when Philip had married a man of his choosing instead of the woman Father would have chosen, but he’d never said a word about his own sons’ need to marry.

Cathal probably shouldn’t have been so surprised. He was twenty-five years old and his father’s heir, and Father was a royal duke and dynastically minded. Producing an heir for the dukedom was Cathal’s duty, despite the existence of his younger brothers. He’d always known it, and he would never think of shirking that duty.

“Yes, Father.” He wasn’t interested in anyone in particular, but there were plenty of women who would make him a suitable wife in Father’s eyes. He was certain he could find someone who wouldn’t make the duty a chore. “I will begin looking for a wife immediately.”

“No need. It’s all arranged.” Father returned his attention to the papers on his desk, as if what he’d just said was of no particular consequence. As if he hadn’t just told Cathal his entire life was about to change and taken Cathal’s last bit of choice away at the same time.

Cathal snapped his mouth shut when he realized it was hanging open. “It is?”

“Of course.”

Of course it was. Cathal should have expected that as well. Father would never leave such an important choice—a family alliance, a mother for future dukes—up to Cathal. He should have done so, or at least he should have asked for Cathal’s opinion. Cathal was of age and had proven himself trustworthy time and again, or he thought he had. It left a sour taste in his mouth to think Father respected him so little.

“May I ask whom I will be marrying?” He immediately regretted his tone as Father arched a single brow.

When Cathal didn’t jump to apologize quickly enough, Father let out a huff that expressed his disappointment more eloquently than a hundred words would have, but he answered anyway. “She’s a cousin of the emperor of Ardunn. Velia is her name. Beautiful, by all accounts, and accomplished, but the connections are the important part.”

Cathal hardly heard anything after Ardunn. Cousin to the emperor of Ardunn? What was Father thinking? And how had he even managed it?

Father looked up again, and this time his huff held more than a little annoyance. “Why are you staring at me that way?”

Cathal didn’t know how he was looking at his father. Usually he had more control, but incredulity seemed to have obliterated it. “Ardunn, Father? I don’t understand. Why—?”

“Don’t be stupid. If your cousin isn’t going to do his duty and marry for the good of this country, then it falls to you to take up where Prince Philip failed.”

And that statement made even less sense. “But, Father, you negotiated a marriage contract with the emperor of Ardunn. Does Philip know?”

His cousin couldn’t know. Cathal had damaged their relationship and weakened the trust Philip had in him—he knew and regretted it—but Philip wasn’t vindictive enough to keep something so big from Cathal, especially considering the prince’s hatred of arranged marriages. Though how a prince came by such a view, Cathal would never know. Nevertheless, Philip would have said something, which meant Father had been negotiating with someone in Ardunn without Philip’s knowledge or consent.

Father scoffed. “He’ll know soon enough.”

“But, Father, negotiating with Ardunn…what did you—?”

“Are you questioning my ability to negotiate a marriage for my son?” Father snapped.

“No, sir.” Just the prudence of doing so with a powerful foreign emperor without the knowledge of their own ruler. “But—”

“This is the marriage your cousin should have negotiated for himself, but since he wouldn’t do his duty, we have to do it for him. For the good of Tournai and this family.”

“But, Father—”

“No more.” Father slapped a hand down on the wooden surface of the desk. “It’s done, and when she arrives next month, you will marry this woman. We’re finished discussing it.”

Cathal gritted his teeth against further protests and gave a sharp nod.

A few moments later, dismissed by his father, Cathal dragged in a lungful of crisp air. Spring was taking hold, but the mornings were still cool. At the moment, he was thankful for the gulp of bracing air.

That had been unexpected.

He shook his head and strode down the steps into the garden. The home where Cathal had grown up was probably the largest in the city. Constructed generations ago of pale-gray stone, the house had three stories surrounding the inner courtyard and the garden it contained. He’d played in the garden as a child with his brothers and cousin, chasing each other, hiding among the statuary and bushes. As he grew older, he’d come here when he needed a moment of peace. These days, he spent most of his time at the palace, and the garden was the domain of his mother and younger sisters, who often sat on the benches near the central fountain to do their needlework.

He didn’t linger, couldn’t have if he wanted to. Cathal couldn’t even go up to the palace and inform Philip of the betrothal, because he was due at the port to inspect improvements to the harbor defenses. Taking the most direct route from Father’s office to the front of the house, he strode through the garden and ducked inside again and then made for the entrance hall without slowing.

His sister’s melodic laugh and the quiet murmur of his mother’s voice floated back to him. Smiling, he stepped from the corridor into the grand room. His mother and sister stood at the polished table in the center of the large room. At his first step onto the red marble floor, both women looked up from where they were arranging early spring flowers in a large vase. Identical smiles of welcome lit their faces. His youngest sister looked remarkably like Mother, though Meriall was just fourteen. She was the only one of them to inherit Mother’s golden-brown hair and not Father’s much darker locks.

Each time he saw Meriall, he was surprised at how grown up she was becoming. It seemed just yesterday she was trailing after their brother Etan and getting into scrapes and jumping on her brothers whenever she saw them. Now she was a young lady. The oldest of his three younger sisters was married, and his second sister was nearly seventeen. Cathal might have expected, if he’d thought of the subject at all, Father to be negotiating a marriage for Ottilie, not for himself.

Meriall and Mother were still smiling at him, and they left off fussing with the flowers and greenery as he approached. When she was younger, Meriall would have flung herself at him. She’d learned more appropriate behavior since then, but a part of him missed her enthusiasm. Then again, she would probably still throw herself at Etan. They’d always been closer.

“Cathal.” Mother held out her hands to him and tilted her head for his kiss to her cheek. “I didn’t know you were here.”

He brushed a kiss over Meriall’s cheek as well. “Father wanted to meet with me.”

Because he was watching, he saw the flash of concern in Mother’s warm-brown eyes. Did she know her husband’s plans for Cathal? “Is everything all right?”

No, he didn’t think she knew. He doubted Father would have consulted her anyway. He flicked his glance at his sister, wondering if he should speak in front of her, but everyone would know soon enough. “Father wants me to marry.”

Mother blinked, once, twice, the only sign of surprise in a serene face. “I didn’t realize, but you are getting to be of an age to. There are many lovely girls you could meet and consider. Perhaps we can have a party and invite some of them.”

“Actually, Father has it all arranged already.”

“Oh. Well.” Mother fussed with the flowers before dropping her hands to smooth her skirt. “I didn’t realize you and your father had chosen someone. I wish you’d told me.” The statement wasn’t much of a rebuke, not the way she said it, but from his gentle mother, it was still censure.

“I wish he’d told me.” He bit back impatience. His ignorance of Father’s actions wasn’t Mother’s doing. “I only just found out myself, Mother. She arrives in a month. I assume we’ll all meet her then.”

“Arrives? From where? Who is she?”

He didn’t blame Mother for her bewilderment. “Father says her name is Velia. I only know she’s a cousin to the emperor of Ardunn.”

“The emperor? Does His Highness know?” Mother had been the wife of a royal duke for nearly thirty years. She could see the implications as well as he could.

“It doesn’t appear so.” He glanced from Mother, who was admirably controlling her surprise and concern, to Meriall and her avid, undisguised curiosity. Well, he shouldn’t be talking about Philip’s lack of knowledge of Father’s actions anyway. “You’ll have to ask Father for more information. I don’t know anything else.”

Mother frowned. “Will you tell your cousin?”

“I can’t now. I’m due at the port, and I may be tied up there for most of the day.” And he didn’t want to put this information in a note. Still, someone needed to tell Philip, and Cathal wasn’t sure when Father would. “I’ll tell him when I return to the palace later.”

She nodded. “I’ll speak with your father. We’ll see you soon?”

“Of course.” He took his leave of his mother and sister and strode out through the large front doors into the morning sunlight again. A servant appeared immediately with his horse. He mounted up and guided the horse out through the imposing gate, open in anticipation of his departure. He needed to hurry if he was going to be on time for his appointment, and he refused to be late. He would sort out the rest afterward, including informing the prince.

Philip was not going to be pleased.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

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 e-books, 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, Antonia 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.

Facebook | Twitter | eMail

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

The Spymaster’s Secret by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Antonia Aquilante - The Spymaster's Secret RB Banner

Hi guys, we have Antonia Aquilante popping by today with her new release The Spymaster’s Secret, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 NineStar GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~

Antonia Aquilante - The Spymaster's Secret Cover trmn495

The Spymaster’s Secret

(Chronicles of Tournai 07)
by

Antonia Aquilante

Alexander is doing his best to settle into life in Tournai’s royal palace after years living outside the country due to his father’s diplomatic work. The sense of belonging and home he feels is overwhelming, but none of his plans are going as he imagined. Many see him as only a lovely, charming adornment of the royal court and underestimate both his intelligence and abilities. His attraction to Marcus, a mysterious older man who does work for the prince, Alexander’s cousin, is unexpected but not unwelcome…if Marcus could possibly see who Alexander really is.

Lord Marcus is the second son of a minor noble family, a widower raising two children…and the prince’s spymaster. He knows his work is necessary for the security of the kingdom and its royal family, but he also knows it can be distasteful and dangerous to him and those around him. Marcus has vowed never to fall in love again, never to put anyone else at risk—a promise threatened for the first time by the vibrant, flirtatious Alexander. The attraction is unwelcome and entirely undeniable. He can’t believe someone like Alexander would want someone like him, but he also can’t stay away.

As they become ever more entangled, Marcus is investigating rumors of spies at work in Tournai’s university. As he gets closer to uncovering their plot, Alexander is drawn deeper into danger. Can their love survive when Alexander is put in peril by the very spies Marcus is hunting for?

Warning: depictions of kidnapping/abduction, grief

.•.•.**❣️ NineStar | Amazon US | Amazon UKSmashwords | B&N | Kobo ❣️**.•.•.

Continue reading “The Spymaster’s Secret by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

A Harmony of Fire and Earth by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Antonia Aquilante - A Harmony of Fire and Earth RB Banner

Hi guys, we have Antonia Aquilante popping in for a quick visit today with her new release A Harmony of Fire and Earth, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant $10 NineStar GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~

A Harmony of Fire and Earth

(Elemental Magicae 02)
by

Antonia Aquilante

Prince Edmund of Thalassa and Prince Arden of Aither are eagerly anticipating their upcoming wedding, but the danger to their kingdom hasn’t lessened. They have a plan, but they won’t be able to carry it out alone: they need a strong wielder of each Element, whom they can trust implicitly, to carry out the magic.

Rhys is a commoner and wielder of Earth magic. He and his sister have made a living from the use of their magic for years and have become highly respected in scholarly circles, though he prefers a more simple life with his plants. When a message from Prince Arden reaches them asking for their help, they don’t hesitate. They stop only to request that Gaz, a strong Fire wielder and the man Rhys has long been enamored of, accompany them on the journey to Thalassa’s royal palace.

What no one knows is that Gaz was once known as Prince Gareth of Thalassa and is Edmund’s younger brother, long believed dead. He fled his home after his Fire Affinity made itself known and put him in danger, and he had no intention of ever going back. But he can’t keep himself from going to his brother’s aid, despite the risk of discovery and of the weight of his secrets potentially crushing his fledgling relationship with Rhys.

Working against time, they must find a way to come together in a magical working the likes of which none of them has ever imagined, or their homelands will surely burn.

.•.•.**❣️ NineStar | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo ❣️**.•.•.

Continue reading “A Harmony of Fire and Earth by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

A Dance of Water and Air by Antonia Aquilante

Title: A Dance of Water and Air

Series: Elemental Magicae 01

Author: Antonia Aquilante

Genre: Fantasy, Trans

Length: Novel (318pgs)

Publisher: Nine Star Press (October 1, 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.75 Hearts

Blurb: Edmund is heir to the throne of Thalassa and a wielder of Water magic. Devoted to his kingdom and his duty to it, Edmund can do nothing but acquiesce to an arranged marriage with the queen of a neighboring kingdom. The marriage and the child it is required to produce will seal an alliance between Thalassa and Aither that is vital to Thalassa’s safety, and far more important than Edmund’s personal misgivings.

Arden is the younger brother of Aither’s queen and a wielder of Air magic. Raised in the politics of the court to support his sister’s rule, he understands the alliance is important to Aither, even as he worries about his sister marrying someone she’s never met. When Edmund arrives in Aither to prepare for the wedding, Arden is tasked with helping him settle in at court. As they spend more time together, Edmund and Arden develop a close friendship, then stronger feelings, but with Edmund’s wedding approaching, they must hide their feelings, even from themselves.

When someone tries to assassinate the queen, Edmund is blamed, and Arden rescues him before he can be executed for a crime he didn’t commit. To prevent a war between their kingdoms and protect them from a dangerous enemy, Edmund and Arden will have to discover who wants to pit Aither and Thalassa against each other and mend relations between the two kingdoms as they evade those searching for them—all while finding a way to be together.

ISBN: 978-1-949340-85-3

Product Link: NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: I was honestly on the fence about the overall feel of this story after I read it. Prince Edward, a water magic wielder, is arranged to marry the Queen of Aither, an air magic wielder, in the hopes of strengthening the treaty between the two. Once there Edward meets the queen’s brother, Arden, and slowly spends more time with the man. Eventually the two grow much closer and a hidden relationship begins.

Amid all this is the fact someone is trying to kill the queen and sets up Edward to take the fall. Now while all this sounds really good the delivery of the story did not quite match up to the pace of the blurb. It was slow at times and too rushed in other places. Some details that were needed were missing.

Overall the story could have been better, but that’s my opinion.

Good read.

A Dance of Water and Air by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Antonia Aquilante - A Dance of Water and Air RB Banner

Hi guys, we have Antonia Aquilante popping in for a quick visit today with her new release A Dance of Water and Air, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant $10 NineStar GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~

A Dance of Water and Air

(Elemental Magicae 01)
by

Antonia Aquilante

Edmund is heir to the throne of Thalassa and a wielder of Water magic. Devoted to his kingdom and his duty to it, Edmund can do nothing but acquiesce to an arranged marriage with the queen of a neighboring kingdom. The marriage and the child it is required to produce will seal an alliance between Thalassa and Aither that is vital to Thalassa’s safety, and far more important than Edmund’s personal misgivings.

Arden is the younger brother of Aither’s queen and a wielder of Air magic. Raised in the politics of the court to support his sister’s rule, he understands the alliance is important to Aither, even as he worries about his sister marrying someone she’s never met. When Edmund arrives in Aither to prepare for the wedding, Arden is tasked with helping him settle in at court. As they spend more time together, Edmund and Arden develop a close friendship, then stronger feelings, but with Edmund’s wedding approaching, they must hide their feelings, even from themselves.

When someone tries to assassinate the queen, Edmund is blamed, and Arden rescues him before he can be executed for a crime he didn’t commit. To prevent a war between their kingdoms and protect them from a dangerous enemy, Edmund and Arden will have to discover who wants to pit Aither and Thalassa against each other and mend relations between the two kingdoms as they evade those searching for them—all while finding a way to be together.

.•.•.**❣️ NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo ❣️**.•.•.

Continue reading “A Dance of Water and Air by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

The Dragon’s Devotion by Antonia Aquilante

Title: The Dragon’s Devotion

Series: The Chronicles of Tournai 05

Author: Antonia Aquilante

Genre: Fantasy

Length: Novel (286 pages)

Publisher: NineStar Press (September 4, 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Corentin is a scholar with a secret—his magical Talent allows him to turn into a dragon, and he isn’t alone in that ability. Long ago, dragons were hunted fiercely, until they went into hiding, becoming things of legend. Corentin has traveled the world with one aim—to protect his people and keep their secret safe. Drawn to the principality of Tournai by news of someone close to discovering that secret, he hopes to avert suspicion. His attraction to the too-serious Bastien isn’t convenient for his purpose, but it isn’t something he can ignore either.

Lord Bastien, Earl of Ardesia, inherited his title unexpectedly when his parents were killed in a sailing accident along with the parents of his cousin, Prince Philip. Since then, Bastien has devoted his life to the obligations of his family and estate—so much so, that it has caused tension between him and his siblings. His world is further shaken when he receives an anonymous letter informing him that the tragic boating accident may, in fact, have been murder. Bastien throws himself into investigating whether the allegations are true and finding out who killed his parents.

As Corentin and Bastien become closer, the mystery of Bastien’s parents’ death draws him further into danger. Corentin feels compelled to protect Bastien, but the threat is closer than they know. Now, Corentin must decide whether preserving his secret—and potentially his people’s safety—is more important than saving the man he loves.

ISBN: 978-1-947139-78-7

Product Link: NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: You could read this book as a stand alone however, some characters from the other books make an appearance in this one as well. This story is about growing into ones self. Learning to traverse life and become the best person you can be.

Lord Bastien will go to any lengths to protect family, land, business and those he loves or considers friends. I loved how nice he was too. Despite a personal tragedy he does the best he can do and when he needs help he asks for it.

There was a wide variety of characters throughout this book, too many to name, that added to the overall delivery of the story. I do not want to give away events or situations that take place so I’ll just say it was a good addition to the series.

Great read.

The Merchant’s Love by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Antonia Aquilante - The Merchant's Love RB Banner

Hi guys, we have Antonia Aquilante popping by today with her new release The Merchant’s Love, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 NineStar GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~

The Merchant’s Love

(Chronicles of Tournai 06)
by

Antonia Aquilante

Faelen, cousin to the prince and son of a diplomat, has finally come home to Tournai after years away. The pull to return was almost tangible, and the sense of rightness at being back is absolute. He wants nothing more than to put down roots and build a life among family while pursuing his linguistic studies. Becoming involved in magic meant to protect Tournai isn’t part of his plans…but falling in love is even more unexpected and unfamiliar, but he finds himself doing just that as his friendship with Maxen deepens into something more.

Maxen, second son of a wealthy merchant family, longs to leave Tournai and see everywhere he can. All his life, he’s found places on maps and dreamed, planning out routes to get to them. For now, he’s tied to Tournai’s capital city by family obligations and his position in their shipping business. Someday, though, he’ll be able to travel. His sudden attraction to Faelen shocks him, but their friendship soon becomes a necessary part of his life. Love, however, has no place in his plans, especially not love for a royal cousin with secrets who wants nothing more than to stay in one place.

For Faelen and Maxen to build something real between them, they must resolve their differences, but when magic goes awry and all Faelen’s secrets are revealed, will Maxen remain at his side?

Continue reading “The Merchant’s Love by Antonia Aquilante Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

The Artist's Masquerade by Antonia Aquilante

Antonia Aquilante - The Artists Masquerade CoverTitle: The Artist’s Masquerade

Series:  A Tale of Tournai 02

Author: Antonia Aquilante

Genre: High Fantasy, Fantasy

Length: Novel (300 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 21, 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: As the first-born son of the Duke of Tournai and cousin to the prince, Cathal has always tried to fulfill his duty to family and country, including following through with an arranged marriage to Velia, cousin to the emperor of Ardunn. But it’s Velia’s companion, Flavia, who fascinates Cathal. Cathal doesn’t know that Flavia is really Flavian, a man masquerading as a woman to escape Ardunn, a restrictive place in which Flavian’s preference for men is forbidden.

Even when Cathal discovers Flavian’s true gender, he cannot fight his attraction to him. Flavian is intrigued by Cathal, but Cathal is still betrothed to Velia, and Flavian worries Cathal is more taken with his feminine illusion than the man beneath it. While both men battle their longings for each other, spies from Ardunn infiltrate the capital, attempting to uncover Tournai’s weaknesses. They are also searching for Flavian, who possesses a magical Talent that allows him to see the truth of a person just by painting their portrait—a skill invaluable to Ardunn’s emperor.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-749-1

Reviewer: Shorty

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Review: This is the second book in A Tale of Tournai. The book starts out by Cathal accepting a betrothal set up by his father to Lady Velia.  I found it irritating that nothing was discussed with Cathal ahead of time; after all it is his life. As he’s getting to know her he finds he’s not attracted to her but to her companion Lady Flava, who is really a man masquerading as a woman.  

Etan, Cathal’s brother, only wants his brother happy. So he wants him to follow his heart. Flavian wants to be allowed to love freely and it’s the reason why he is Tournai as where he was wouldn’t allow that. I really enjoyed the whole story. 

It was a really good book and I hope Etan gets his happy ever after at some point in the series. Wonderfully written story that draws you into a world where all is not as it seems. Love, honor and duty are important as well as deception are all throughout this story.

Great read.

The Sorcerer's Guardian by Antonia Aquilante

Antonia Aquilante - The Sorcerer's Guardian CoverTitle: The Sorcerer’s Guardian

Series:  A Tale of Tournai # 4

Author: Antonia Aquilante

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Novel (310 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 28, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.75 Hearts

Blurb: 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 accompany 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.

ISBN: 978-1-63477-852-7

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-sorcerers-guardian-by-antonia-aquilante-7765-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: Savarin is a powerful sorcerer sent on a mission to find the weaknesses in the protection spells surrounding Tournai and determine how they came to be that way. What he does not expect is for the prince to assign someone to go with him as protection. 

Loriat is the captain of the royal guard tasked, much to his displeasure, in protecting Savarin on his journey. The Captain thinks Savarin is arrogant and standoffish. But he is still attracted to him.

The first 100 pages is basically these two men ignoring one another yet expressing their thoughts for the readers. I find I did not connect with either character as the story progressed. The so called strong feelings each expressed I did not believe. Caring for one another yes. But love? No.

I loved the plot of the book. The protective spells that surround Tournai are weak in spots and Savarin is tasked to come up with a way to fix them. The way they are explained was fascinating and complex. I have to admit I cared more about the spells than the characters themselves.

There is a lot of drama and angst in this book between the two MC’s. The mystery surrounding the protection spells and what was happening to them pulled me into the story as I read more. All in all it was a good read.

The Sorcerer's Guardian by Antonia Aquilanted Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Antonia Aquilante - The Sorcerer's Guardian Banner

Hi guys, we have Antonia Aquilante stopping by today with her upcoming release The Sorcerer’s Guardian, we have a brilliant great post, a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and click that giveaway link! <3 ~Pixie~

Antonia Aquilanted - The Sorcerer's Guardian Cover

The Sorcerer’s Guardian

(Chronicles of Tournai 04)
by

Antonia Aquilanted

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.

Release date: 28th November 2016

Continue reading “The Sorcerer's Guardian by Antonia Aquilanted Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

Turning The Page… Anthology Release Blitz!

anthology-turning-the-page-banner-1

Hi guys, we have the charity anthology Turning The Page stopping by today to celebrate it’s release, so check out the stories and authors who have donated to this great anthology! <3 ~Pixie~

anthology-turning-the-page-postcard-s

Turning The Page…

by

Tempeste O’Riley, Dianne Hartsock, Nikki Prince, Grace R. Duncan, Sue Brown, Aine P Massie, Carole Cummings, Hope Ryan, Mark Zubro, Antonia Aquilante, D. Zander Crane

Turn The Page…. began as a simple idea and grew from there. No matter how bad things seem to be, just turn the page, there’s more—better—things to come. This is only one chapter in your life. It’s not the whole story. With this simple idea, Novice Sister Eroti-Quill—whom most know better as Tempeste O’Riley—began their quest to help Suicide Prevention and Awareness programs in their area. They managed to con (excuse me, convince) other authors to donate their time and stories to the project, and now, many months later, Turn The Page is born!

The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eroti-Quill’s hope for others, to help bring strength to programs that so desperately need funding. It will allow them show those that need support but may not have it, or that may be afraid to reach out, just how much love and understanding surrounds them. Turn The Page…. is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love, hope, and acceptance.

Individual Blurbs:

Happy Birthday to Me by Tempeste O’Riley

When Dave’s best friend drags him out for his birthday—nearly kicking and screaming, he finds more than he expected at Sovereign, the BDSM club he half owned but had refused to step foot in for two years other than for administrative things while it was closed. He didn’t go to clubs. He didn’t sub anymore. Period.

Well… until he sees Master Nicky. Then his plans for his birthday change and he decides that maybe giving himself a present, might not be quite such a bad idea after all.

Robin’s Confession by Dianne Hartsock

How can Robin find true love without accepting himself first?

Purr by Nikki Prince

Sasha’s love was in imminent danger. All she wanted was to keep Tori safe. Stay at the cabin wait for the verdict from the council. That’s all they had to do. One little dip in the lake couldn’t hurt could it?

Lockdown by Grace R. Duncan

Gylam’s never been that great at communication and this time he’s gone too far. His penchant for keeping his mouth shut resulted in a disastrous trip to the local dungeon. Jackson, his partner—both cop and at home—and Dom, is well familiar with Gylam’s tendencies. The punishment he gives Gylam is just shy of his limits, but Gylam knows he’s earned it. It remains to be seen if it teaches him anything, though.

Ducks in a Row by Sue Brown

David spends his afternoons feeding the ducks, a peaceful activity until the day Jeff and his Labrador dog burst into his life. David and Jeff get to know one another, punctuated by Bozo’s mishaps, but David is unwilling to share all his secrets. Will Jeff give him the time he needs?

Butterflies by Aine P Massie

Kyndra visits Jaiden’s shop for a little birthday shopping but is there for more than the pretty blown glass designs she makes—lovely though they are. What she really wants is a date with the beautiful craftswoman. But can she push her fears aside and ask, or will her past get in the way? With Jaiden’s help, can who Kyndra is inside finally shine?

Once Step Back by Carole Cummings

When Sahir is busy running for his life, it never occurs to him that the being in wrong place at the wrong time might turn into the right place at the right time. Not until he literally collides with Nicholas and salvation comes by way of magical intervention. But when Nicholas ends up being the one who really needs help, Sahir has to decide the best way to give it—and how to offer it to someone who can’t even figure out if he wants it.

Superheroes by Hope Ryan

Many people reach a point where they think life can’t get any worse. Rock bottom, where the future is so bleak, they begin to ask, “why bother?”

When homeless gay man Wayne Kent reaches that point, standing on a Pittsburgh bridge on a cold Tuesday in April, the last thing he expects is to get stopped—especially by a man named Bruce Clark.

But Bruce has been there, he’s seen that, he’s thought and felt the things Wayne is now and he refuses to see the beautiful, hurting man become another statistic. Coffee and a sandwich is a first step and Bruce hopes it’ll lead to a permanent step up for Wayne. And maybe even a step toward more together.

Unworthy by Mark Zubro

A love lost over half a century ago. Is there really redemption for all of our regrets, or at least perhaps for one regret? A chance to change the decision you made over half a century ago, or at least a chance to say what was unsaid, to say what could be said now? The love you missed so long ago, and if you could have one moment again, once last chance.

Love and Hope and Magic by Antonia Aquilante

Once each century, a ritual is performed, the magic of which sustains the land and protects it and its people for the century to come. But the person who performs the ritual never survives. This time Ailill is chosen. He is honored and content with his fate, but his best friend Lorcan is not. Lorcan can’t accept the loss of Ailill and can’t see a life without the man he thinks of as his other half. But Ailill knew Lorcan perhaps better than Lorcan knows himself, and he knew a life of love and magic is waiting for Lorcan after Ailill is gone, if only Lorcan can find the courage to reach for it.

Façade by D. Zander Crane

David struggles with his gender identity as he searches his city for a woman-murdering madman in his female alter-ego, Façade. Can he overcome his depression and confusion long enough to stop the Grinning Reaper?

M/M F/F Transgender Genderfluid

Contemporary Urban Fantasy Paranormal BDSM Romance

(Each story is unique and special, so the genre varies wildly. All are LGBTQ)

Amazon Create Space Smashwords

Continue reading “Turning The Page… Anthology Release Blitz!”

The Prince's Consort by Antonia Aquilante

PrincesConsort[The]LGTitle: The Prince’s Consort
Series: A Tale of Tournai, #1
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Genre: High Fantasy
Length: 290 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 16, 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts
Blurb: A Tale of Tournai

Legends tell of large cats defending the principality of Tournai, but such creatures have been lost to time.

Or have they?

Prince Philip inherited the throne at a young age, and since then, his life has centered on ruling his country and resisting those pressuring him to take a wife and conceive an heir—forcing him to hide his attraction to men.

When kind-hearted Amory is offered to the prince in exchange for more time for Amory’s father to complete a commission, both Philip and Amory are horrified. But Philip agrees to keep Amory at the palace, where they gradually become friends, then lovers.

For the first time in his life, Philip is free to share not only his heart, but the magical shape-shifting ability that runs in the royal bloodline.

Neither Amory nor Philip imagined falling in love, and they certainly don’t expect the lengths those who oppose their relationship will go to keep them apart—maybe even resorting to murder.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-301-1

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6938

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: This is the first book in A Tale of Tournai series.

Phillip, a crowned prince, meets Amory and falls for him. Amid everyone against the two and trying to keep them apart, they are blindsided by the lengths some go to.

I liked the story as it was light and cute. Phillip and Amory seemed to develop a little fast though. I also didn’t understand the fast forward throughout as it was hard to follow at times. Would have been so much better had the author not fast forwarded so much.

The secondary characters were cute but I could never understand why they were mention unless they are to be in another book. I loved all the details of the terrain and countryside. Made me feel like I was there witnessing what was happening.

All in all it was an o.k. read.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *