Enchanted Beauty [MultiFormat]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Marly Mathews
eBook Category: Romance/Fantasy
eBook Description: Annabelle Hawthorne Morton hails from an ancient mystical line--even though she herself has not been endowed with the mark of magic that the magic-kind of Thaliana are born with. Despite this, she aspires for magical greatness, and while performing a spell the enchantment backfires in her face, robbing her of half her sight. But it doesn't take her long to realize that within a few months she will be completely blind. When her father enrages the local lord and he's imprisoned for his crimes, Annabelle must muster her courage and save her father from the beast's wrath. Lord Malachi Hawthorne, Earl of Markham has been horribly disfigured during a magical battle. His sister betrayed him--and now her curse has put him into his own living hell. Believing that the outside world will revile him for his monstrous appearance, he retreats to his enchanted castle. He is determined to make Annabelle's father his indentured servant, until he meets Annabelle. He quickly decides that she is the one that might finally set him free from his living hell, and knows he must have her as his own. Rating: Sensual
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, Published: 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2009
* * * *
27 Reader Ratings:
"Annabelle, you must come quickly! Your father has done it again ... he's determined to ride up to The Beast's castle."
"He isn't a beast. He's just a war torn lord that prefers to live life in seclusion. With the many bloody battles our lands have seen since the Queen went to war with her husband, it is a very wonder that we have any males left with a sensible head on their shoulders. Too many have ridden off to battle never to return." Sighing, she stirred the lamb stew she was cooking over the hearth. Tonight's stew wouldn't be very filling, but it at least it was food. That was more than she could say for many of her neighbors. Now that so many provisions had been sent to the front lines to the troops, many people were almost dying with hunger. They just couldn't go on at this rate. Their crops had been burned the year before by the invading army, and though they had driven their enemy away, they still had to fight for every single day of freedom as if it were their last. "You know perfectly well that he almost lost his life in the last great battle between the magic kind. He was lucky to escape with his life ... that dark sorcerer could have easily killed him, had his sister not saved his life."
"Some say he was the one that saved his sister's life."
"Some might say that. But I daresay his sister views it much differently. She sacrificed herself to that madman Oliver Blackburn because she believed it was the only way to save her brother from a most horrible fate. You forget I heard it straight from a witness." Glynnis nodded her head in silent triumph.
"You forget that Lady Eleanor has a habit of telling tall tales especially when it comes to her service in the Queen's Legion of Warriors. We shouldn't even be pitted against each other like this. It is insanity. Our kingdom was once so peaceful." Annabelle didn't believe Eleanor's story at all. Glynnis' lament didn't affect her one bit. Her cousin was to put it delicately, battle shy. She hadn't offered her services to the Queen at all. Annabelle had signed up for the Queen's Legion of Warriors as soon as the call for fighters had been put out. Unfortunately for her, she had been rejected because of her physical handicap. Many believed her to be a liability on the battlefield, if only they knew how quickly she could move despite her so-called disability. She'd been stricken half-blind two years before when a spell she'd been concocting backfired in her face.
Some believed her sight would return ... others believed she deserved her partial blindness as a punishment for dabbling into the unknown world of magic. Only people 'gifted' with the sign of magic could be instructed in the enchanted ways. When she'd been born, she had lacked the necessary star birthmark that all of the witches and wizards of the land carried on their body in some location.
"So peaceful, my arse. We have been torn apart for as long as I can recall. Ever since the Queen was forced to marry that thing she had to call, husband. I feel deeply for her ... her suffering must have been great. And, when he named himself King of Thaliana, he took all of her power and put her in the tower. She would have withered away there had her subjects not stormed the tower and freed her. Indeed, we have acted in the only way loyal subjects should behave. King Roland can go back to the lands of his birth and live out his last dark days there. We don't need his type here in our beautiful lands anymore. They cast their shadowy magic across our lands and we are rewarded with hunger, death and suffering," Annabelle pointed out.
"Yes, yes, I know your viewpoint and your belief that this war is a just one ... but I really think you should be giving more concern to your poor father. He's gone up there to stick his nose into the beast's lair. He believes that Lord Markham harbors something that could cure your ailment."
"It is not an ailment. It is an injury sustained from a terrible accident. I shouldn't have been toying with that healing potion ... I certainly learned my lesson to leave the mystical ways to the chosen ones. Look at the hand the Fates dealt me. They surely must have been laughing." Annabelle heaved a heavy sigh. She gazed at the hazy outline of her cousin. Her vision was blurred so badly that she could only usually make out fuzzy shapes and colors. If the person were standing too far away from her, she wouldn't be able to see them at all.
"Annabelle, you should go up there ... with your lyrical tongue I'm sure you could convince his lordship to release your father."
Annabelle stepped closer to her cousin. "What are you talking about, Glynnis? You must be out of your mind ... you just said that father was traipsing up to the castle, why would he need to be released?"
"Because ... well, you see...."
Dawning clarity filtered through Annabelle's mind. She chewed her lower lip. "Glynnis, you wouldn't happen to be leaving out some very important details would you? As in pertinent information that would definitely cast some light into the confusing words you've just given me?"
She could hear Glynnis shuffling her feet. "Well, okay. I admit it ... I'm telling you half of the story."
"That's not too unusual for you, Glynnis."
She sighed. Her cousin wasn't related by blood to her father and yet, sometimes the two of them could find trouble so easily ... it boggled the mind as to why Glynnis was so much like her dear old Da, when she was so different from him. They were like night and day, and Glynnis was his perfect match. She went back to the fire, and stirred her stew once more.