The Sorcerer’s Guardian
by Antonia Aquilante
M/M Fantasy Romance
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: November 28, 2016
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.
He and Savarin still hadn’t spoken a word, and he wondered if the entire trip would be as silent as the beginning had been. As much as Savarin’s willful resistance to Loriot’s presence and stubbornness in the face of Prince Philip’s order got on Loriot’s nerves, Loriot hoped not. Silence for as long as they would be gone would be beyond maddening.
Beside him, Savarin stared off into the distance, but Loriot didn’t think he was seeing the landscape as Loriot did. What was Savarin thinking about that so distracted him? He had to concede that Prince Philip probably had a point in sending Loriot if Savarin was habitually so distracted. Still, Loriot took the opportunity to study Savarin surreptitiously.
Savarin was a handsome man, far too handsome really. When Loriot had seen him for the first time years ago, he hadn’t quite been able to believe the man was real with his near-perfect features and tall, lean frame. Savarin’s aloofness and arrogance had convinced him otherwise. As always Savarin was dressed well and fashionably, but Loriot was glad to see his clothing was also practical for travel. He didn’t think he had ever seen Savarin less than perfectly attired in anything except the more formal clothes appropriate for the palace or the city, in rich silks and velvets all in saturated colors and excellent cuts, certainly from the best tailors in Jumelle.
Savarin was just as meticulously dressed and groomed this morning, only his clothing was simpler and of sturdier fabrics. Loriot shouldn’t have been surprised. He knew Savarin traveled often, but he’d had a few concerns since he didn’t know how Savarin traveled. Savarin might have been used to far more luxury than they were likely to have on this trip. Loriot was relieved to see Savarin looking comfortable with their mode of travel, as if it wasn’t new to him. Savarin’s riding boots had obviously been worn often and the leather of his saddlebags was battered in a way that spoke of long use. But the less formal clothing didn’t take away from Savarin’s well-put-together image. Savarin’s pale blond hair was neatly ordered, barely tousled from their ride from the city, and shining in the glow of the rising sun. The strands fluttered in the slight breeze that blew on the river, and fell back into place as if by magic. He wondered if it was, but chided himself for thinking that Savarin would use magic for so trivial a reason. He didn’t think Savarin would.
He wondered if the hair was as soft as it looked.
The thought shocked him so much he had to stifle a gasp. Where had it even come from? He admitted with no hesitation that Savarin was a handsome man, but thinking about touching his hair, touching him, was a far cry from that acknowledgment. And it was not something he planned to ever do, or should even be thinking about. Protecting Savarin while he completed his mission for the princes was all that concerned him. He turned away from Savarin, back to the lightening sky over the trees.
“Everything all right?”
Loriot nearly jumped at the sound of Savarin’s smooth, cultured voice after so much silence. He turned to find himself the focus of an intense gray gaze. Had Savarin noticed Loriot’s attention? Nothing in Savarin’s gaze indicated he had, so Loriot would hope he hadn’t and act accordingly.
“Fine. Why do you ask?” Loriot regarded Savarin just as steadily as Savarin seemed to be examining him.
After a moment of silence, Savarin shrugged one shoulder in an elegant movement. “No reason.”
About 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 ebooks, 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, she 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.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.