Kismet's Kiss is a two-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Finalist and was nominated as Best Fantasy Romance and Best Debut of 2010 by The Romance Reviews.
In the desert realm of Kad, a deadly epidemic strikes the palace of Sultan Kuramos. Only a magical healer from an enemy land has the skill to save his royal household, but Kuramos never imagined the healer would be a woman.
Healer Varene finds her own surprises in Kad. She expects the sultan's arrogance, but not his courage, his selfless care of the ill, or the possibility the epidemic is the hex of a vengeful goddess.
Kuramos's culture condemns Varene's mystical talents. Her presence triggers an insurrection, yet as he and the healer toil for a cure, he loses his heart to her. She falls for him as well, but how can she relinquish her homeland and her principles? He already has a harem...and his family may be cursed.
Kismet's Kiss is a bountiful 105,000 words, enough to keep you enthralled for hours. The Kindle version also contains bonus excerpts from three other novels.
"Homes can change. Lives can change." His gaze thudded into hers. "They already have."
Was Kuramos referring to her patients' lives, or his and hers? No, it didn't matter. "A generous offer, thank you. But though your realm intrigues me..." Though I love you... "I can't stay." Varene's lashes drooped as she fingered the lip of her glass, then set it down.
The sun shafted one last ray above the horizon and then rolled from sight. Night had fallen, and her world had fallen with it.
The ship's floorboards creaked as he moved closer. All her senses blazed. He stopped behind her--near enough for her to smell the exotic scent of his skin and feel his breath fan across her nape. Her pulse hammered in her wrists as she clung to the rail.
He touched her ponytail. "This band," he said softly. "The one that keeps your hair back. Do you always wear it?"
"Most of the time." She put a self-conscious hand on it and accidentally brushed his fingers. She pulled away as if shocked by sparks.
Several more breaths caressed her neck, then both of his hands skimmed her gathered locks. "Such beautiful hair, Varene. As golden as Naaz's sun. It doesn't deserve to be so confined."
He tugged at the band, releasing it. She heard a tiny thump as he dropped it on the table. His fingers slid into her hair, then let the tresses fall away to glide across her shoulders, her back, her breasts, trailing her skin like a thousand kisses.
He stepped close, one hand on the banister a petal's breadth from hers, one still playing with her hair. "Better," he whispered, his lips feathering her ear. "Now you look like a woman, not just a Healer. Why do you hide yourself?"
Her half-lidded gaze clung to the river's moving shore. "I keep my hair back so I can see my patients and do my work. I'm not hiding--if anything, it exposes me."
"It masks you," he said. "You're veiled behind the facade of the Healer. You shroud what you want, and give to others but not to yourself. What do you desire, Varene?"
There was no safe answer.
Other stories in the Alaia Chronicles series:
Swords and Scimitars: A Fantasy Short Story
A historical fantasy prequel to Kismet's Kiss. When two women beg for aid against tyranny, a sultan must sacrifice his freedom and his long-scarred heart to help them.
The Source of Magic: A Fantasy Romance
A modern woman finds herself ensnared on a medieval world, trapped by fantasy, treachery and family secrets--and opposing a magical prince, the one man who can make everything right.