High Sheriff of New Camelot
Ex-lovers, Lady Stella of Sea Breeze Keep and High Sheriff Matthias were separated during the Troll Was. Thirty years later, fate forces the crusty survivors of heartbreak back together. To reignite a fiery love that was a casualty of war will require the assistance of manipulative fairies, the wisdom of the Regina, and the determination of the King of New Camelot. More
Lady Stella of Sea Breeze Keep has worries. She’s fending off the advances of a covetous neighbor, running a contraband operation, scanning the horizon for marauding Vikings, and dealing with the teenage angst of her grandchildren. The king’s courier brings word that High Sheriff “Bloody Matthias” is assigned as the next in a series of stewards. An ex-lover who left her in dire straits when called to fight in the Troll Wars, Matthias is a heroic knight, one who will not fear the “Haunt of Sea Breeze” that Stella employs to discourage would-be stewards.
Matthias is weary of fighting. Offered the stewardship, he doesn’t hesitate to take the lucrative position. He hopes he and Stella can work together. A lifetime ago she swore her undying love to him in a hayloft, yet married when he was up to his eyebrows in trolls. Now she’s determined to be rid of him and uses foul food, frozen laundry, and a howling teething infant to hasten his departure.
Time and experience have aged and changed the old couple, but the passion they shared still smolders. When Matthias uncovers her smuggling operation, he becomes enraged. Pulling her over his knee, he spanks her for endangering herself, her family, and his honor. Aghast at his behavior, he flees the keep.
A heartless Viking, Elwyn the Black, attacks via a subterranean cave. Stella’s grandson Chip dons the guise of the “Haunt” and Stella preys on Elwyn’s superstitious nature. Upstairs, the baby releases an eerie hungry howl. Elwyn retreats taking Stella’s granddaughters with him.
Matthias returns to apologize for his behavior and finds chaos. To rescue the girls, he needs an air assault. Fire breathing dragons are approached. In exchange for his gold, Queen Gisselle and her mates agree to fly Matthias and two other warriors out to the Viking ships to rescue Stella’s granddaughters. Meanwhile, Stella rallies Matthias’s knights to follow across the sea.
Dragon fire reigns down on the ships distracting the Vikings. The girls are located and Matthias engages Elwyn the Black. A dastardly attack by Stella’s treacherous neighbor renders Matthias unconscious and he is bludgeoned almost to death. Chip, Stella’s grandson and heir to Sea Breeze, kills Elwyn with a sword feint Matthias taught him.
Matthias is dying. Only the healing magic of Bethany Regina, the Crystal Sorceress, can save him. While Stella collects up her grandchildren and takes them to safety, a young knight teleports Matthias to Dragon Keep and the Regina saves his life.
Awakening from a healing sleep, Matthias finds Stella in his bed. He smiles at his old love. Finally, they’ve put aside their old heartbreak. Feeling his surge of love, Stella confesses that Chip is his grandson. Matthias is first stunned. Then fury takes over when he realizes what she’s stolen from him: his son, a family, love. He rails at her. Stella flees his vitriol and has the local fairy return her to her Sea Breeze.
In both keeps, fairies chastise the old lovers and encourage them to listen to one another and renew their love. Both Stella and Matthias claim it is too late. Too much time and too many wrongs have come between them. They feel the other hates them. The Regina sits with Matthias and reminds him that Lady Stella risked her life and the lives of her grandchildren when she led her forces to rescue him. Chip is a young warrior. He needs Matthias’s guiding hand.
A courier gives Stella a message: a new steward is to be appointed. If any harm comes to him, she and her family will be evicted. Stella is resigned. She will acquiesce to the new steward in order to keep her family safe and secure in Sea Breeze.
The fairies are aflutter. The new steward is Matthias! He vows to give her free rein if she will only quit smuggling and let him help her. She throws herself into his arms. They rendezvous in the hayloft. It is where life changed for both of them when they parted thirty years ago. Once again, they vow their undying love.
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