Title: Gryffon Hall
Author: Alexis Duran
Release Date: August 30th 2016
Genre: MM Romance, Fantasy
Born the useless fourth son of the Lord of Glimmerveen, Wryler dreams of getting married and escaping the rustic confines of his father's castle. A wealthy merchant's son seems to hold the key to Wryler's safe if somewhat dreary future. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger on the eve of Wryler's betrothal sends his plans into disarray and Wryler finds himself traded off in marriage to one of the most notorious rogues in the land.
Is Lord Aeric Rouchet the scoundrel he appears to be, or is he something much worse? Separated from his family and thrust into a strange and dangerous new life at the foreboding Gryffon Hall, Wryler must unravel the secret of his husband's shadowed life and defeat the curse which threatens not only his growing affection for the barbarian in his bed, but the lives of everyone the Lord of Gryffon Hall is sworn to protect.
“Here it is,” Rouchet said, and hoisted a massive leather-bound volume from a shelf. He carried it in both hands to one of the long tables and smacked it down. In elaborate, gilded script, the name Rouchet decorated the cover. The spine was blank.
In a bit of a daze, Wryler reached for it and was surprised to find his way blocked by the formidable arm of Rouchet.
“I already recognize that glassy look in your eyes. Your aunt will never forgive me if I allow you to become absorbed in a book just now.”
“Curses! You’re right.” Wryler’s fingers itched. “Just a few pages. I promise.”
Rouchet laughed softly and dropped his arm. He didn’t step back, though, and Wryler had to squeeze in front of him to reach the book. He opened the cover, which was two hands high, and flipped through the thick, parchment-like paper. Thrilled to see a frontispiece dated nearly a thousand years earlier, he nevertheless had difficulty focusing on the words that followed.
Instead of giving Wryler room, Rouchet moved even closer, his broad chest pressing against Wryler’s back, his breath tickling Wryler’s ear. Wryler placed his palms flat on the table and tried to read. The illustration on the frontispiece was a rearing unicorn framed by elaborate, colorful flora. The words beneath it were in ancient script Wryler dimly recognized from Vessel’s Key to the Forest Languages. Luckily he’d brought the book along. He smiled, finding it funny that even in a library as vast as this, there were still books that most likely needed to be acquired.
“I can see my main rival for your attentions will be this room,” Rouchet murmured in Wryler’s ear.
Wryler cleared his throat and flipped a page. Rouchet’s thigh eased in tighter against him, and a growing bulge pushed into one of Wryler’s buttocks. The words before him blurred as his breath quickened. Lennox’s teasing threats suddenly seemed less ridiculous.
“Your family is quite ancient,” Wryler said quickly.
“Quite,” Rouchet said. He put a hand on Wryler’s shoulder and turned him around. Pinned between the heavy table and Rouchet, Wryler stared at the man’s throat.
“You’re right. Aunt Otillia will be waiting, and I really should be going.”
“Not yet.” Rouchet placed a finger beneath Wryler’s chin and lifted his face. “Say my name again.”
“What?” Besides being much too tall, Rouchet’s manner was very odd.
“You need to get used to it and I like hearing it. Say it.”
“Again, without the question mark.”
Wryler swallowed hard. “Aeric.” For some reason, the feel of the name on his tongue made his pulse quicken. Rouchet bent down and kissed him. His closely trimmed beard scraped Wryler’s cheek in a not entirely unpleasant way as his hot tongue lanced into Wryler’s mouth.
Wryler had braced himself for this moment, sure that without the benefit of wine and jealousy his fearful body would recoil from Rouchet’s touch, but in fact the opposite happened. His skin tingled, and he found his fingers creeping up the front of Rouchet’s silk shirt.
Rouchet seized Wryler’s buttocks and lifted him onto the table, pushing his wide thighs between Wryler’s legs. Wryler leaned back, and his palm landed on the open book. He fumbled with the cover, closing the book and pushing it aside all while fending off Rouchet’s bulk and his tongue as it drove deeper inside him.
“This is a library, not a bedchamber!” a high voice squeaked from the doorway.
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About the Author:
Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She's worked in museums, finance, film production and for several performing arts organizations. Her favorite job so far has been inventorying the collection of a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night m/m fantasy series as well as several stand-alone romances. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference and First Runner Up from Love Romances Cafe. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is always working on the next novel and has several new ideas brewing at all times.
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