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By: Helen Henderson | Other books by Helen Henderson
Published By: Champagne Books
ISBN # 9781927454084
Word Count: 89800
Available in: Epub, HTML, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
About the bookBranin is the last dragon shifter born in over 300 years. As a dragshi, he can take the form of his dragon soul twin, Llewlyn and knows the freedom of flight, but not happiness. Both are the last of their kind and have waited millennia for their mates. When a faint thought impinges on Branin's mind, hope for an ending to eons of loneliness soares. Plagued by doubts because no signs of a dragon shifter's birth have been seen, Branin searches the world for the mysterious girl he only knows by the name Anastasia.
All that stands between their happiness is destiny—and Broch.
An excerpt from the book
Waves lifted and dropped the bow of the ship. Each time it threatened to throw one or more of the rowers overboard. Closer and closer the long boat approached the island as the rough surf pushed the wooden bobbin along to the next crest.
The boat scraped along rock in a loud screech.
A glimpse of brown appeared amidst the frothing water. An orange glow danced around the long, narrow stone. Pain seared his nerves.
Anastasia’s scream resounded in his soul.
It was not his pain, but hers. Branin tried to separate himself from the increasing torment, only to be sucked back in. For heartbeats the agony continued. Yet, he saw no flash of a blade, only the dark blue of the ocean.
A groan forced its way past his clenched jaws. That was no ordinary shoal. The coral must be a sentry stone. Anastasia is being tortured because of me. Because of my link to her. Fire no longer flowed in his veins. Instead, his entire body seemed consumed in flame. A scream ripped from his throat. In his mind, he heard Anastasia’s echoing cries. The spell prevented him from taking her pain... or breaking the link.
The sky appeared, then vanished as a massive curl of water swamped the boat. Anastasia lost her grip and was swept overboard.
Through his link to her, white spray and blue water filled Branin’s vision. The tips of a pair of spires peaked above the shoal. Light danced over the coral. Lightning flickered between the spires and the agony increased.
His connection to Anastasia exploded into a mist of shimmering motes. Then blackness.
Fear lifted Branin to his feet. Although he knew Anastasia was miles away, he raced toward the edge of the cliff, and beyond. Before he had a chance to shift to dragon form, Llewlyn took the initiative and changed them. His pumping wings pulled them out of the fall only a wingtip above the waves.
“Branin, wait!” Liam yelled. “You can’t pass the barrier.”
A defiant bugle trumpeted across the sky. Branin snarled. Snaking his head over his shoulder, he saw Liam struggling to rise from the beach. Rage at himself for placing Anastasia in peril, and at the magician who created the sentry stones fueled Branin’s desperate flight.
Stroke after stroke, he arrowed across the sky with only a single destination. It seemed only heartbeats later Drunken Gull came into view. Masts full of sail pushed the vessel away from the island.
Anastasia first, then I deal with Broch.
A dive brought Branin screaming low over the water on a line toward the sandy beach. An orange glow shimmered into existence. It leapt skyward and surrounded his body.
His back arched in pain. Again and again, lightning jolted his nerves. His wings faltered; he plummeted toward the water.
Llewlyn’s shriek penetrated the fog clouding Branin’s mind.
Branin tried to surrender their shared body to the dragon. The bond between them broke. Once again, the white haze surrounded him. Without the joining of the two souls, their bodies could not shift forms. Instead of the amber dragon wings, only his human body emerged as the changing mist mingled with the spray created by the waves.
Arms paralyzed by magic and exhaustion refused to move. Water grabbed at his legs, pulling him down into the darkness.