It's 1865 in Moldavia, a country nestled against the shores of the Black Sea, and Crown Prince Mihai Sigmaringen returns after receiving an education in England. His best friend, Viktor Bacau joins him. Mihai is intent on modernizing his nation, but he's also a witch, and it's time he embraces his heritage. The tasks in front of him are many including getting married. Lady Theresa von Kracken arrives in Constanta as Mihai's intended. Mihai has vowed not to fall in love again, but Theresa manages to break the battlements around his heart.
In an unfortunate twist of fate, Viktor is bitten by a werewolf. Viktor's transformation threatens everyone around him including his wife's safety and Mihai's happiness with Theresa. Viktor's bite is the wolf's torment.
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Mihai led Theresa out to the dance floor. They performed a waltz and he discovered Theresa had a natural grace, following his lead impeccably.
He flashed her a smile. Theresa was a perfect fit in his arms, and the suddenness of that realization drove two conflicting emotions through him -- awkwardness because he wasn't expecting to enjoy her company and delight because he did. His father had chosen his bride well.
An aggressive tap on the shoulder stopped him mid-waltz.
"Shouldn't you introduce me?" asked Viktor.
Mihai fought against a frown. He would have liked to have had the dance with Theresa alone. Instead, he thought to mind his manners for now.
"Theresa, this is my best friend, Viktor Bacau."
She politely nodded.
"Do you mind finishing the dance with me?" asked Viktor. Theresa looked at Mihai. Reluctantly, he gave her a slight nod. "I'd be honored to," she said.
Mihai left her side and walked off the dance floor. Sonia was there as well, her gaze fixed on Viktor. Was she experiencing the same thing he was? Reluctance? A God-awful feeling watching him with someone else? Was that the stirrings of jealousy?
He leaned over. "Why are you frowning?"
"Why are you?"
Why was his sister so stubborn? "I suppose I'd rather be dancing with Theresa."
"Viktor's just being polite."
"I suspect you'd rather be dancing with him."
Sonia pursed her lips and gently rocked back and forth on her feet. She always did that when Mihai had struck a nerve.
"You and Viktor have spent a lot of time together recently," Mihai continued.
Sonia stopped rocking, surprise in her eyes. "Well, I enjoy his company."
"And I suspect he enjoys yours."
About the author:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.
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**Stephanie will be awarding a Coffee and Chocolate Basket (a coffee mug with the cover on it, magnets, a $10.00 GC to Starbucks, Andes Chocolates, and a book bag) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.