Saturday, March 17, 2018

Savvy Saturday: Character Profile of Dara from A Guardian's Heart

Half human (father), half dragon (mother)
Peasant, Bastard-born
Mother dead, father unknown—foster-raised,
no siblings
New Year’s Day
19 years
120 pounds
Gold with horizontal-slit pupils
Long, red, slightly wavy
Golden cast, with slight pattern of not-quite-scales visible
The Riverhead province of Arcadia, in the village for Safehold Keep near the foot of Mt. Aege (dormant volcano). Has lived there her whole life.
-Positive—courage, compassion, curiosity, willing to do whatever needs doing

-Negative—temper, holds a grudge, has a hard time following orders, self-doubt

-Disaffinity for animals (they sense her dragon blood=predator in their eyes)
Healer, warrior, fire mage
Iron poisoning (negates her powers)
Salamanders (fire elementals)
Blood torque possessed by the spirits of her dragon ancestors & a book of spells (written in blood by her dragon ancestors)
Onyx Isle, with a cave filled with all her dragon ancestors’ treasure
Triple-faced Goddess (maiden, mother, crone), under recent attack by followers of the One God
Matriarchal dragon family in patriarchal human kingdom
Neighboring kingdom of Westmarche invades Riverhead (fighting over water rights, using river to transport goods to the sea)
Count Jalad of Westmarche possessed by a demon no mortal can stand against
When Dara rescues a wounded warrior on the battlefield, she discovers Loren is the heir to the throne of the elven kingdom of Cymry. He takes her there to recruit aid in ousting the demon-possessed invader and restoring her king to his throne. She learns about her family history, who her real parents were.
Mortal vs. immortal, bastard peasant vs. royal prince

Excerpt from A Guardian's Heart:

The sun just kissed the horizon outside Dara’s windows when a knock sounded at the adjoining door. “Dara? Are you ready?” Loren called.

“’Course I’m not ready. Wait ’til you see what she stuffed me into this time.”

Verdeen opened the door and curtsied. “Highness.”

Loren entered. “Keeping Lady Dara out of trouble, Verdeen?”

“With great difficulty, Milord.” Verdeen shut the door.

He froze as he focused on Dara. Heat flared in his eyes. “Verdeen, await us downstairs.”

Verdeen curtsied again and showed herself out, shutting the door behind her.

Loren locked it.

Dara sucked in a startled breath. His gaze traveled down, then up again. Slowly. Possessively. Her body tingled at the frank desire on his face, and she rubbed her bare arms. “You’re staring. Don’t blame me for this.” His long silence unnerved her. “Say something.”

“I would, could I find words.” His hoarse voice sent a shiver down her spine. “Where is the rest of it?”

She rolled her eyes. “They carted it off to the stables for insect netting. ’Tis all they left me. I resemble a heathen idol, don’t I?”

“If you were, a thousand men would change their religion.” Catching the blasphemy, Loren made a sign of supplication to the Lady. “If you wanted our cause to be visible, you succeeded. Everyone shall wish to meet you. None shall even notice me.”

Dara snorted. “Doubtful. The wanderer returns heroic, covered in glory and still unwed. All noble mothers shall throw their daughters at your feet.”

“You are the only one I want, sassy, irreverent wench.” Loren stroked her glistening arm.

Want. Dara trembled and slid closer. She loved how his eyes darkened. How she tingled at the open appreciation and desire on his face. Other men had admired her, but not quite this way—with a knowing that saw her, not just the pretty packaging. Her pulse pounded in her throat as she traced his lips with her fingertips. He captured her wrist to place a burning kiss against her sensitive skin. Dara gasped in reaction, and his eyes blazed.

The blood shimmered in her veins. She’d give aught to have Loren look at her that way forever. “We should go—”

“In a moment.” He pulled her flush against him. “I would have you to myself…for a bit.”

The hard planes of his chest thrilled, and she softened against him. Here was where she wanted to be. He stroked a calloused hand down her bare back. She whimpered. “Careful, you’ll squash my flower.”

“I shall get you another one.” Loren nuzzled her hair aside to lip her ear, flicking his tongue against her neck, nipping her shoulder. “So beautiful and brave. I need to hold you…touch you…taste you.” His mouth captured hers, his tongue surging in to duel with hers.

Dara’s head spun at the sensuous strokes of his tongue, tasting rich male and hot, heady desire. Her skin prickled with awareness. She clung to him, overwhelmed by a storm of sensation. Her body awoke, alive with yearning. Everywhere he touched caught fire. She arched against him with a gasp as his hands lowered to cup her backside and haul her into a burning erection. Half shocked, half intrigued, she rubbed against the rigid shaft straining within his breeches. A deep inner ache that had naught to do with the iron poisoning tightened her womb. A disconcerting dampness slicked her inner thighs, and she whimpered and shook in his arms.

Loren caressed her backside and his wet, carnal kisses devoured her with a voracious hunger nigh approaching desperation.

Trembling, aflame, she clung to him as he crowded her against the hard door.

Door. Party.

She tore her mouth from his. “Loren, wait.”

“One moment.” He slid a hand under the material of her bodice and found her breast, tweaking her nipple into a point of hot need. “So soft, so strong…”

A flash of heat zinged down between her thighs, and her womb clenched. Between her quivering thighs, she felt herself soften and swell. A strange fluttering began, an overwhelming instinctive need to cradle him, move on him. Dara struggled to focus. “Loren, they await us.”

He groaned and drew back. Her body ached at the loss. Frustration glittered in his leaf-green eyes. “Forget the party. Stay here. Let me show you the stars. It shall be amazing between us.”

She should be outraged at the proposition, but, oh, how tempting that was. She bit her lip and squirmed, then frowned. “Your kin would notice. I’d not offend your grandparents. Asides, I’ve never seen fireworks afore.”

“We can be late. We shall make our own fireworks.” He cupped her breast again, swiped his thumb across her straining, sensitized nipple. “Deny you want this…want me… Please want me…”

She yelped at the shock and covered his mouth. “Don’t say another word. You could tempt a nun. Enough. Let’s go. If Sirona had to fetch us two nights in a row, we’d never hear the end of it.”

Grinning, he peeled her hand away and replaced the crushed flower from her bodice with a fresh one from the nearby vase. “A nun?”

Dara’s cheeks warmed anew as the cool water from the stem trickled down the heated skin of her belly.

A Guardian’s Heart
Guardians of Light, Book 1
Renee Wildes
High-Fantasy Romance
$ 3.99
Champagne Books

Strength can be drawn from pain…if the heart can heal faster than it bleeds.

Dara Khan Androcles was trained from childhood to be a healer. But as a demon-possessed invader threatens Safehold, and she defends a wounded warrior on the battlefield, her hidden inner dragon thirsts for blood.

When she lifts the warrior’s blond, blood-encrusted hair away from his ear, she discovers he is more than King Hengist’s outlander ally. He is an immortal. The elven heir to the throne of Cymry.

Loren ta Cedric senses something different about flame-haired, falcon-eyed woman who saves him. A healer, wreathed in raw, dark power, who wields knives with deadly skill. A mortal who prays to the Lady, not the human gods. Now he owes this thoroughly distracting female a Life-Debt. Which, in the heat of their flight to Loren’s homeland to raise an army, somehow becomes Lifemate.

Dragon-human and elf, peasant and prince—logic says they have no future. Yet the power of their unlikely bond could be the only thing that saves their world from a demon poised to tear it apart.

1 comment:

  1. Dara's one of the most interesting complex characters I've ever met. I'm glad she chose me to tell her story to!