Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.
Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page.
New roles. New rules. No margin for error.
Zezilia Ilar joins the sept son’s entourage as a defender. Her growing Talent ability makes her a target for the Elitists, and her gender makes people question her competence. She must protect the sept son. Any mistake could be fatal.
Hadrian Aleron always knew his beliefs would cause trouble, but he didn’t realize how much. Rebels are rising. He could lose his title, his position, and if he’s not careful, his life. As the assassination attempts grow bolder, Hadrian must rely upon his young defender and their shared faith in the Almighty to keep him from faltering.
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Suddenly, I was aware of a new presence on the perimeter of my thoughts. Dropping my connection with Hadrian, I began erecting the barriers that Selwyn had taught me, working from my angulus, the center of my consciousness, outward.
“Zezilia?” Hadrian’s rich flavor distracted me.
I wrenched my concentration back to the growing feeling of invasion. It was stronger than Selwyn’s first trial attack all those months ago, more subtle too. Whoever it was, he didn’t want me to notice his existence until it was too late for me do anything about it. By the grace of the Almighty, I had sensed it early enough.
I slid the last of my defenses into place just as someone touched my arm. I paused to raise my eyes. My gaze traced the path from the hand on my arm to Renato’s concerned face. The invader touched the first of my defenses. When nothing happened, fear spread through my chest. Renato must have seen it in my eyes. The invader resumed his advance as Renato’s musky taste filled my mouth.
“Are you alright?”
The attacker bypassed another trap. I knew what I had to do. Shoving away Renato’s connection, I ConPropped. My Talent senses went blind, but I didn’t need them to hear the deafening crash from the far end of the room. All eyes went to the man sprawled among the remains of a table at King Sabine’s feet. Well, all but Hadrian’s. His gaze immediately found my face. His concern quickly turned to something more serious as he realized what might have happened. I didn’t dare risk touching my amoveo just yet. If I awakened my Talent, I would again become vulnerable, and this time, the enemy would be angry.
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