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Fantasy romance with dragons? A special sneak peek from "Reign of the Dragon Heir"


brandon sanderson young adult books

Please enjoy this excerpt from "Reign of the Dragon Heir" 🐉👑 by S. R. Breaker. The second book in a new and exciting NA fantasy series "The Dragons of Arcadia."


Here's the description:


"She must marry to save all the realms. He must marry her to uncover an evil plot. Will their fake match find truth before the world ends in oblivion?"


Wilhelmina of the Second House of Dragoncrest, Guardians to the mystical land of Arcadia, needs to get married. Except everyone she betroths keeps winding up dead.


Four years after the rightful Dragon Heir returns, a union is prophesied as the only way to heal the land ravaged by the Curse of the Spheres.


Resigned with her charge, Mina ends up on a wayward mission that brings about a chance encounter in the desert. Will the impossibly handsome, not-charming-at-all stranger she meets change her fate?


Estranged Fae warrior, Callan of the Priori clan has been running from his past. A drifter rogue for hire across the realms, he never expected accidentally rescuing an enchanting but stubborn dragon would lead him to a reunion with an old friend who happens to be the new queen of Dragoncrest.


And the queen needs a favor. Callan must pretend to be betrothed to the dragon princess, thus making him the next target for murder.


Can they uncover the nefarious forces determined to once more destabilize the realms before the reign of the Dragon Heir ends in peril?


Reign of the Dragon Heir has:

❤️‍🔥slow-burn

❤️‍🔥forced proximity

❤️‍🔥fake arranged marriage

❤️‍🔥forbidden romance

❤️‍🔥only one bed

❤️‍🔥cinnamon roll hero

❤️‍🔥wannabe enemies-to-lovers

❤️‍🔥low steam/FTB

❤️‍🔥HEA


A thrilling, slow-burn, tension-filled, fake arranged marriage fantasy romance. Perfect for fans of "Throne of Glass" and "Shadow and Bone."


***

Chapter One


Callan really shouldn’t be spending any length of time in this marketplace at all. It was too big of a risk that he could be spotted by the desert hunters.

Except he couldn’t make his feet walk in the other direction.

He had sensed an unusual aura about in the place.

Rare. Dangerous.

Disguised as running his fingers through his unkempt dark hair, he cast another cautious glance around.

He could already easily identify the several henchmen for the brute warlord Marken, a notorious human he’d heard more or less controlled this area. In as much as they tried to blend in with the townsfolk, every one of Marken’s goons bore the distinctive mark of the scorpion on the side of their neck.

Could the strange aura be coming from them?

Perhaps Marken’s goons had stolen something powerful again. He’d heard of the havoc wreaked last year when they had acquired a bespelled jewel in an attempt to control the waters of the continent. Their mishandling of the artifact almost plunged the entire south east into an endless flood.

Not that anybody could stop them.

There had once been rejoicing across the land when the Spheres were brought down.

But eventually, conflict arose, with human and Fae lords alike feuding amongst themselves, vying for control over territories and resources.

Many even feared that the fragile peace across the land would shatter at any moment and plunge Arcadia into a devastating war.

Tensions running high, it permeated everything like a thick cloud of foreboding waiting to explode.

For the most part, Callan had stayed out of everyone’s business. He didn’t care who he worked for as long as they paid him.

The sun glinting off something shiny struck his eye. Squinting momentarily, he turned to look, and as if on cue, the marketplace crowd parted.

Across the way, the metal accents on a female human’s leather vest had caught the light for a second.

Callan couldn’t see her face but she wore an old horsehair cape hood over her head, moleskin pants over worn leather boots. She struck him as any common peasant girl, but when she reached up to adjust her hood as she wandered along the street, her cape shifted, showing a glimpse of a peculiarly ornate pattern on her tunic.

The mere way she moved was oddly mesmerizing. Her cape swished with her every confident step, the subtle sway of her hips as though she was calling attention to herself—consciously or unconsciously.

Pausing at a particular stall, the girl suddenly seemed hesitant as she lowered her head, then turning with another swish of her cape, she walked away again.

But Callan’s sharp eyes caught it.

The girl had swiped something from the shop.

She was a thief.

And not a very good one.

The stall keeper’s watcher was as eagle-eyed as Callan and, all at once, a burly beast of a man had launched from the back to follow at her heels.

Already groaning to himself, Callan moved to pursue. He was probably going to regret this. He knew better than to get involved in petty thievery matters. But he also knew that particular stall was a front for one of the Marken’s underhanded dealings.

This was not the girl’s lucky day at all.

With a muted scuff, Callan scaled up the side of a clump of adobe buildings and crouched near a roof’s edge to monitor the situation from above as the big goon easily caught up with the girl.

When the man grabbed her arm, her voice quivered in fear.

“I didn’t mean to. I’ll give it back!”

She put up a fight, struggling to get free, but the goon heaved her across the ground and she sprawled back with a squeak.

Her attempt to scramble away scratched at the ground as the big goon’s shadow hovered menacingly over her.

But before the man could step closer, Callan pushed off the rooftop, landing him right between the two of them with a heavy thud and a cloud of unsettled dust.

Even with his gaze still on the ground as he faced the big goon, Callan’s drawl was already tinged with annoyance. “Why are you wasting everyone’s time?”

The big goon spat out. “This is none of your business, dirty elf,” he sneered. “Leave now or my men and I will have to send you back to the Fae lands in a box.”

Callan slid his steely gaze up to meet the brute’s black eyes just as two other giant goons with matching scorpion marks on their necks arrived to flank him.

With much yelling and bustling, the rest of the marketplace vendors and customers began to clear out. They knew their businesses would not fare well once Marken’s goons acquired a target. Carts and tables scraped the ground, money boxes slapped closed, and trinkets clinked as they were put away.

Slapping his associate’s shoulder, the big goon chuckled in airy self-assuredness.

One corner of Callan’s mouth merely curved up in amusement and the goon’s expression transformed into a snarl.

“Oh, do you think it’s funny?” he barked. “Let’s see how funny you’ll think it is when we smash your face in—”

He wasn’t even done pontificating when one of the other thugs let out a yell, rushing at Callan to throw a wild punch.

With a quick spin, Callan landed a strike of his own, knocking the thug down just as another rushed forward, his fists swinging. Callan parried his blows, striking in retaliation, making the thug stumble back.

His face pulling tight with determination, the first big goon let out a displeased roar that echoed against the columns of the temple ruins before he launched himself.

Callan held his ground against an onslaught of heavy punches before delivering a blow that sent the goon sprawling to the ground, tumbling over the others, pushing and groaning in their small heap.

Panting and scowling, the big goon wiped blood from the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand. His black glower bore through Callan before he met the gazes of the two others. Then he signaled with his chin and the three of them scampered away, albeit loudly muttering curses and seemingly empty threats.

Callan watched the goons retreat in satisfaction.

Too easy. He huffed in satisfaction before turning to tower over the girl who was still sitting on the ground.

But her tipped-up face was red with molten fury. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Callan flinched at her unexpected response. He couldn’t help the pointed incredulity in his tone as he sneered back. “What the hell was I doing? I was rescuing you.”

“You idiot!”

Her shrill voice set his blood boiling instantly. He shot her a dark glare. “Who are you calling an idiot?”

She let out a loud groan of complaint as she jumped back to her feet, spry as anything. “I didn’t need to be rescued. Now you’ve ruined everything!” Her complaint carried well over the whispered swirling of sand about the stalls and shops that had emptied in minutes.

Callan gave the girl a measuring look as she dusted off her clothes. With the hood of her cape having fallen about her neck, her messy, long brown hair fell over her eyes which were just as muddy brown set against her plain features.

“What exactly did I ruin?”

The girl blew out a frustrated breath. “I needed to get into their stupid lair to get back my—” Blinking in alert, she stopped short of her outburst. Her tone evened out as she went on in an almost nonchalant manner. “Just something… A little treasure I’ve been tracking for four years and I’ve only just found it.” She pointed across the empty desert. “It’s stashed away in Marken’s hidden, fortified lair and now you’ve ruined my only chance to get it back.”

A bold plan, he had to admit. This strange peasant girl had been willing to take on Marken’s notorious goons all by herself.

Callan had caught the flicker in her determined gaze upon mention of the object’s value, and despite himself, a shard of guilt poked at his conscience. But he frowned when her calculating, steely gaze met his once again. He could tell she was already scheming something.

Was she going to ask for his help?

She was probably crazy. He would have to be just as crazy to get involved with these dealings. Especially given he was in the middle of completing a job.

Furrowing his eyebrows, he almost flinched at the ridiculous notion. “I’m not going to help you.”

The girl didn’t seem too keen on the idea either. In fact, the wrinkle of derision on her nose indicated everything otherwise. But Callan could tell her wheels were still spinning.

“Then I bid you supply me a better option,” she demanded. Her pointed statement firm, it seemingly gave off a hint as though she was accustomed to always getting her way.

Callan nearly scoffed at her overtly audacious presumption but his response died on his lips. His jaw clenched as he glanced up past the girl’s shoulder.

Noticing his tension, the girl turned to look. “What?”

Abandoned flags of fancier but just as empty stalls danced about with the wind along the circuitous, narrow path that cut through the length of the marketplace as an ominous mirage appeared in the distance.

The dense fog growing closer, a prickly sensation crawled up the back of Callan’s neck in dreaded recognition.

It was no simple trick of light.

He clenched his jaw again as an unswerving mob of Marken’s evil thugs emerged as though out of nowhere.

Their figures shimmered like a heat haze, the air thickening with shuffling footsteps and jangling of crude weapons, menacing bloodlust permeating the very air itself as their mere presence sucked what little life there was from the surrounds.

When he spun around, a mob just as large and foreboding had the entire other way blocked.

Callan cracked his neck in aggravation. Not meeting the girl’s gaze, he adjusted his stance. His prompt was a low rumble. “Can you fight?”

Her voice was hollow. “Not like this.”

He took a determined step before her. “Stay behind me.”


***


"Reign of the Dragon Heir" releases TODAY, October 3rd. Available everywhere in e-book and paperback formats.


CW: Teen-friendly NA. Mild/deity swearing.


 

This article was written by S. R. Breaker.


S. R. Breaker is a USA Today Bestselling Author of fast-paced, offbeat YA/NA fantasy romance books. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and two kids. Suburban mum by day and author by night, she loves to live vicariously through her characters. They don’t have to vacuum all day long and are almost always guaranteed to survive any fantastical or thrilling incidents, no matter how treacherous she writes them.




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