About the Book
Author: Maya Starling
Genre: NA Fantasy
"She was the girl who longed for the freedom of the dragon, and he was the dragon who longed to be a man."
A heroine reclaiming her fate. A dragon with a secret. A prince on a quest.
Olivia flees to the forest seeking freedom from her family's demands. She finds refuge in a cave, only to discover it is a dragon’s lair. The dragon, Kaden, is not the monster she first thinks him to be. After overcoming her initial fright – of not being eaten – Olivia discovers that the dragon has a gentle heart.
Kaden is resigned to loneliness after centuries of wandering the lands. Meeting Olivia brings joy to his solitary life, and never has he dreamed that a young woman would be the one to start the change in him.
A storm brews on the horizon.
A prince with a handsome face and a cruel heart is on a quest to slay the dragon, and take the throne. He will do whatever it takes to have what he believes is his to own. And now, he has his eyes set on the pretty little maiden from the forest. He will make her his Queen, whether she wants it or not.
Maya Starling is a writer, a geek, an animal lover and a gamer. She has lived the life of a magus, an oracle, a goth mortician, a star wars rebel. She has led many lives, sitting at a table, and rolling those dice away.
In reality, she lives with her wife and their adorable little boy, and of course two rescue cats, in a small country of Croatia. Reading and writing are her passion, so you will often find her typing away a new novel or a new short story, or eyes glued to the screen of her phone or a page of a book.
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Pride swelled within Kaden, lifting away the years of darkness that had consumed him as joy filled him for making her that happy. It was a wonderful feeling, after so long alone in the dark, to indulge someone else’s desires.
Olivia’s eyes had never been wider and she was sure her jaw was going to hurt for days because of how much she was smiling. She also didn’t care how many bugs she was going to swallow along the way. Her heart pounded against her ribcage as fear, exhilarating fear, coursed through her veins mixed with a rush she had never felt before. She couldn’t put it into words; it was so much more exciting and liberating than the first time she went galloping on her own. So liberating. The world far beneath her feet.
Trees rushed by under them in a blur of greens, but as she squinted ahead, she was once again amazed by the view.
Looking at the treetops, Olivia thought that she could just reach down and brush her hands through the leaves, caressing the forest itself. All the green below them and the blue vastness above them made her realize just how big the world was, how tiny her role in it.
So this is what it feels like to fly. Right then, a new addiction bloomed inside her. She had to experience it again. Kaden would surely agree to such request.
Olivia wrapped the little bit of loose rope she had around her hand until it was taut as she sat upright, gazing all around them. She closed her eyes for a few moments and cherished the wind whipping at her face, the chill leaving a trail of gentle nips on her flushed cheeks. But she didn’t mind any of it. She feasted on it; it fed her mind and her soul, refreshing her spirit.
Opening her eyes, Olivia laughed out loud and a happy whoop escaped her lips.
Kaden veered to the left, circling around then flying back to their little clearing. As they glided above forest, the dragon spread his wings wide. He looked back at Olivia when her happy laughter reached his ears.
The healing balm of her being, her joy and innocence spread over his wounded soul.
Magnus’ men waited for her answer, witnessing for the first time someone turning their prince down, wondering if she was even aware he was a prince. Would it really make a difference?
Olivia’s hands trembled as she pushed a still-damp curl behind her ear. The gazes, the question, their presence weighed down on her, coiling around her neck, tightening, as if she were dealing herself her own sentence.
Casting a wary glance around, Olivia said, “Maybe I should just call for my brothers.”
“No need, Princess. I can send my men to look for them. We would not want to attract the monster’s attention, would we? Did I forget to mention it was a dragon?”
When Magnus mentioned the dragon, recognition lit Olivia’s eyes. It didn’t escape his notice.
“Oh my,” he said. “You do know about the dragon.”
Olivia froze, her body locked up.
“Where is it?” Magnus clenched his fists, blue eyes ablaze with cold fire.
“My brother...” Olivia said and then screamed, “KADEN!”
The dragon’s name echoed throughout the forest, bouncing on the wind.
The knights raised their swords and drew closer to Magnus. Charlie stayed hidden in the trees near Theo and Damien, who took up the rear of Magnus’s guard.
“STOP!” Magnus’s voice boomed. While everyone stood frozen, he listened.
When he didn’t hear anyone approaching, he took a step closer towards Olivia.
“Please stop!” Olivia panted, panic mingling with her breath, eyes watering with tears. “KADEN!” She called for her dragon again. She took another step back and slipped on moss-covered rocks. Grasping a stone, she scrambled to her feet and threatened Magnus, “Do not come any closer.”
Magnus laughed. The woman pulled her hand back and threw the rock at the unsuspecting man. Magnus flinched and stopped laughing. Everyone held their breath. He touched his forehead, fingers coating in blood. The crimson liquid slid over his right eyebrow, dripping down his lashes onto his cheek. As the first drop landed on his sparkling armor, he narrowed his eyes at Ophelia.
Olivia retreated again and Magnus stalked closer, faster with every step he took towards her. She pondered picking up more rocks, but there were too many men and she couldn’t face them all… at all, armed and armored men. Ankle deep in the water, she turned around and plodded deeper, picking up the skirt of her dress, heading for the other side. Surely their armor will slow them down.
Magnus chased after her, his men following close behind him.
A roar resounded above.
Fire exploded in front of Magnus. The blast threw him back, away from Olivia, and he skidded on the grass, covering his face with his hands.
The dragon had come.