A Viking captures a Celtic maiden, who isn't what she seems...
Winner of the 2013 Gold IPPY for best romance ebook!
See all of Kelli's romances on her site: www.KelliWilkins.com
THE VIKING'S WITCH
Scotland, 803 A.D.
About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.
But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?
After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?
Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other . . . before time is up.
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Odaria scanned the cookroom and spotted a large table piled high with food. Brennan must have been planning a feast to celebrate her death. There would be plenty of meat and beer in the underground storage area. Men liked to eat. The Norsemen must be hungry from their long journey. Mayhap she could offer Rothgar a meal and strike a bargain with him.
“Are you hungry?” she asked, cocking her head. “I know where to find food and drink, wood for the fire, clean water, and—”
“Hvat ist das plass?”
She scowled at him, trying to decipher his words. A few seconds later, she understood. “This is a cookroom. Women in the village prepare meals here. See?” She waved at the iron pots, wooden pitchers, and other cookery items stacked on the shelves around the room. “They make food.”
Rothgar rolled his eyes. “Ja. Vat ist dat?” He pointed to the door behind her.
“The gathering hall. The men conduct business here. There is a room upstairs for sleeping. The larder, the food and drink, is below,” she said slowly, hoping he’d understand.
He nodded and inched closer to her. She tried to move away, but she had nowhere to go. Her back was pressed against the door. Rothgar grinned and cupped her chin in his wide hand. Her heart fluttered. What was he doing? She stared into his eyes as he bowed his head. His rough beard grazed her cheek as his lips lightly brushed against hers.
Her entire body tingled, and a wave of dizziness washed over her. The room spun and seemed to grow dim. As everything faded, she had a clear vision of wrapping her arms around Rothgar’s neck and eagerly pulling him close for a kiss. Dizzy, she pitched forward. Rothgar caught her and clutched her to his chest.
“Shh,” he soothed, running his hand through her loose hair. “I will not harm you, Odaria.”
She relaxed against his broad chest, letting him support her weight. His touch was calming, and she felt safe here, leaning against Rothgar as she would rest against a thick tree. She inhaled deep. Rothgar didn’t stink of rancid sweat like the other men. He smelled clean and salty, like the sea. The scent comforted her. She could almost fall asleep where she stood.
Rothgar curled his arms around her ribs. She didn’t protest. In spite of everything, he hadn’t harmed her and he had saved her from that horrible Norseman in the red tunic.
After a few moments, her dizzy spell passed, and she gazed at him. “You are not like the others. You are different, Rothgar.”
He smiled. “Ja, in some ways. But fear not, Odaria. I will not share you with the others. I wish to have you all to myself.” Rothgar chuckled and winked at her. “Now, show me this food.”
“Aye.” She had no choice but to obey Rothgar’s wishes—for now.