iStock_000023080330MediumFrom Norse Fire (click to tweet)


Sestra’s grin faded as another truth jabbed her heart: she craved something more, something outside her reach. Would she ever have a settled home, a place to live until her final breath?

Ella cocked her head in Brand’s direction.  “What about him? I vow he’d keep a woman safe. Could he be the one?”

“Brand?” Sestra’s nose wrinkled.  “He’s too…too…” 

A playful smile dimpled Ella’s face.

“ ‘Too’ what?” The young maid tossed back her ebon braid. “Too handsome? Too strong? Or too smart to let you lead him by the nose?”

“More like too poor, too old, and too…too…” She huffed, searching for the right words. “…too hard a man.”

“For you to manage, you mean.” Ella’s victorious smile stretched on her elfin face. “And he’s barely a few years past his thirtieth winter…not exactly ancient.” She winked, adding, “And I thought you liked hard men.”



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