Shapes of Autumn: The Legend of Hannah and Eli
By Veronica Blade
Release date: Now available
A young werewolf must fight for her life to gain freedom, but her triumph could mean losing her only chance at happiness.
Hannah, a seventeen-year-old werewolf, would rather be a peasant and free than dripping in jewels and wife to the tyrant werewolf king. Running from him will get her hunted, and most likely killed, yet she formulates a plan.
Sneaking around the castle, she encounters Eli, a handsome blond shape-shifter and slave to the king. Drawn to Eli as a fellow captive, she admires his courage and honor — qualities rarely seen amongst her own kind. With him, Hannah finds rare moments of joy in the place she’s desperate to escape. Though she dreams of being with Eli forever, she knows he will never abandon his sister, another prisoner of the evil king.
Meeting in secret, Eli and Hannah’s bond deepens as he trains her to protect herself. When she discovers the king’s scheme to murder her after their wedding, Hannah must choose between a short life and brief happiness with Eli or freedom and a future without him.
I needed to make this excursion to the forest count.
After a check to make sure no guards lurked nearby, I jumped from the smithy window and raced toward the trees, moving faster than I ever had in my life. Once under the cover of the forest, I stood absolutely still and listened for any werewolves who might have followed me. There were none.
But something else was out there. I could sense its energy.
I spun, my heart pounding against my ribs, my stomach fluttering at the sight of the beautiful blond blacksmith standing a yard away.
His eyes narrowed as his gaze swept over me. “The bow, quiver and arrows… I believe they belong to me.”
My mouth dropped open. Why had I not been aware he was following me? A scent drifted to me, but I could not place it. Sweet with a hint of earth.
“I saw you leave the smithy.” He nodded toward the quiver slung over my shoulder. “My father made those for me when I was twelve and the arrows were carved by my hand. I would be most grateful if you would return them, milady.”
I glanced at the bow and quiver, unwilling to give them up. I needed them. “I regret I am unable to relinquish them, sir, but I shall be happy to compensate you for your trouble.”
His stance remained respectful with his head bowed, but his words were clipped. “My father’s gifts are not for sale.”
Letting the weapons go was not an option, though. As a werewolf, especially a born one, I had the advantage of strength against shape-shifters. Still, I did not want to take any chances. I raised my chin and angled my shoulder so he could not easily snatch the bow. “I shall do everything in my power to return your belongings once I have no use for them. I am afraid, sir, that is my only offer.”