The Celtic Knot by Shannon MacLeod
Sometimes, love lasts lifetimes.
Happily, at least ever after. Working as an insurance agent with her college sweetheart and longtime boyfriend, Lucas, she’ll eventually marry him and together they’ll take over the family agency. Then she and Lucas will start raising little insurance agents of their own. But something is missing…
At her best friend’s urging, she decides to do one last wild thing before committing her life to a future of policy endorsements–she takes a part time job reading tarot cards at a local Renaissance Faire theme park. Lucas is completely unimpressed and disdainful of her fascination with the mystical, but has no doubt she’ll settle down once they’re married. Enter Ian Kelly, mural painter, actor and…witch. He and Lily have a chance meeting at the park, and the attraction is immediate. They have a history…a lot of history. Several lifetimes of it, in fact, and their business together is unfinished.
All three have secrets, one of them deadly. Add in heaping helpings of magic, mayhem, Cuban sandwiches, one large Irish family and one very demanding feline for a story of love so strong, it’ll take more than one century to contain it.
CONTENT WARNING: Language, suggestive scenes.
A Lyrical Press Fantasy Romance
All rights reserved, Lyrical Press, Inc.
The evening got off to a slow start. Lily had been dying to explore a little when the park was open and a slow night seemed the perfect opportunity to meander the spider web of streets.
You’re looking for him, her little voice accused.
“No, I’m not,” she insisted, wandering down street after street. She was nearly at the opposite end of the park before she finally admitted to herself that yes, she was looking for him. And no, she hadn’t seen him. Damn. I wonder if…
“Can you tell us where the list field is?” Two college-aged men asked, snapping her out of her daydreams.
The pungent aroma of ale hit her as soon as they spoke. Wrinkling her nose in distaste, she pointed in the general direction of the center of the park. Having imparted the requested information, she continued on her path but it wasn’t long before she realized she was lost. Her current darkened location was the incomplete new section, closed to the public. I had no idea the Castle was this big, she thought, turning to go back the way she came.
Those same two young men followed her on unsteady legs, the taller of the two staring openly at the plunging neckline of her blouse. “Hey, fair maiden. Out here all by yourself?” the other leered.
Oh, this is bad. Really, really bad. Even if I scream, nobody’s going to hear me over the park noise, Lily berated herself. She fought the rising panic and kept her voice even. “Of course not,” she snapped.
As the men raised their gazes, no longer looking at her, but over her, their expressions changed. Muttering something unintelligible, they stumbled away in the opposite direction.
Weirdos, she thought, then whirled as someone cleared their throat quietly but deliberately behind her. Lily’s breath left her in a soft oomph as she crashed into a solid wall. No, not a wall. A hard, muscled chest clad in white linen…a leather doublet…the hawk and topped with…those beautiful green eyes. Oh, no, no, no.
“Good evening, milady.” The handsome man from the night before gave her a warm smile, a hint of amusement playing around his lips. Her knees quivered and he caught her elbows, his wrists just brushing the sides of her breasts in the process.
“Oooh!” Lily gasped at the intimate contact. Her face flooded with color when the quivering spread and consumed her entire body with the speed of wildfire.
“Are you all right?” he asked, his brows knitting together.
She couldn’t lift her voice above a whisper. “Uh…yes, milord,” she stammered.
The corners of his mouth definitely twitched that time. “’Twould appear you’ve wandered far and I can see you have no chaperone,” he said in deep, musical tones. “These are dangerous times, milady, and there are unscrupulous men about. If you are going back to your tent, might I have the honor of escorting you there?”
With a dazzling smile that set her heart to racing, he took her hand and placed it in the crook of his proffered arm. Drawing admiring glances from the crowd of park patrons, they moved together through the park and soon arrived at her tent. “Thank you,” she mumbled.
Taking her hand, he raised it to his lips and pressed a gentle kiss to her fingertips. “The pleasure was truly mine, milady,” he said in a husky voice. She turned to go into the tent but stopped short and whirled around before entering. “Wait, I didn’t get your…”
He was nowhere in sight.