Title: Gryffon Hall
Author: Alexis Duran
Release Date: August 30th 2016
Genre: MM Romance, Fantasy
Born the useless fourth son of the Lord of Glimmerveen, Wryler dreams of getting married and escaping the rustic confines of his father's castle. A wealthy merchant's son seems to hold the key to Wryler's safe if somewhat dreary future. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger on the eve of Wryler's betrothal sends his plans into disarray and Wryler finds himself traded off in marriage to one of the most notorious rogues in the land.
Is Lord Aeric Rouchet the scoundrel he appears to be, or is he something much worse? Separated from his family and thrust into a strange and dangerous new life at the foreboding Gryffon Hall, Wryler must unravel the secret of his husband's shadowed life and defeat the curse which threatens not only his growing affection for the barbarian in his bed, but the lives of everyone the Lord of Gryffon Hall is sworn to protect.
A commotion at the wide doors served as a welcome distraction. Three large men had entered, shouting greetings and apologies for their lateness. The crowd parted and a footman cleared his throat.
“Lord Aeric Rouchet, Earl of Gryffon Hall!” he announced. The gasp and murmur that rippled through the room would have amused Wryler, if not for the fact that he couldn’t help gasping and murmuring along with the rest of them.
“What is he doing here? Shall we alert the guards?” he whispered into his father’s ear.
The music came to a squeaky halt as Aeric Rouchet stepped forward. Everyone gaped at the notorious barbarian from the west. The footman, who was no slight fellow, appeared diminutive next to the visiting lord. Rouchet could have picked him up with one hand and used him to clean the gristle from his teeth. Wryler blinked and told himself this was an illusion, a matter of false perspective, as Rouchet strode toward them, burgundy-colored hair blazing in the light of a hundred lanterns.
He walked right up to Wryler’s father. Wryler had a hard time not shrinking into the background.
“Greetings, Lord Glimmerveen! I thank you for your gracious invitation and apologize for our lateness. We were fallen upon by bandits on the road from Demmonvale.”
Another gasp went up from the listening crowd. Rouchet grinned. “Oh, it was no trouble for us to dispatch the motley crew, but it did slow us down. These two ugly brutes are my cousins, Krull of Dane’s Forge and Phynnias Ledderbrook.”
The two men stood on either side of Rouchet, forming an impressive wall of manhood. His cousins were broader than Rouchet, but he was the tallest. With Wryler’s spine as straight as he could make it, he stared directly into the hollow at the base of the man’s throat.
“Welcome, Lord Rouchet!” Wryler’s father said. “And welcome, Krull and Phynnias. As you can see, we have yet to sit down to the feast, so you’re right on time. I hope our humble fare at Glimmerveen is to your liking.”
“I hope so too,” Krull grumbled. “I’m starving.” He then remembered to bow slightly, taking the edge off his rudeness.
“Allow me to introduce my sons,” Wryler’s father continued. “My eldest, Thom. My second eldest, Edvard.” Thom and Edvard stood to their father’s left. As Lord Rouchet was an equal to Lord Glimmerveen, they were required to bow, but they did nothing to disguise the look of mistrust in their eyes. In this instance, Wryler couldn’t blame them. Why on earth had their father invited men from the wildlands, who barely respected the laws of the kingdom and were known for their plundering, to Glimmerveen Castle? And to a feast, no less?
“And this,” Lord Glimmerveen said, “is my youngest, Wryler.”
All eyes were on him. A burning heat crept up his neck and set his cheeks to blazing. He bowed smartly, and when he looked up, he found Rouchet grinning at him. The man had the deepest red hair Wryler had ever seen, and green eyes so bright they appeared lit from within. A thin, neat beard outlined Rouchet’s square jaw, and a noble, hooked nose made him resemble a bird of prey.
“Welcome to Glimmerveen Castle, Lord Rouchet,” Wryler said, amazed his voice didn’t quiver.
About the Author
Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She's worked in museums, finance, film production and for several performing arts organizations. Her favorite job so far has been inventorying the collection of a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night m/m fantasy series as well as several stand-alone romances. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference and First Runner Up from Love Romances Cafe. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is always working on the next novel and has several new ideas brewing at all times.
You can connect with Alexis at www.alexisduranblog.com, http://twitter.com/AlexisSDuran. http://www.facebook.com/alexis.duran.18294 and https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8332457.Alexis_Duran
Giveaway: Win a ebook copy of To Catch a Threeve by Alexis Duran and a $10 Loose ID gift card