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by Marie Harte
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Book five in the Storm Lords The final battle between Light and Dark is at hand, and only love can save them. They call him the Guardian of Storm and Killer of Shadow, a magic user more powerful than any Tanselm has ever seen. Yet for all his power, Arim Valens has let his nemesis and ex-lover, Lexa Van Nostren, slip through his grasp time and time again. For three hundred years Arim and his sexy Dark Lord have battled each other. Only one thing could bring them together. Tanselm--a magical land filled with riches, power, and an underlying sentience overflowing with love for creatures both Light and Dark. To save Tanselm from an encroaching evil, Arim will risk it all, and if it means working closely with Lexa, so much the better. Arim wars with his duty to the land and with his own perverse need to see to Lexa's safety, even knowing that the dangerous woman can take care of herself. Lexa won't surrender easily, no matter how much she needs him. And it will take all of his power and compassion to heal hurts both old and new, and to redeem himself in the eyes of the only woman he's ever truly loved.
eBook Publisher: Total-e-bound, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: December 2008
112 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [375 KB]
Reading time: 224-313 min.
Tanselm, two years ago
Tanselm's heart beat in time with the battered longing of lovers long parted. Light and Dark were the most basic components of life imbued in her chosen champion and the woman he'd once, and still, loved.
Some of her inhabitants had an inkling of what Tanselm truly was, but most lived in oblivion of the gift she'd given them. They walked on her grasses, cut down her trees and inhaled the sweet air tinged with the perfume of pretty pink leraffes, flowers that bloomed year round.
Tanselm was the earth that fed their flora, the stone with which they made their homes, and the waters which washed away their sins. Partial to neither Dark nor Light, she needed both in order to flourish. She was a land with sentience, and with the feminine need to bear fruit, both in nature and in her human children.
A thousand years ago the Dark Lords had ruled her. Blood spilled, wars were fought, and the Light Bringers took control. Gentler than the Dark Lords, they nevertheless devoured her magic as greedily as their enemies. Years passed and the divide between Light and Dark grew stronger. Shadows barely whispered over her lands, giving her little respite from a steady drain on her magic.
Recent battles for dominance over what she would have freely given hurt her greatly. She weakened more and more as Dark and Light continued to fight, yet she held out hope her champion would do what she needed him to. But he couldn't do it alone.
"Damnation. That I hadn't expected." Her champion gripped his sorcerer's staff tightly and stared in shock at a woman who suddenly appeared from out of nowhere. Tanselm couldn't contain her relief, and the wind sighed through the trees. Right now, in her fertile woods, Light and Dark fused between these two people who had the capacity for greatness if only they'd listen to their hearts.
Arim, her champion and sorcerer, a stubborn Light Bringer warrior. Lexa, a Dark Lord full of cold magic and a love needing to be let loose. Two pieces of a puzzle long forgotten, long denied their perfect fit.
Tanselm welled with love, feeling a kinship to the slight female and her connection to the Dark. Lexa called upon the Darkness Tanselm poured into her with undue haste. The land felt Lexa's joy and returned the sentiment whole-heartedly.
"My lucky day. The Guardian of Storm and Killer of Shadow. I'm humbled." Lexa snorted. As petite as Arim was large. Pale of skin where he was darkly tanned. Solitary as opposed to Arim and his family. Equals in every sense, if they'd let themselves just be.
"Light's breast. You have balls showing yourself here." Light arched from the stone atop Arim's staff to his free, upraised hand. He wore his power well, a sorcerer and warrior with strength to spare.
Yet Tanselm knew he'd felt her wavering strength these last centuries. She had tried, but she couldn't spare him all her pain.
"More balls than some," Lexa said with a sneer. She sounded harsh, but her feelings vibrated with passionate energy, a calling to her other half, the man she wanted to deny. Years ago Lexa and Arim had been inseparable, the answer to Tanselm's divide. Then innocent blood had tainted her grasses, destroying her tenuous solution to bridge the gap in the Spectrum. Arim and Lexa had fought. Lexa left. Arim remained. They both mourned.
Life moved on, yet it remained the same. Damaged, declining. Tanselm could feel the sense of loss in both her chosen saviours. To survive, they needed each other, whether they knew it or not.
"You come to me on my own lands. To what, apologise?" Arim sounded incredulous. "Still small-minded and cold-hearted, eh, Blue?"
Tanselm felt his scorn and Lexa's pain. The Dark Lord's blue eyes blazoned with power. Negative emotions gave her strength and Tanselm anticipated another battle, but this one the land encouraged.
Lexa reached deep inside herself and further into Tanselm. She thrust her hands forward, blue flame leaping from her fingertips towards Arim.
He absorbed the blow and remained standing. Ice encrusted his front and his skin turned blue with cold. He stood vulnerable, but Lexa didn't attack again. The part of her that still hoped waited, and Tanselm felt hope as well, that the woman and the man might come to some accord.
Then Arim melted the ice, tapped his staff, and shot Light straight at Lexa's heart. She narrowly avoided that blast and the next, and the two opponents danced around each other as if choreographed.
Tanselm hummed with pleasure as their energy tangled, combined and grew stronger. Beautiful. Wonderful. Healing.
"Why did you return?" Arim asked before hitting his Dark Lord squarely in the chest. He took her off her feet, and Tanselm felt Lexa's pain as her own. Arim frowned and took a step back. He doesn't know why he cannot press forward, and therein lies the problem. "You can't be here. This is sacred land. Why didn't Tanselm warn me of your coming?"
Because you would have prepared to destroy her. If he knew how often Lexa had visited since her 'banishment' several centuries ago, he might destroy Lexa in truth. Tanselm had masked Lexa's visits, welcoming the headstrong female's healing Darkness.
"The land did warn you," Lexa lied. "I felt it. But my energy combined with yours when I entered through the void." A truth, of sorts. Unlike most Dark and Light energy that cancelled each other out, Lexa's Dark and Arim's Light attracted one another. A perfect union, if only these stubborn humans would accept their appointed roles.
Lexa recovered while Arim experienced, once again, an unbidden lust for her, a distraction that cost him. She blasted him, stealing his breath, and kicked him to the ground. Her foot held him in place while he fought her powerful Dark magic.
"Your precious Storm Lords will die one by one when 'Sin Garu wins. A Dark Lord once again in charge of Tanselm. He'll kill everything you love, everything that is pure and Light in this land. And he'll do it because you aren't man enough to see the truth."
"In your fucking dreams." Arim fought her hold but Tanselm made no move to help him escape.