QSFer Antonia Aquilante has a new MM fantasy romance out:
Savarin, the most powerful sorcerer in Tournai, has honed his Talent through years of study and made magic his life. Among the wealthy and noble circles he moves in, no one would suspect the handsome, refined, and arrogant sorcerer’s humble beginnings, which is how Savarin prefers it. Tournai’s princes task Savarin with studying and strengthening the spells that protect the principality from magical attack. They are complex, centuries old, and exactly the type of puzzle Savarin is eager to solve. To his annoyance, the princes insist Loriot accompanies him.
Loriot worked his way up the ranks of the royal guard to captain and takes pride in his service. He must obey the princes’ orders to protect Savarin, despite believing his skills would be best used elsewhere. And despite his wariness of magic. UnTalented himself, he has learned not only the benefits of magic but also its potential for harm—and how to counter it. Loriot and Savarin clash during their journey, but there’s another reason for the tension between them, and passion develops into feelings neither expected. But Savarin must still fortify Tournai’s magical barrier, and his only solution endangers both him and the royal family.
The Chronicles of Tournai Book Four
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When they arrived, Lord Etan rapped on the door to the princes’ private study before opening it. Savarin followed him into the room. He liked this study. There was another office, a far more formal room, that the princes used for the majority of their meetings with others. Savarin knew he’d achieved some level of trust when Prince Philip began meeting with him in this room and not the more formal one.
When he entered the room, Prince Philip was leaning over the shoulder of his husband, Prince Amory, who sat at his desk with a sheaf of papers in front of him. The two men were quite different in appearance— Prince Philip with the look of the royal family in his stature and dark hair, and Prince Amory slightly shorter and more delicate with his auburn hair and pale ivory skin. Savarin had thought him beautiful the first time he’d seen him and had no trouble seeing what attracted Prince Philip to him, even if Prince Amory’s appearance wasn’t Savarin’s usual type. He’d seen quickly that the differences in the two men meshed well, making them a formidable pair and very much in love.
As the princes looked up, Savarin bowed to them. He straightened only when Prince Philip spoke. “Good afternoon, Master Savarin.”
“Good afternoon, Your Highness.”
“Please, sit,” Prince Amory said, gesturing to a chair in front of the study’s desks as Prince Philip returned to the chair behind his own desk.
“Thank you, Your Highness.” Savarin settled himself in the chair Prince Amory indicated. Lord Etan took the one beside it.
“Etan has told us about your project, of course,” Prince Philip said. “Tell us what progress you’ve made.”
Savarin had brought his concerns about the changes in the protections surrounding Tournai to Lord Etan originally because of anyone he might have brought the matter to—the princes, Duke Cathal, Lord Etan—Lord Etan was the one with the most chance of understanding his interest and his concern. Lord Etan was a scholar himself, probably more of a scholar than Savarin was, and one that had a keen interest in the history, legends, and magic of Tournai. He was well aware that Lord Etan would inform the princes and would therefore have to explain what the problem was to the princes as well. Prince Philip and Prince Amory were not stupid men by any stretch of the imagination, but Savarin still didn’t want to have to explain magical matters to them if he didn’t have to.
“Yes, Your Highness.” He summarized his efforts at research, though it galled him that they hadn’t amounted to much information at all. Only a pile of speculation. If something useful lurked within it, he hadn’t been able to discern it yet. “My travels were slightly more fruitful, at least with gathering information about what condition the protections are in.”
“What did you find?” Prince Philip asked.
“I traveled the majority of our eastern border with Elleri before I had to return to Jumelle. From what I’ve seen, the barrier formed by the protections follows the border, or at least it does in that area. I did find spots where it seemed weaker.”
“Weaker how?” Prince Amory asked.
He fumbled for a moment to find the words to explain it to someone with no training in sorcery. He might have struggled to explain it to someone with training as well—the protections didn’t behave like any others he had ever seen. “Think of the protections surrounding Tournai as a barrier, a thin but strong wall, Your Highness. In a couple of spots, the wall has gotten thinner, weaker. As if someone has been pushing at it, wearing it away.”
“Trying to get through it,” Lord Etan murmured.
Savarin hesitated, then nodded.
Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.
She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.