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Novel Excerpt: Good as Gold by Heidi Wessman Kneale
As Good As Gold by Heidi Wessman Kneale
Sweet Fantasy Romance out now from The Wild Rose Press
About the Book:
Daywen Athalia wants love–true and lasting. Fearing a future of bitter loneliness, she seeks help from a gypsy woman. The price: a hundred pieces of gold. Daywen’s never had two shillings to rub together in her life. Where’s she going to find a hundred gold pieces?
Bel MacEuros made a career of theft from fey creatures. When the cursed gold he rightfully stole from a gnome is taken from him by Daywen, the consequences could bless or break his life.
It is not the gnome’s curse or a gypsy’s blessing but another magic, far deeper and more powerful, that will change their lives forever.
“And that is how I know your name is Daywen Athalia.”
A heat so strong Bel could feel it suffused her cheeks. “What?” she squeaked.
“And now you’ve put me in a quandary: what do I do with you?”
Daywen looked to the opening of the alleyway. If it wasn’t for the grip on her arm, Bel was sure she would have bolted. He didn’t want that. He really didn’t want that, but wasn’t sure why.
“You have put me in an awkward spot between several of my relations,” he explained. “When my mother learned you had stolen a hundred gold from me, she guessed rightly that you were seeking the faerie. Had she not told me, I would demand my hundred back from you, if not in coin, at least in trade–”
As he spoke these words, Daywen stiffened and she drew herself upright. “I am not that sort of woman!” She pulled against his grip like a panicked horse.
Bel pushed her up against the wall once more, this time her hands pressed between his chest and hers. “And if it had occurred to me–which I will not confess if it did or not–and I chose to sample your favors, that would not bode well between me and another relation of mine: my cousin. After all, isn’t he your sweetheart?”
Confusion wrinkled her brow. “Who’s your cousin?”
He didn’t expect that. Surely the lass knew who she loved. “Uhh, Lachlan…?”
“Oh,” she muttered, then realization dawned in her widening eyes. “Oh! Oh no…” She sank under his grip.
“So no, I won’t be taking a hunner’worth from you that way. I can’t even steal a kiss from you.” The words slipped out before he could stop them. She was pretty and wasn’t going anywhere for the moment. Is that why he wanted to kiss her? That itch in the back of his head nagged him. All he had to do was bend down and taste her lips…
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Heidi Wessman Kneale is an Australian author of moderate repute. By day, she wrangles computers as a way of supporting her educational and musical habits. By night she stares at the stars in the sky.