This month my romances Searching for Sara and My Fair Princess are on sale for 99 cents on Kindle, Nook, and all formats at Smashwords.com. If you follow the link on the book image below, it will send you to the Book Page and all the eBook purchase links.
‘My Fair Princess’, fantasy romance.
He glanced up at her. “Hm?”
“Why did you want to be mayor of O’Neill?” Shamus swiped up another blade of grass. As Nia noticed before, he didn’t look the least bit comfortable talking about himself. “I truly want to know. It is an amazing responsibility, and you have done such wonderful things.”
He cleared his throat again, ears reddening so completely she considered dousing him with water. Nia couldn’t understand why he exhibited such an apparent reluctance to speak of this accomplishment.
“I, erm. . . .” Shamus tossed away the grass, though he immediately plucked another. “These are good people,” he said, so quiet that Nia strained to hear him. “I wanted them to have a better life than what they’d had.”
“At the age of twenty? Weren’t you still learning from your father?”
“The O’Neill’s put us on our own early,” he confessed with a quick glance her direction. “I’d basically been responsible for father’s ranch since I was twelve.”
“Heavens! At so young an age?”
Shamus’s shoulders lifted. “It taught me a lot of things.”
“But did you have the chance to be a child?”
“Sure. After chores and before bed.” He peeked at her. “I didn’t mind all that much.”
“With such responsibilities, how did you remain so . . . so . . . kindhearted?”
He laughed. “Responsibilities don’t make a person mean. That’s a choice.”
“Yes, I suppose you are right.” She held his gaze until his retreated. “So, you wanted to be completely independent then? Was that why you became mayor? To prove something to your family even?”
Shamus blinked at her. “Prove something?”
“I believe you wanted to prove O’Neill could be successful without using fear.”
He held her gaze for such a long moment she felt certain he wanted to speak . . . and then his gaze dropped to the grass teased by her single finger.
Nia smiled. “I am proud of you, Shamus O’Neill.” She clasped his hand, stroking it with her thumb. “It takes courage to stand up to a tradition, and not many people want to be bothered with such. Good for you.”
“I would’ve done it sooner if I knew I’d have got you for a wife.”
“Shamus O’Neill,” she laughed, “you speak such sweet talk.”
He continued to smile at her, and a flow of warmth advanced to her cheeks with a touch of surprise. She liked his attention. In fact, his eagerness to bestow it made her feel . . . relief. Foolish, really, as she should not have doubted a growing friendship. From the moment she met him there had been a connection. Much as she and Dray when they first met—
Shamus lowered his focus to their clasped hands, his features somewhat taut. She gave his hand a squeeze. “Why, Shay, what is wrong?”
“Nothing. I just . . .” He cleared away the roughness in his voice. “Can I kiss your hand?”
Nia’s mouth gaped. Men generally helped themselves, much as any person voluntarily pet a dog or cat. She intercepted his hesitant glance. “Yes, Shay. Yes, you can.”
The kiss was feather-light, the caress of lips upon hand causing a tingle from toe to wingtip. Nia smiled at him, enjoying the soft stroke of his thumb. Yes. She liked Shamus O’Neill very much. It would be easy to care deeply for him when he treated her with such deference.