Blurb: What harm could come from impersonating royalty?
After years on the road conning wealthy nobles out of their gold, Kiera is ready to give up her life of crime and return to her childhood home of Cearbhall. She’s got one last job in mind, one that will see her set for life. What harm could come from impersonating a country princess to marry a prince and live wealthily ever after? Except her childhood home is nothing like she remembered. The king has gone senile, his younger sons rule with terror, and the crown prince is missing. The prince she’s to wed is only interested in siring an heir, and her future brother-in-law wants to get into her skirts. Deciding the grifter’s life wasn’t so bad after all, Kiera plots her escape. Before she can steal away, she’s discovered and thrown into the dungeon with a crazed wolfborn to die.
Lachlan never thought that he'd see his childhood sweetheart once his wolfborn affliction set in. Nor did he expect to ever see daylight. Imprisoned in the dungeon since adolescence, his brothers have usurped the throne and trail evil in their wake. When Kiera lands in the dungeon with him, he recovers his will to put things right. Kiera may not remember him, but he remembers her, and Lachlan vows to save her from his brothers and their schemes.
“When is the last con, Brogan? Or am I going to have to start looking up distant relatives to take me in?”
Brogan frowned. “I don’t know,” he mumbled so quietly Kiera almost didn’t hear. “If we find the right mark…”
Now it was Kiera’s turn to roll her eyes. That was a phrase she’d heard before.
“We should go for someone higher up than these merchants.” His eyes lit up. “Someone like royalty.”
“What? Going after royalty is too dangerous. You can fool a crooked merchant out of some money, sure, but if you get the wrong family against you, it’s all over.”
“But why not hit one of the outlying
kingdoms? On the borderlands or the outskirts?” Brogan started to pace, smoothing a hand over his chin stubble. “One that doesn’t have ties to the inner royal families in the empire. One that has a lot of wealth but is still small.”
Kiera forced herself to remain perfectly still. There was only one such kingdom, and she hoped he wouldn't remember its name.
“Cearbhall?” Brogan smiled. “That’s what it was called, that little place where you grew up. Cearbhall would be perfect for an endeavor like that.” Brogan's gaze grew unfocused as he stared past her into the darkness of the library. He seemed to have forgotten that Kiera was in the room.
She gave a loud ahem to get his attention again.
“Right, Cearbhall.” He clapped his hands together. “You know what to do.”
Kiera folded her arms across her chest. “I don’t want you to go there and swindle those people out of anything. They are good people, and they don’t deserve a visit from you.”
A crooked smile tilted his lips. “Well, seeing as I’m the only one able to support this little twisted family we have here, I don’t see that you have much of a choice. I want a plan by tomorrow night. Have fun.”
“Are you scheming again?” Erann shouted from the door. She stood with her hands on her hips,
glaring in their direction, tapping her foot impatiently against the floor. “We haven’t even spent the profit from Lord Blackling’s folly, and you're already planning another job?”
“Come on, Mr. Fletcher, let’s go celebrate.” Brigid waved Kiera and Brogan both toward the exit.
“Kiera?” Brogan held out a hand.
Kiera shook her head. “You go ahead. I have some more work to do here.”
“Suit yourself.” He spun on his feet and sauntered back toward his friends. “I’m feeling lucky. Anyone up for a game of Twenty-one at Hit the Deck?” He draped an arm over Brigid and Erann’s shoulders and steered them out of the library. Phelan lingered only a moment, then left as well.
Reluctantly, Kiera headed down the aisle to put back the book she had just retrieved. Her private research would have to be put on hold for now in favor of finding information about the royal family of Cearbhall. She was pretty sure she remembered some of the histories, but she would need help to fill in the blanks. It was going to be another long night of research, notes, and black tea.
Buy Links: On Author Website: http://elleclouse.com/stealing-the-wolf-prince/
Author Bio: Elle has been writing fantasy and science fiction romance for years and an avid participant in the NaNoWriMo. Her first novel, Stealing the Wolf Prince, is a 2016 RONE Award finalist.
Elle is happily married to a martial arts instructor. She’s also the mother of two small boys and is constantly talking her husband out of adopting a new pet. She knits and stamps in her spare time as well as feeds a latte addiction.