My Lord Ax ePUB

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By Toni V. Sweeney

When the king of the Nords wishes to end the generations-old war with a marriage between his daughter and the Purdhan ruler’s son, Vicomte François faces a problem: His son is only seven years old. Then His Majesty comes up with a clever solution…

He betroths his illegitimate son and warlord, Ax, to the Nord King’s daughter, and peace is ensured…except for one minor detail...Neither Ax nor Princess Astrid want to get married, especially to each other.

Axel thinks his bride is a spoiled, pampered, and inconsiderate little chit. Astrid considers Axel a rude, crude, uncouth barbarian. She’s determined their marriage will never be consummated and so far, her trusty dagger has kept the randy young warlord at bay.

Fantasy Romance

Sensuality rating: 3

Cover Art by Blaise Kilgallen

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Author: Toni V. Sweeney
Description

Chapter 1 

“Gods, I’m sick of war!” François leSang, by the Grace of the Goddess vicomte-palatine of Purdha and All Lands South of the River Elf, said the words with a heartfelt vehemence. “Sick of leading my men to their deaths while killing others.”

“Sire, surely you jest,” his warlord protested. He glanced at the jeweled goblet his king held, assuring himself it was still almost full.

“Don’t worry,” Frans replied, following Axel Redhu’s gaze. “I’m not yet in my cups, and I vow I don’t jest. No insult to the God of War but if I never again lifted my sword against another man, I’d truly be happy.”

“Best not let your son hear that,” Axel cautioned, thinking of the seven-year-old who scampered through the castle corridors fighting imaginary dragons with his wooden sword, a child idolizing his father and wanting to be just like him.

“I fear I already have,” Frans said with just a trace of irony as he looked at the young man seated across from him. Even now, twenty-five years later, it was still the king’s bitter regret that he hadn’t rebelled when he was forbidden to marry Axel’s mother because she was a Nord, and therefore, One of the Enemy. “If only I’d been allowed to wed your mother.”

He seen the beautiful copper-haired girl at a Nordish fair, during one of those longed-for cease-fires, and she’d spied him at the same time. Neither had known the other’s identity but when they learned that he was the Purdhan vicomte-palatine’s son and she was a Norden noble’s daughter, it hadn’t mattered. They met, they loved, she got with child...but when Frans declared his intention to make Claudia Wulfsdotter his bride, both his father and the Triad of Counselors forbade it. As a result, the son of whom he was so proud, the one who should’ve been his heir, was a bastard. Axel Redhu carried royal blood from both his parents but could inherit from neither. So, in retaliation, and to assuage his own guilt, Frans made his bastard his warlord, the man who rode at his right hand when they fought the enemy, his dead beloved’s people.

“You mustn’t say that so loud, sir,” Axel cautioned. “Sometimes young ears may be where they aren’t expected.”

Both father and son were careful not to bandy about their relationship. Since, except for the color of his hair, Ax was the vicomte-palatine’s image, it wasn’t necessary for either to say anything. Most knew of it, including the royal princess Frans eventually married, but all made certain the child she’d borne, the Crown Prince, was as yet unaware. Some day the boy would learn, there was no way he wouldn’t. But for now, he was taught his half-brother was just his father’s military commander, and a man who took time out for a youngster wanting desperately to be a son in whom his father could take pride.

 

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