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Christina's Tapestry
Book 1: Tapestries
by N.J. Walters

Buy From Smashwords

Captivated by a lush tapestry she sees in a shop window, Christina Beaumont impulsively buys it, never imagining how that one action will change her life. The magical tapestry not only transports her to a world that resembles medieval Earth, but also into the arms of two massive warriors who both want to claim her.

Jarek and Marc, brothers of the House of Garen, are elated to discover the tapestry has delivered Christina to them, but ancient tradition dictates that they must compete for the right to be her husband. Both separately and together, the two will indulge Christina in every sensual way possible, taking her to passionate heights beyond even her most intense fantasies.

As the time for Christina to choose between the two men draws near, she is confronted with another option: she can return to her own modern world. Fearing their loss, Jarek and Marc will join forces to convince Christina to stay with them, even as they fight a rival family for the right to keep her as their very own . . .

This is a revised edition of a previous published book.

"Filled with lush details and interesting characters, this is a sexy read with a heroine who's a strong woman with spirit"
4 Stars--RT Book Reviews

"CHRISTINA'S TAPESTRY is a steamy, fun read."
--Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction

"...hot and steamy throughout and had me glued to the magical pages..."
4 Stars--Stormy Vixens Book Reviews

Excerpt from Christina's Tapestry
©2005 and 2018 N.J. Walters

Her bed shook beneath her and she grumbled slightly. Her downstairs neighbor must be having another party. She scowled, but she could hear no music. Usually, he had his stereo cranked so high that the entire apartment trembled. Listening harder now, she heard the heavy clomp of footsteps that sounded remarkably like horse's hooves.

But that wasn't possible. She was on the fifth floor of her apartment building. Her neighbor must have a movie turned up loud. That would explain the strange noises and the slight vibration of her bed. Leather creaked and a horse whinnied. It sounded incredibly close now.

Christina opened one eye and frowned slightly when the only thing she could see was a large pair of leather boots in front of her face. It was then she became aware that her mattress was rather lumpy and that her pillow smelled suspiciously like fresh grass. She closed her eye tight, took a deep breath and then opened them both. But the picture remained the same no matter how many times she blinked.

"I must be dreaming again," she mumbled to herself.

"And here I thought I must be the one who was dreaming." The voice was deep, masculine and amused.

Tilting her head back, she followed the boots up over an incredibly long pair of muscular legs encased in a tight pair of leather pants. An open vest emphasized his lean waist, a six-pack of abs and an impossibly wide chest. Her eyes kept traveling upward, all the way to a face that took her breath away.

The man was gorgeous. His straight black hair disappeared behind his shoulders, but a thin braid came down on each side of his face, falling all the way to his waist. The braids framed a rough-hewn face with a prominent nose, thin lips and a high forehead. His eyes, a golden brown, blazed with desire as his gaze ran over her scantily clad form.

She sat up quickly and scuttled backward away from the giant in front of her. Her fingers dug into the moist ground beneath her. Twisting her head from side to side, she tried to get her bearings. Her bed was gone, her room was gone, and she certainly wasn't in her apartment.

Instead, she was sitting on the ground in the middle of a grassy field with a tall, thick forest surrounding her. Somewhere in the distance, a bird was twittering and a butterfly fluttered past her nose, coming to rest on a small patch of purple flowers on her right.

"Are you alone?" The giant frowned down at her and she swallowed back a scream, shaking her head. There was no way in hell she was telling this man that she was alone.

He took a step toward her and she scrambled to her feet, thrusting her hands out in front of her to ward him off. Her heart pounded in her chest and her entire body trembled with fear. True, he was the most gorgeous man she'd ever laid eyes on, but he was also a total stranger.

However, the longer she stared at him the more familiar he seemed.

He stopped immediately and his gaze softened. "There's no need to fear." He held one hand out to her and his voice became calm and almost hypnotic. "You cannot be out alone without protection. Come to me."

She almost took a step toward him. Almost.

Standing her ground, she glanced about for something she could use as a weapon. Anything. "Who are you?" If she could keep him talking, it might give her time to figure out what in the heck she should do. "Where am I?"

"I am Jarek of the House of Garen." He paused. "And you, little one, are on my land."

"Well, I don't know how I got here, Jarek of the House of whatever, but I'd sure as heck rather be home in bed." She remembered what she'd first thought when she opened her eyes, and suddenly everything began to make sense. "I'm dreaming, again."

His outfit looked familiar and it finally came to her why she felt she recognized him. Sizing up the man in front of her one more time, she suddenly decided that it wasn't such a bad dream to be having.

The look of hot lust in his eyes was not the kind she was used to seeing directed her way. Under his gaze her nipples pebbled into tight buds that pushed against the silk of her nightgown. Her body certainly remembered the pleasure he'd given her in her dream last night.

She licked her dry lips and stood a little taller, thrusting her breasts out slightly. If possible, the heat in Jarek's eyes grew more fiery. As she watched him, a very large bulge grew in the front of his breeches. A shiver of desire shot down her spine.

It was nice to have a name to put with one of the warriors from the tapestry. Jarek. She liked the sound of it, strong and solid and noble. "You're one of the warriors from the tapestry." She knew he had to be, but for some reason she wanted him to confirm that.

The lust in his eyes disappeared in a blink and a cold, hard gleam appeared there instead. "Tapestry?"

Bakra Bride
Book 2: Tapestries
by N.J. Walters

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After witnessing a gruesome murder, Jane Smith has watched her life crumble around her. Her only solace is the stunning and mysterious tapestry she discovered at a thrift store. When the image stitched into the tapestry magically comes to life one night, Jane finds herself transported to a mystical Medieval world, where two massive warriors declare their intentions to cater to her every sensual desire.

Zaren and Bador are stunned to realize that the prophecy of the tapestry has come true and brought Jane to them. The brothers willingly accept their duty to indulge her in every possible form of passion. But Jane's arrival has also attracted the attention of rival warriors, who will go to any lengths to steal her from the Bakra brothers and claim her as their own.

As Jane adjusts to this frightening but enthralling world, Zaren and Bador risk all to protect her--even as they use all their sexual skill, separately and together, to take her to unimagined sensual heights. Because the time for Jane to choose is drawing near, and the Bakra brothers must convince her to abandon her former life--and take one of them as her loving husband for all time . . .

This is a revised edition of a previous published book.

"...if you haven't had the opportunity to read her Tapestry books you have got to grab these up."
--Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction

"The plot is fast paced and full of excitement not only from the thrilling suspense of the spell of the Tapestry, but also from danger that others pose since they too want a bride. "
5 Stars--Stormy Vixens Book Reviews

Excerpt from Bakra Bride
©2006 and 2018 N.J. Walters

Laying her head down on the tapestry, Jane ran her finger over the fabric, tracing the intricate stitching that created a forest haven that seemed alive. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. She swore she could almost smell the heavy scent of flowers in the air and hear the buzz of the insects as they roamed from flower to flower. Water lapped against the shoreline and a bird sang from some nearby perch.

Frowning, she rubbed her palm over the tapestry. She didn't remember a lake in the picture, but a lake would be wonderful. The fish would breach and land back in the water with a splash. A smile curved up the corners of her mouth. That would be lovely.

She twitched her nose as something flicked it. The smell of violets filled her nostrils. The light, haunting scent was absolutely incredible. She brushed her hand over her cheek when something feathered lightly over it. She really didn't want to wake up, but when she felt it again, she slowly opened her eyes.

The light was bright in her eyes. Funny, she couldn't remember leaving a light on. Blinking, she brought the world around her into focus. She slammed her eyes shut and scrunched them tight, counting to ten before carefully opening them again. She definitely wasn't in her apartment.

A shuffling to her right made her turn her head. A huge male chest filled her line of vision. Swallowing hard, she looked up the tanned expanse of skin, along the strong column of his neck, until she found herself staring at the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen. His pale blue eyes ensnared her and she was afraid to blink, fearing he was a figment of her imagination and would disappear as quickly and quietly as he'd appeared.

Long blond hair trailed over his shoulders and a thin braid ran down on either side of his temples, framing his face. And what a face. His features were strong and his nose had a slight bump, indicating that it had been broken at some point in his life. There was a hint of arrogance in the tilt of his jaw and a sensual curve to his thin lips.

He was too good to be real. She closed her eyes and counted to ten once again. The sounds of the woods still rang in her ears, but this time it was joined by a masculine chuckle. "Where is your man?"

Her eyes popped open again. "What man?"

He gently stroked a purple violet over her cheek. That must have been what had awakened her earlier. She was charmed by the dainty flower being held so carefully in his massive hand. In fact, she was so enthralled, she almost missed his next words. "Surely a treasure like yourself is not alone?"

Nerves struck her suddenly. What the heck was she doing? She was lying here next to a complete stranger. And where the heck was she? She started to scoot away but found herself flat on her back with him leaning over her.

Bracing his arms on either side of her head, he threw one muscled thigh over her legs, caging her easily. The only thing to do was brazen it out. "Listen, mister. I don't know who you are or what's going on, but you'd better get off me." She was pleased that she sounded so tough and decisive. That was more like her.

Except he didn't look impressed at all. Instead, he looked quite amused. He wasn't smiling, but there was a distinct twinkle in his blue eyes. "I am Zaren of the House of Bakra and you are on my land."

"Well, you'll have to excuse me. I have no idea exactly where I am or how I got here or where exactly here is." She knew she was starting to babble, so she took a deep breath. Calm. It was important to remain calm. Although that seemed an impossible task with a gorgeous giant looming over her. The heat coming off his large body was amazing and she had to fight her inclination to just lean into it and absorb it. The man was a living, breathing female fantasy.


"Of course, this is only a dream," she muttered. It was too bad he wasn't real. But on the other hand, she didn't need to be afraid of a dream. "It"s another dream. Just like last night. You're one of the warriors." She didn't know why it had taken her this long to figure it out. Probably because it had been so dark in the other dream.

He stilled when she said the word dream, a visible tension surrounding him. "Dream?"

Reaching out, she patted his chest. Really, she couldn't resist a quick touch. Who knew when the dream might come to an end? "I fell asleep with the tapestry again."

He struck with the swiftness of a predator bringing down prey. Her hands were captured in one of his and extended over her head. He lowered his body over her as his head moved closer to hers. She was trapped, unable to budge an inch. The indulgent male was gone, replaced by the implacable warrior.

Woven Dreams
Book 3: Tapestries
by N.J. Walters

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Forever beaten and abused by her cruel brothers, Genita Craddock has only managed to endure it by escaping into the imaginary world of the tapestry she created, one that features her brothers' sworn enemies, the enigmatic Bakra brothers. But when she learns of her brothers' plans to marry her off to a ruthlessly and brutal clan, she knows she must flee. Stealing away into the night, she unknowingly stumbles onto Bakra land--and into a world of unimagined pleasure.

Scarred and maimed from a battle with the Craddock brothers, Jarmon Bakra knows chances are slim that he and his twin brother, Garrik, will find a bride. So the two are stunned when they discover a beautiful young woman wandering on their land--especially one so open to their amorous advances. As they indulge her in every imaginable form of sensual bliss, hoping to secure her as their own, they also sense that the woman is harboring a dark secret that could somehow harm them and their family.

As their erotic adventures capture Genita's heart as well as her body, she's torn about revealing her true identity, fearful that the brothers will reject her. And when they vow to avenge the wounds inflicted on her, she knows they'll face a battle more fearsome than any they've fought before. But with it would come the opportunity for Jarmon to even the score for his own injuries--and the chance for Genita to finally have the glorious life of love and passion she's always desired...

This is a revised edition of a previous published book.

"The Tapestry romance is an emotionally gripping, suspenseful and scorching hot read that captures readers' hearts."
5 Stars--Stormy Vixens Book Reviews

Excerpt from Woven Dreams
©2006 and 2018 N.J. Walters

"Stay away." She backed away, almost stumbling as her foot hit a rock.

He kept his voice as nonthreatening as possible. "You shouldn't be out here by yourself. It's not safe."

Her chin tilted upward. "I'm not on my own. My family is close by. If you leave now, I won't scream."

Garrik had to admire her courage. Closer now, he could see that her eyes were a deep velvet brown. A man could get lost in eyes like that. She was frightened, of that there was no doubt, but still she held her ground and faced him.

"There is no need to fear me." He took another step forward. "You're on Bakra land and I cannot leave you out here by yourself." He continued to move slowly forward, one step at a time.

Rather than being reassured, she paled even more at his words, swaying slightly. For a moment, he feared she might faint. She glanced to the right side, and as he moved in that direction, she jerked to the left, swooping down and coming up with a small dagger in her hand. "Leave me alone."

He shook his head. "I cannot."

Threads of Destiny
Book 4: Tapestries
by N.J. Walters

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When a magical tapestry brought a beautiful and loving bride into his brother's life, Marc Garen could not have been happier, even though he'd hoped to win her for himself. But lately his feelings of emptiness have threatened to overwhelm him, as their buoyant happiness is such a stark reminder of the loneliness that haunts his soul. Then a new tapestry appears and hurls him into a strange and violent world--and into the arms of a woman who has haunted his dreams and carries the promise of the love he so longs for.

Kathryn Piedmont is a brave and beautiful scientist, and she's put her own life at risk to save two men who were part of a scientific experiment and are now marked for death. As the three find themselves trapped and facing certain execution, Kathryn is convinced their fate is sealed--until Marc, the ruggedly handsome warrior of her fantasies, suddenly appears in the flesh and magically transports them to safety.

With all of them now safe in Marc's world, the three men in turn and together share Kathryn's bed, each of them intent on satisfying her every sensual need--and each of them compelled to try to make her his own. But Marc knows that Kathryn is the one woman who can quiet the powerful stirrings in his body and his heart, and he will take her to incredible heights of pleasure to claim her for himself and make her his own for all time...

This is a revised edition of a previous published book.

"...a WOW read! ...If you are looking for a fascinating look at love, sacrifice, fears, and triumphs in a fantastical world, add in some very steamy moments then THREADS OF DESTINY is the book for you."
--Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction

"The magical tapestry is once again uniting brides with their mates but this time things are quite different in this fantastical and thrilling time travel romance...readers can't help but enjoy the experience of reading this sinfully delicious and delightful romance."
5 Stars--Stormy Vixens Book Reviews

Excerpt from Theads of Destiny
©2009 and 2019 N.J. Walters

There was some activity just beyond the door and then a line of four men walked into the room, holding shields in front of them. General Caruthers stepped in behind them, followed by her father.

"The time has come to give yourselves up." The underlying glee in the General's voice made her shiver.

Turning to Tienan, she gripped his arm. "You promised me."

His eyes were sad as he leaned forward and kissed her softly on the lips. "I know. Turn around."

She knew he couldn't look into her eyes and kill her. Instead, she focused on Logan, blowing him a kiss. Her fingers dug into the leather strap of her purse. Tienan's hands tightened around her throat. She tensed and then forced herself to relax.

The General, realizing their intent, yelled, "Stop."

A brilliant light flashed in the room. For a second, Kathryn wondered if this wasn't what it felt like when you died. But the moment passed and she was still very much in this world. She blinked and half stood, unable to believe her eyes.

A giant of a man stood just beyond the door, a tapestry in one hand and a four-foot sword in the other.

"Kill the men. Spare the woman," the General ordered. "She's mine."

The man took in the room at a glance, his eyes widening when he saw her. Swiftly, he turned back to the threat and attacked. His great sword cut through the men like a hot knife through butter. As she watched, two bloody heads rolled toward the bed. Using the distraction to their advantage, both Tienan and Logan dove for the other weapons, bringing them up and firing. Both her father and the General dove through the door, but they weren't in time. She heard her father screaming in pain and the General yelling at him to shut up.

The stranger swung around and leapt over the bed, landing by her side. "You are unhurt?"

His accent was strange, but she understood him perfectly. "Yes." She raised her hands to his face. He seemed so familiar. She blinked, taking in his bare chest, the arm and wristbands and the long brown hair that fell down his back. "Marc?" This was impossible. Marc was nothing but a character from a book, a figment from her dreams.

He flashed her a grin. "Kathryn."

Embroidered Fantasies
Book 5: Tapestries
by N.J. Walters

Buy From Smashwords

With her abusive ex-husband safely behind bars, Roxanne Sykes is trying to carve out a quiet life for herself. Just as she's beginning to feel free to explore her new possibilities, word reaches her that her cruel ex has been released from prison. When he shows up at her door bent on destroying her, it's only through the magic of a well-loved tapestry that Roxanne is whisked away to safety--and into the world of a warrior she's known only from her fantasies.

Radnor Craddock has known only a life of violence and brutality at the hands of his older brothers. Now that they have fallen in battle, Radnor and his twin brother Sednar can finally put their house in order. Just as their efforts are bearing fruit, fate smiles upon them again by delivering a potential tapestry bride to their doorstep. Well aware of what they must do to win her hand and her heart, the brothers dedicate themselves to granting Roxanne every imaginable pleasure, driving her to sensual heights unlike any she has ever known.

With each new erotic encounter stirring a loving bond between the three, Roxanne is tempted to accept the promise of the tapestry and make a new life and new home with the brothers. But she has trusted before and been painfully wrong, and she's frightened by the whisperings of the brothers' violent past. Unsure of herself and threatened anew when her merciless ex finds his way to her once again, Roxanne must trust her heart as the brothers vow to protect her and destroy her ex--and to give her a life and love she had never dreamed possible...

This is a revised edition of a previous published book.

"N.J. Walter's is absolutely brilliant. I really enjoy these tapestry stories. ... This book is chalked full of hot guys, sex, love, violence, retribution, and above all sweetness. Who knows where the tapestry will go next and I for one plan to read about it."
5 Stars--Alison Pride, Cozy Couch Reviews

"EMBROIDERED FANTASIES is a fascinating look back into the tapestries world that author N.J. Walters has given her readers...The characters are well fleshed out and vivid descriptions of the castle and lands has you feeling as if you are there, easily visualizing this amazing world."
--Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction
Excerpt from Embroidered Fantasies
©2010 and 2019 N.J. Walters

She stilled, staring at the stranger, who'd made no move toward her, and noted a few things she hadn't before. He was wearing thick bronze bands around his biceps and his wrists. Leather pants molded the heavy muscles in his thighs. Brown leather boots covered his feet, rising almost all the way to his knees. But it was the huge sword strapped to his waist that caught her attention. How she'd missed it before now, she had no idea. The thing had to be at least four feet long.

"You're the mystery man from my dream," she blurted.

He frowned, his dark brows drawing together. He took a step toward her and she shifted away until her back struck something hard. She was in a stone room of some kind, sitting on several bales of straw or hay. Impossible.

"Dream?" He lowered himself slowly until he was sitting next to her. She was effectively caged in with nowhere to go. He lifted his hand toward her and she flinched in spite of her resolve to be brave. He hesitated, but didn't stop until his fingers cupped her jaw. "What dream?"

His voice was deep and compelling. Before she knew what she was doing, she was spilling the details. "You saved me from my ex-husband and then took me to a castle, and then..." Heat climbed up her cheeks and she knew she was blushing at the memory of what had happened, even though it had only been a dream. "This must be a dream too. Maybe I'm unconscious somewhere." She grabbed a piece of skin on her arm and pinched. Hard. "Ouch."

He sat back and his fingers drifted away from her face. "Why did you do that?" He seemed genuinely perplexed.

"Because I'm dreaming," she explained. "Michael was attacking me and I fell." She frowned. "Maybe I have a concussion or something," she muttered. She sensed her dream man growing impatient and hurried on. "You saved me from him the first time, so I guess my subconscious conjured you again. I blame it on the tapestry."

There was an immediate change in him. His entire body tensed, every muscle coiled and ready to react. Expectation filled the air around them. "What tapestry?"

Fabric of Fate
Book 6: Tapestries
by N.J. Walters

Buy From Smashwords

Having given everything to her career, Audrey Brennan is suddenly forced to confront how empty her life has become when an illness lands her at home for extended bed rest. But before she can take stock and figure out what to do next, a beautiful and magical tapestry whisks her away into the arms of two gloriously sensual warriors. Audrey's certain it was all just a dream brought on by her medication and exhaustion, but knowing she has denied herself too many pleasures, she decides to indulge herself in the fantasy for as long as it will last.

Abrah Dannon has all but given up hope of ever finding a loving bride, and when a magical tapestry delivers the kind and beautiful Audrey to him and his brother Heroc, he is torn between rejoicing and fearing that Audrey will leave. Because the rules of the tapestry are clear: if they wish to win her heart, he and Heroc will have three days to take Audrey to unimagined erotic heights and shower her with unquestioning devotion--or else lose her forever.

As the brothers devote themselves fully to winning Audrey body and soul, she finally comes to understand that both the men and the choice facing her are real. And with time running out, Audrey must decide whether to return to the unfulfilling life she once knew or give herself over to the promise of this strange new world filled with endless passion and enduring loveā€¦

This is a revised edition of a previous published book.

"N.J Walters is amazing. I really enjoy these tapestry books..."
5 Stars--Alison Pride, Cozy Couch Reviews

" FABRIC OF FATE is a fun romp with a lot of sensual pleasures, emotions that will break your heart and make you sigh in pleasure and relief, and the happily ever after that everyone deserves."
--Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction
Excerpt from Fabric of Fate
©2012 and 2019 N.J. Walters

Both men were stripped to the waist. Thick bands covered their forearms from their wrists to just below their elbows. Another wide band wrapped around their biceps. With their long hair flowing down their backs, they were wild and untamed. Sweat made their skin glisten as they circled one another in the center of the room.

But it was the heavy swords in their hands that held her spellbound. She'd seen Abrah take one from the wall when he'd stomped out of his room yesterday, but she'd never really imagined him actually using it. The darn things had to be at least four feet in length. And they were deadly sharp. Abrah brought his blade down toward Heroc. Audrey wanted to scream but was afraid to distract them. At the last second, Heroc raised his blade and Abrah's skated over it. Metal clashed and sparks flew.

She sank down on the bottom step and wrapped her arms around her legs at the shocking reminder of just how different this world was from her own. The skill and athleticism both men displayed while they fought was breathtaking, their movements fluid and quick, their swords an extension of their arms.

This was a wild and vastly untamed land. Heroc had mentioned something about being isolated so they didn't get many threats from others, but that didn't mean they didn't have to be prepared for attack.

She couldn't imagine the brutality of having to fight another man with a sword, what it would feel like to drive a blade into another man's body and watch him bleed to death. The cold from the stone leeched into her body and she shivered. This was a primitive world.

Strands of Love
Book 7: Tapestries
by N.J. Walters

Buy From Smashwords

Tied to the land in a way that only another Texan can understand, Samantha Calloway is facing mounting debts and a merciless drought as she struggles to save the farm that's been in her family for generations. Unwilling to surrender to an unscrupulous neighbor who offers her a way out, Samantha is left hoping for a miracle when she's stunned by the mysterious appearance of two hulking, otherworldly warriors on her land--men who stir an undeniable sensual desire in her.

Darian and Jace Hunter are deeply committed to the welfare of their expansive lands and all the people who rely on them, but privately they are also deeply saddened at the prospect of living out their lives without the blessing of a loving woman. They know well the stories of the magic tapestry that might bring them a bride, but they're still shocked when the tapestry appears--and mysteriously transports them to the world of the beautiful and sensitive Samantha.

As the brothers try to explain the promise of the tapestry to a skeptical Samantha, the trio are suddenly transported back to Javara, where Samantha soon learns that the brothers are as deeply dedicated to the land as she is--and also dedicated to unleashing the power of their passion to bring her to sexual heights she'd never imagined. And as she's confronted with a choice between returning to her home alone or forsaking it all for a chance at a loving life with Darian and Jace, they will stop at nothing to entice her with every glorious erotic pleasure and unquestioning devotion to win her heart and a lifetime of unending love...

This is a revised edition of a previous published book.

"This story is an excellent send off to this sensually fascinating and uniquely magical series. 'Strands of Love' is filed with an abundance of emotional turbulence and lots of stirring and scorching hot passion."
5 Stars--Stormy Vixens Book Reviews

"STRANDS OF LOVE is an amazing addition to the Tapestries series with an unexpected and fun twist. (...) STRANDS OF LOVE is an amazing addition to the Tapestries series with an unexpected and fun twist."
--Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction
Excerpt from Strands of Love
©2013 and 2019 N.J. Walters

Sam's heart was racing and her palms were sweating. What were these two enormous men doing in her fields? Both of them were tall, well over six feet. Their clothing was identical--leather pants, moccasin-style boots and open vests, which exposed a vast amount of tanned, muscled flesh. There wasn't an ounce of fat on either of them.

She wanted to swallow but dust and fear had made her mouth too dry. Two sets of pale blue eyes watched her. She felt like a mouse about to be pounced on by a hawk. Make that two hawks. Even their faces were hard and their jaws appeared to be hewn from granite.

The one who'd stood first had a skinny braid on either side of his face. Both had hair so blond it was almost white.

"I am called Jace." At least she had a name for the one with the braids. His nose had a slight bump in it, as though it had been broken at some point in his life. A white scar, about three inches long, bisected his left cheek.

Vikings. That's what they reminded her of. They were even wearing bronze arm- and wristbands. They looked as though they should be on the cover of a romance novel, much like the ones she kept under her bed. All they needed were swords to completely pull off the look.

"Jace what?" She was pleased with how calm her voice sounded. She slowly pulled her phone out of her back pocket and prayed she could get service from here. It wasn't always reliable.

"Hunter." It was the other man who spoke. He was slightly shorter than Jace, but no less intimidating. "My name is Darian. Darian Hunter."