A Kiss From The Rose
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Samantha Reynolds
Word Count :47750
Publication Date :2011-06-19
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-55410-120-7
A Kiss from the Rose is a tale that proves true love never dies, no matter where our heart or soul takes us.
Diarmuid McNamarra, Fae Rose Prince of AAran, has two weeks to find the mortal woman who can save him. He must convince her to return to Faery with him to save his beloved land of AAran from the evil clutches of the Sea Witch. So he sets out to find this mysterious mortal woman who holds his future and his very life in the palm of her hand, never expecting to fall head over heels in love with her.
All Kayleigh McConnell ever wanted was to fall in love, settle down on her family's farm, grow her prized roses and live happily ever after. After a freak automobile kills her parents, her safe world falls apart. Her brother has turned sullen and violent and they are on the brink of losing the family farm. In the midst of turmoil and strife, Kayleigh has to make a life-changing decision.
Once upon a time, at the edge of Faery, there was a rose garden...
Hundreds of fragrant white roses in full bloom swayed in the soft spring air as she knelt in the heart of the rose bed.
Sturdy leather gloves protected her hands from sharp thorns, which drew blood if she was careless. A mangled straw hat perched atop her head. The frayed brim kept the bright southern sun from scorching her fair skin. An old oval wicker basket sat at her feet while she painstakingly gathered flowers for drying. These blooms would hang upside down in the house to perfume the air through the next winter. The roses had belonged to her mother, and had been her pride and joy. Now they were Kayleigh's.
The sounds of spring floated on the air around her; the buzzing of bees, a young mother robin's chirpy song to her young… The sweet, delicate aroma of roses meshed hauntingly with the smell of fresh, rich earth.
Scooting sideways on her knees, Kayleigh McConnell reached for the next bloom…and abruptly sat back on her heels, startled. A single bud of purest scarlet blazed in a sea of creamy white. She'd never heard of a rosebush changing color, not without creative grafting. This one bud had beaten the odds.
She took off her glove and reached out with a slender finger to trace the satiny velvet curve of the bloom. Perfect, the crimson bud was barely unfurled, and the petal curled over her finger. Her lips turned up into a smile, she murmured, "Aren't you the brave little soul?"
The kitchen's screen door slammed shut in the distance.
She sat up straight and sighed. She didn't want to fight with her brother today.
"Kayleigh? Where are you?" His voice sounded scratchy, obviously from smoking too many cigarettes.
"In the rose garden." Kayleigh waited with baited breath, wondering what kind of a mood he was in today. Personally, she was tired of all the guessing games and walking around on eggshells. All she wanted was to plant her flowers, fall in love, and have a family here at the edge of her mother's prized roses. Always, it had been what she wanted. And always, it seemed to be far beyond her reach.
Matthew slouched to the edge of the garden. His white shirt was wrinkled and hanging out of his dirty jeans. His eyes red and glassy in his pale and gaunt face; he wore his normal 'I-don't-care-what-you–think' attitude with stubborn pride.
Kayleigh bit her lip. At least he had taken a shower and had managed to fingercomb his blond hair today. One day he'll snap out of it.
He dropped his gaze and fiddled with the fragile branch of one of the rose bushes. "I don't know why you take care of these things. They're more trouble than they're worth." His words were laced with sarcasm and bitterness as he stared at the roses.
Kayleigh sighed softly. That bitterness hadn't always been there. When they were younger, they had never been happier than when taking care of the roses with their mother. Now he stared at them as though they were a reminder of everything he had lost. But that wasn't the fault of the roses. "Hush, Matthew. They can hear you."
He shook his head. "They're just flowers, Kay, they can't hear crap. I don't know why you bother."
She frowned up at him. "I bother because she loved them."
Matthew scowled down at the ground. "What the hell is this?" He reached out and grabbed the stem of the red bloom, twisting the slender branch in his strong fingers. It broke off in his hand.
Kayleigh reeled in shock. He'd destroyed the only red rose the garden had ever produced without thought or conscience. "Why did you do that?"
He threw the bloom to the ground and took a step back to stomp it into the dirt. "It was too perfect."
Too perfect? Her heart constricted as she watched the rosebud shatter under his heel. He would have never done that a year ago. Ever. A pang echoed in her heart for the lone bud that had struggled so hard.
He shrugged his massive shoulders and raked a hand through his hair. The dark circles under his eyes told her he still had trouble sleeping. "I'm going out. I don't know when I'll be back." Straightening his shoulders, he waited for her to respond.
She knew he expected her to argue, but she needed some peace. If his taking off and leaving the house gave her that peace, well, so be it. She put down the spade she had been using to mulch. "Where are you going?" She tried to keep her tone light and not too maternal.
He looked away. "I'm heading over to Jimmy's."
Jimmy. She ground her teeth. She couldn't stand him. He'd never done a decent day's work in his life. "Why do you hang out with him?"
He turned and his cold gaze caught hers in warning. "Don't start on me."
"Start? What did I say?" Kayleigh blinked up at him. Anything could set him off when he decided to go off on one of his tangents, and it looked like today was going to be one of those days.
"Do you have to work tonight?" he asked in a softer tone.
"No." Kayleigh pulled off both her gloves and tossed them in her rose basket. "I'm meeting Angela at Robbie's."
His lip curled sourly. "I don't like that place."
She raised her brow at him, her temper rising in answer to his tone and sarcasm crept into her voice. "I don't like Jimmy, but that hasn't stopped you. Has it?"
He flinched. "Whatever." He turned on his heel and marched off toward the driveway, heading for the old beat-up station wagon that had been their mother's. He jerked the car door open and got in. The door slammed shut and the car coughed to life. It turned sharply in a spray of gravel and sped down the drive, toward the main road.
She stood up and looked down at the lone red bloom crushed into the dirt at her feet. "I'm never going to escape this."