Ariel's Locket by Chrsitine Young
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BLURB:: Ariel's Locket
Seeking revenge for crimes against his family, Misha Petrovich follows a path that leads straight to Ariel Cameron's boarding house in Mist Harbor, Oregon. A family heirloom in Ariel's possession leads Misha to believe she is guilty. The locket has been handed down to the oldest girl in the Petrovich family for generations. Ariel is innocent of wrong doing, but her father is not. Misha is torn by his feelings for Ariel and his need for restitution against her father. Knowing that the relationship between them is fragile, Misha does everything in his power to protect Ariel's father. His efforts are to no avail when her father is shot. Ariel comes to realize Misha's steadfast courage and determination to protect her and her father despite what has happened to his family. Ariel's love and devotion heals Misha's heart.
The Legend: Ariel's Locket
The Crimea, 1294
Light mysteriously broke from the eastern horizon. The dark silhouette of a man on horseback stood in bold relief. In one hand he held a saber, in the other a rose. He held both objects aloft, his arms stiff while his battle cry filled the air, the sound stark and terrifying.
The lone man remained on top of the hill but a moment and then, as if the delicate flower burned his hands, he threw the rose to the dry desert sands. When he turned his horse and rode away, the rose was trampled beneath the hooves of his stallion.
A breeze lifted the petals of the flower from the stem one at a time, leaving only the thorns behind. Clouds rolled in, thunder demanding its place next to the sheets of lightning that suddenly controlled the dawn.
Bone-weary from a hard day at sea, Misha trudged up the long mud-rutted road to the boarding house that sat on top a hill less than a mile outside Mist Harbor, Oregon. A thick, cold mist hovered close to the ground wetting everything: the rhododendrons that grew wild, the azaleas that lined the cement walkway to the front porch, and the saw grass that grew easily in the sandy soil. Misha paused a moment to push back a lock of hair that repeatedly fell across his brow and into his eyes.
The land was windswept and salt battered, yet he enjoyed the salt-taste of the air and the swooping sea birds as well as the playful sea animals. He loved the way the trees bent to the power of the wind and found a way to survive despite the brutality of the elements.
His purpose here was short lived, he reminded himself. He didn’t intend to find himself attached to these parts in any way.
He smelled of a hard days work. The lingering aroma of sweat and Chinook salmon filled his nostrils. It was not a scent he had any use for, but for the time being the job on the fishing boat gave him a reason for staying in the small coastal town. Right now he couldn’t wait to submerse himself in a hot bath, wash the stench from his body, and ease his stiff, strained muscles.
The sea had always been one of his favorite places. But fishing?
By God no, he’d just as soon relax and watch the sails billow on a clipper as the majestic ship rounded the horn or stand at the tiller with the wind whistling around him. He’d even rather battle a hurricane off the Bermudas.
Blending in with the people who lived in this small coastal village had been imperative.
The quest he’d undertaken had led him straight to Miss Ariel Cameron’s boarding house in Mist Harbor, and there the trail stopped. Thinking about Ariel set his nerves on edge.
Ariel was willow thin, femininely delicate, and hardly capable of the atrocities he’d set out to avenge less than a year ago. Yet the evidence he’d uncovered had sent him here, to her home. The name he’d followed had been her name. The men he’d followed had landed in Mist Harbor more than once, her father one of them.
He walked up the immaculately kept steps to the house and opened the door to the screened in porch.
"Misha," the captain boomed out a welcome. "Fine weather we’re havin’ now. Just right for the salmon runs."
The rocker squeaked as the captain moved back and forth in the wicker chair.
"Just right," Misha acknowledged and stepped through the next door to the parlor. A blast of heat met him as he nodded his head in polite recognition to the other borders. In a pale blue day dress, Ariel moved with a slight limp through the hallway and disappeared into one of the first floor rooms. Even though she seemed to favor one leg, the sway of her hips enticed all of Misha's senses.
He didn’t understand the feeling but in a way no other woman had touched him, she beckoned to him. Her amber colored eyes were wide and when she smiled, they glistened and shimmered, reminding him of the bronze mosques in Constantinople when the sun beat upon them. Miss Ariel Cameron was unique--unconventional--and she fascinated him. She was the key to his revenge as well as his salvation.
The Locket is a very exciting tale with a dramatic setting. Overall, this is a very entertaining story.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance