RomCon – Special Sneak Peek
Love romance and adventure? Here’s a special sneak peek at The Sword Dancer, the start of a new historical romance series set in Tang Dynasty China. Available May 21, 2013 in print and June 1, 2013 in ebook.
Thief-catcher Han was reclined in a wooden tub behind the screen. His legs were bent, pulling his knees above the water line. His eyes were closed, head rested back against the rim, and his hair was untied and loose about his face. The effect, combined with the fullness of his lips, was disturbingly sensual.
It had been two days since her escape and she’d managed to evade him while still remaining close. She had been tied up and tossed about too many times by this scoundrel. This time, she had him at her mercy.
Han didn’t open his eyes even as she stood over him. His breathing remained deep and relaxed. It must be wonderful to feel so confident in one’s skin. To feel so safe without fear perpetually hanging overhead.
A light mist hung in the air. Through it, Li Feng let her eyes roam over the bared contours of his chest and shoulders, confirming what she’d known from the few times they’d battled. Zheng Hao Han was made of hard, unyielding muscle. The dark line of a scar curved from below his collar bone to disappear over his shoulder. It was the remnant of a blow that had just missed his throat. She found herself wondering who had made the wound and with what weapon?
She had practiced fighting stances for thousands upon thousands of days, had been forced to defend herself many times with the knife and the sword, yet she’d never suffered serious injury. It reminded her that Han had knowledge that she didn’t; knowledge of fierce battles survived, and that she should never overlook that or underestimate him.
“A private bath, thief-catcher?” she remarked lightly.
His eyes snapped open and he started, sending a cascade of water splashing onto the floorboards.
“Wen Li Feng,” he choked out. His hand gripped the edge of the tub and his muscles tensed all up his arm and throughout his body.
There was something both vulnerable yet undeniably virile about the sight Han naked.
Her tongue cleaved to the roof of her mouth. She attributed the warmth creeping up the back of her neck to the steam that surrounded her, dampening her skin. Needless to say, she was no longer thinking about battle scars.
She worked to keep her gaze on his face. “Your work must be quite profitable.”
His breathing had quickened and he fought to regain his composure. “You should be careful of your reputation, Miss Wen. Everyone will assume you are here to provide me an intimate service.”
Men’s bodies weren’t unknown to her. Li Feng had lived in close quarters with other performers. She may have lost her first kiss along with her virginity recently, but even before that she’d simply never learned to be shy. Despite having had a lover in the past, it was still a shock to see Thief-catcher Han’s naked form.
The two of them had wrestled, fought, and had so much physical contact that now the sight of him unclothed completed the picture. Her knowledge of his body was nearly as intimate as a lover’s.
She moved to stand over him. All that shielded him from her view was a layer of bath water and the haze of steam. Neither the water nor the steam was clouded enough.
An unwelcome heat flooded her cheeks. She hoped it wasn’t accompanied by a blush that Han could see. Li Feng had chosen this particular location to confront him so she could finally have the thief-catcher at a disadvantage and she hated the thought of losing it.
“You should know that I can track you as easily as you can track me.”
Han made no effort to curl up his knees to hide that part of himself. “You are relying on my sense of modesty to prevent me from capturing you right now,” he said as he started to rise.
With a flick of her hand, she unsheathed the short sword hidden beneath her sleeve and pressed the tip to his chest. “I’m relying on this blade.”
His gaze remained on her, unflinching, but he did sink back into the tub. “Have you ever killed anyone, Miss Wen?”
She cocked her head. “You can be my first,” she said with a smile.
RT Book Reviews on The Sword Dancer:
“Take a passionate heroine, add an honorable hero bound by duty, a quest and a stolen cache of jewels and you have Lin’s riveting, fast-paced, lyrically written, sensual romance. Here’s a story filled with intriguing history and colorful details that also mesmerizes readers with a thrilling adventure. For those who crave a journey to a different place and time, Lin delivers.”