Did I mention a completed trilogy makes a great Christmas present?
The Fall of Rain
By Renee Vincent
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Leif Dæganssen, an archeologist from Norway, is determined to trace back his Scandinavian roots as far as the Dark Ages and find proof of their existence on the Emerald Isle. After several years of living off the west coast of Ireland, he finally uncovers an ancient artifact—an intricately decorated chest with pagan carvings—buried beneath the very porch of his coastal cottage. Knowing it only confirms the presence of a glorified Norse-influenced settlement on Inis Mór, he’s determined to establish a link between himself and those who once inhabited the rugged isle.
For as long as she can remember, Lorraine O’Connor has had dreams of a Norse warrior kissing her. And even though she’s never fully understood the reason for her vivid subconscious imagination, she welcomes the meaningless and wanton pleasure of being in a Viking’s protective embrace—until the day she meets that brazen Northman on an impulsive vacation trip to Ireland.
Though blindsided by the relevance of her dreams and the strange familiarity of the man within them, Lorraine can’t help but feel a deep-seated intimacy toward Leif. And the more she gets to know him, the more she’s convinced they’ve shared a life together in a time long forgotten.
Are the clues to their ancestral past hidden within the contents of the chest or buried deep within their hearts?
Taking a deep breath, she unlocked the door and opened it, ready to burst through and make her way out. A brick wall of solid male chest stopped her. She looked up, stunned.
He looked her up and down. “You didn’t change?”
“I know. I decided there was no sense in it. I’d only get your clothes wet when I leave—”
“Leave?” he interrupted. “You’re not going anywhere at this hour. And it’s pouring.”
“I realize it’s raining, but this is Ireland and I’ve come dressed for the occasion,” she said, tugging on the collar of her raincoat.
He crossed his arms and leaned against the frame of the door, blocking her in. “I don’t think so, love. If I let you leave, it would tarnish my honor.”
“Indeed. To let a poor, lonely, injured beauty like yourself wander the craggy fields of the Erin in the middle of the night in the rain would not be very noble of me, now would it? Besides, I have enough fish searing in the kitchen for two. Hungry?”
Starving. But all she really heard was him calling her a beauty. Did he really think that or was he just being charming? She glanced over herself, nonchalantly. Don’t flatter yourself, Rain.
“I appreciate all that you’ve done for me, but I really must go.” She tried to sneak passed the wide berth of his body, but he didn’t budge. In fact, he stepped toward her, forcing her to take a few steps backward. His virile male scent surrounded her, just as his dominant presence did. She knew that scent, recognized it as if she’d drawn it in so many times before.
“Look,” he explained, his face taking on a softer façade despite the strict angles of his chiseled face. “I think you and I got off on the wrong foot. Somewhere between you falling on your face and you waking up in my home, a much needed pleasantry has been overlooked. How about we start over? Say with introductions?”
With a casual grace, he reached into the small closet door to the right, pulling out a fluffy white towel. Handing it forward, like a gift, he smiled and said, “My name is Leif. Leif Dæganssen. I’m an archeologist from—”
Both of their eyes lit up, but for different reasons. Lorraine had no idea where that came from, nor did she even know where Hladir was. For some reason, the name Dæganssen seemed terribly familiar to her and the word Hladir automatically fell from her lips.
Leif cocked his head. “Hladir hasn’t existed for close to eight hundred years, but its location is in the vicinity of Trondheim, which is where I’m originally from. How did you know that? Are you a historian or something?”
How did I know that? She stumbled again on her words, loathing the fact that every time she spoke to him, she sounded like a babbling idiot. “L-lucky guess?”
He didn’t buy it.
“Really, I have no idea where that came from.” She squeezed her eyes shut. “Right now, I have no idea where anything is coming from. I swear to you, I’m not crazy. I’m just a little ol’ Kentucky girl who feels about as lost as a needle in a hay stack.”
He held her by the arms now, his hands gripping gently above her elbows. “It’s all right. You don’t have to explain. I’ve seen my share of head injuries from collapsing castle ruins. It’s obvious you have a concussion and we’ll get you to a doctor in the morning. But for now, it’s best you stay put. I know you’re wary of spending the night in a stranger’s home, but there’s nothing the Man of Aran Cottage has to offer that I can’t. I have a spare room, complete with a working lock,” he added with wink. “I have a fireplace, hot running water, and a complimentary meal ready for the eating. I can’t promise the food is as good as Maura Wolfe’s, but it’s edible. So, what’s it to be?”
Did she actually have a choice? And how could she possibly turn him down? Everything sounded so inviting, especially the hot shower and food. Reluctantly, she accepted his offer, though she could practically hear Patrick’s rebuttal all the way from the States.
Leif flashed a smile, revealing a set of perfect, white teeth, parenthesized by deep, endearing laugh lines. “I’ll leave you to your shower then.” Bending slightly at the waist, as if in a noble bow, he backed out of the room.
“I’m Rain,” she spat hastily.
He froze at the door, his eyes piercing into her soul. “Excuse me?”
“My name is Lorraine O’Connor. But, my friends call me Rain.”
Another dazzling smile emerged across his alluring mouth. “Then Rain it is.”
He held her gaze for some time, as if he were turning her name over in his mind, testing the sound of it. If she had to come clean, she liked the sound of his name as well. It was distinctive, strong, and oh so Norse. It befit him well.
“Holler if you need anything else, Rain.”
As he closed the door, she stepped forward and placed a single hand upon it, feeling a sense of security behind the solid wood again. Though everything about him—his deep resonating voice, his husky scent, and his mesmerizing eyes—lingered in his absence, she heard the echo of Patrick’s voice, warning her. For no other reason than to satisfy Patrick, she reached down and turned the lock again.
About The Author:
I am an author with a passionate interest in Irish and Norse history. I live in the rolling hills of Kentucky with my husband and two children on a beautiful secluded farm of horses and hay fields.
When I am not writing, I love to spend my time on the back of a horse, whether with my family or with my friends. There is nothing like feeling the sunlight on your face, the wind in your hair, and the power of the animal beneath you as you enjoy the beautiful scenery. Seeing the world from a saddle is, by far, the best view and the best therapy for a heavy heart or a troubled mind. My therapist's name, or my horse's, rather, is "Statues Suddenly Lucky", a full-blooded Tennessee Walker, and of course, he goes by the name of Lucky for short.
I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee (lots of cream and sugar...and whipped cream if I can get my hands on it), great conversation, and a lilting Irish accent. I love to read and I can't resist watching great epic historical movies.