Verhan Tŭrryés of Black Mountain is a handful.
Freshly enlisted in the Highland Regiment, he does all he can to steer clear of responsibility and commitment. Just not his cup of mead, that. Loose of tongue and even looser of morals, he rarely misses an opportunity to get into trouble—and into the other archers’ knickers, too.
In a unit composed almost entirely of Dark Elves, Hernan Seinnés, with his green eyes and auburn hair, is an outsider. When Verhan, up the creek again, is blackmailed into helping Hernan, he never expects to fall for him. But during the long hours spent training Hernan for the Honour Guard, feelings strike the Highlander right in the heart—and with the force of an arrow.
Unversed in relationships, Verhan finally plucks up enough courage to tell Hernan how he feels, only to drive the Asirhwӱnian away instead. If Verhan can swallow his pride, he might get one last chance to show Hernan what he means to him—and maybe this time he can hit the mark.
Point of view:
First Person. All from Verhan’s POV.
While some of the shorts in the Order Universe are stand alone – Twenty-One Arrow Salute is one of several connected tales that should be read in order, starting with The Mutt.
Who knew a short story could be a slow burn? Kasia Bacon definitely pulled it off here. This is book 2.5 in the Order Series and features Verhan who is a secondary character in books 1&2. Told entirely from his POV it’s the story of Verhan falling in love with his archery trainee, Hernan.
I do wish a little less time was spent on Verhan’s previous exploits and reputation as master of one-night-stands and more on developing or even showing the relationship between himself and Hernan. Ultimately though, the story is more about Verhan’s transformation into a one-man-guy and it’s intriguing to witness. While there’s no consummation of their relationship in the story – Verhan’s constant thoughts about Hernan include enough steam that I wouldn’t necessarily consider this “closed door”.
It ends on an HFN and I’m hoping that Bacon will give readers more about them in the series finale, The Scouts.
About the author:
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.
You can connect with Kasia Bacon here:
My Favorite Quotes
That first time I touched him, my heart downright assailed my rib cage, beating out a rhythm violent enough to cause me internal damage. – Twenty-One Arrow Salute by @kasia_bb #MM #ShortStory #FantasyRomanceTweet
Damn, wasn’t my talent for innuendo a true gift from the gods? – Twenty-One Arrow Salute by @kasia_bb #MM #ShortStory #FantasyRomanceTweet
I anticipated hearing a loud crack because at that moment, I felt my heart break. – Twenty-One Arrow Salute by @kasia_bb #MM #ShortStory #FantasyRomanceTweet