“First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons“
I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.
Year 687 Christian Era, Britannia, northeast coast
The sea bells were ringing. Caius, walking by the side of a shaggy pony who needed no leading this close to home, listened in wonder. The dunes were scattered with them—fragile purple flower heads the children called hare’s bells, dancing in the wind. Twenty summers ago, a child himself, Caius had heard them often. Then time had passed, and like all childhood songs, their music had vanished into the sounds of the world.
56% of 409
Fen’s smile brushed Cai’s cheek in the dark. “In fact I was thinking about you.”
Something shifted in Cai’s chest, a relief and pleasure so pure that it hurt. “Were you?”
“Yes. The moon casting her track across the sea like this… It seemed so strange to me that the waters divided us for so long, I had to come and look at them. Maybe there is an earthly bridge as well as the rainbow one into Valhalla. Maybe the moon creates it, and allows men’s souls to know one another before they meet in the flesh. Even… Even if they never do.”
Cai remembered the dream of the wolf, and he nodded. “Maybe,” he said hoarsely. “I rejoice that we did.”
“As do I. Even if I was trying to kill you at the time.”
You’re killing me now. Cai kept that thought to himself, his throat aching and burning.
His deadliest enemy will become his heart’s desire.
Caius doesn’t feel like much of a Christian. He loves his life of learning as a monk in the far-flung stronghold of Fara, but the hot warrior blood of his chieftain father flows in his veins. Heat soothed only in the arms of his sweet-natured friend and lover, Leof.
When Leof is killed during a Viking raid, Cai’s grieving heart thirsts for vengeance—and he has his chance with Fenrir, a wounded young Viking warrior left for dead. But instead of reaching for a weapon, Cai finds himself defying his abbot’s orders and using his healing skills to save Fen’s life.
At first, Fen repays Cai’s kindness by attacking every Christian within reach. But as time passes, Cai’s persistent goodness touches his heart. And Cai, who had thought he would never love again, feels the stirring of a profound new attraction.
Yet old loyalties call Fen back to his tribe and a relentless quest to find the ancient secret of Fara—a powerful talisman that could render the Vikings indestructible, and tear the two lovers’ bonds beyond healing.
Warning: contains battles, bloodshed, explicit M/M sex, and the proper Latin term for what lies beneath those cassocks.
My favorite Harper Fox book! The setting and premise are rarely seen in the MM genre. It’s a beautifully written novel, the kind where even if you don’t understand it half the time, you’re still swept away.
What first lines grabbed your attention this week?