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Unyielding (Highlands Forever Book 3)

Unyielding (Highlands Forever Book 3)

Author: Violetta Rand, Dragonblade Publishing

Category: Book

Status: Full

Read Online
Rating 10

Prologue Constantinople, 1459 Prince Kuresh hurried from his mother’s reception hall and rushed outside. An urgent message had arrived instructing him to meet his father in the courtyard of his mother’s white-washed palace. Only one time before had his father visited him in this manner, and the news had been tragic; his sister had died from fever. So, preparing himself for the worst, he prayed for his remaining seven brothers and sisters and paused at the top of the stairs leading down to the garden. The stairs were decorated with small tiles painted with dozens of colorful tulips, the symbol of his father and mother’s home. Theirs had been a love-match, a rare gift to Ottoman nobility. He breathed in the fragrant air, the mixture of roses, crocuses, and tulips in full bloom. High walls surrounded the private place used mostly for celebrations, where his mother and sisters could go uncovered and enjoy the heat of the sun. A wading pool and fountain graced the center of the courtyard, deep enough to sit in or to simply wade through on the hottest of days. A cool breeze ruffled his hair as he descended, finding his father, Lord Kalil, his two half-brothers, Cyrus and Naseem, and several advisors who accompanied his father everywhere, waiting. “Father.” Kuresh bowed. “I came as soon as I could.” The lord acknowledged him with a nod. “Fear not, I do not bring news of death.” Relieved, Kuresh relaxed a little. Why were his half-brothers there? And the advisors—they should not have been granted access to the inner sanctum of the harem. What if one of his sisters or his mother decided to go for a walk and these men saw them? The punishment for such an offense included the gouging out of eyes or death. Lord Kalil’s compound consisted of four palaces connected through an intricate system of courtyards and gardens and surrounded by a ten-foot wall. Each palace housed one of his father’s four wives and their children. Outsiders were forbidden. “Do you love me, my son?” his father asked. A strange question. Kuresh respected and even feared his father, but love him? The idea had never occurred to him. The emotion had never been fostered between them. “I honor you in all things,” Kuresh said, meaning it. As the first-born son of his father’s second but favorite wife, Kuresh had indeed benefitted from ...

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