Table of Contents
PRAISE FOR JEAN JOHNSON AND THE SONS OF DESTINY
“Jean Johnson’s writing is fabulously fresh, thoroughly romantic, and wildly entertaining. Terrific—fast, sexy, charming, and utterly engaging. I loved it!”—Jayne Ann Krentz,
New York Times
“Cursed brothers, fated mates, prophecies, yum! A fresh new voice in fantasy romance, Jean Johnson spins an intriguing tale of destiny and magic.”—Robin D. Owens, RITA Award-winning author
“A must-read for those who enjoy fantasy and romance. I ... eagerly look forward to each of the other brothers’ stories. Jean Johnson can’t write them fast enough for me!”—
The Best Reviews
“[It] has everything—love, humor, danger, excitement, trickery, hope, and even sizzling hot ... sex.”—
“Enchantments, amusement, eight hunks, and one bewitching woman make for a fun romantic fantasy ... Humorous and magical ... [A] delightful charmer.”—
Midwest Book Review
“A paranormal adventure series that will appeal to fantasy and historical fans, plus time-travel lovers as well. Jean Johnson has created a mystical world of lessons taught, very much like the great folktales we love to hear over and over. It’s like
Alice in Wonderland
Knights of the Round Table
and you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next. Delightful entertainment ... An enchanting tale with old world charm,
will leave you dreaming of a sexy mage for yourself.”—
“An intriguing new fantasy romance series ... [A] unique combination of magic, time travel, and fantasy that will have readers looking toward the next book. Think
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
but add one more and give them magic, with curses and fantasy thrown in for fun. Cunning ... Creative ... Lovers of magic and fantasy will enjoy this fun, fresh, and very romantic offering.”
Time Travel Romance Writers
“The writing is sharp and witty and the story is charming. [Johnson] makes everything perfectly believable. She has created an enchanting situation and characters that are irascible at times and lovable at others. Jean Johnson ... is off to a flying start. She tells her story with a lively zest that transports a reader to the place of action. I can hardly wait for the next one. It is a must-read.”
Romance Reviews Today
“A fun story. I look forward to seeing how these alpha males find their soul mates in the remaining books.”—
The Eternal Night
“An intriguing world ... An enjoyable hero ... An enjoyable showcase for an inventive new author. Jean Johnson brings a welcome voice to the romance genre, and she’s assured of a warm welcome.”
The Romance Reader
“An intriguing and entertaining tale of another dimension ... It will be fun to see how the prophecy turns out for the rest of the brothers.”
Titles by Jean Johnson
The Sons of Destiny
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 2011 by Jean Johnson.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
SENSATION and the “B” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Berkley Sensation trade paperback edition / January 2011
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Johnson, Jean, 1972-
Finding destiny/Jean Johnson.—Berkley Sensation trade paperback ed.
eISBN : 978-1-101-47826-4
His tongue kept getting him into trouble. Eduor Aragol knew this, yet couldn’t seem to stop. When his elderly owner Midalla clutched at her chest and keeled over after a dust-induced coughing fit, only to be pronounced dead mere moments later by one of the caravan guards, the last thing he should have said aloud was, “—Thank the Gods!”
But he did, and he had. The heartfelt words had left his tongue without thought, and now he was stuck with the consequences of his carelessness. Despite the dust and sand filtering into the cave, brought in by the gusts of wind toying with the torches which struggled to provide them with some light, he could see the glare aimed at him from Midalla’s niece, Famiel.
!” the middle-aged woman snarled, her voice rising above the whistling of the sandstorm outside. Like the rest of them in the cave, she was wearing a scarf over her nose and mouth to filter out the dust of the sandstorm, but her eyes burned with her hatred. “My aunt was too
to you! She should’ve whipped you like your
Eduor felt his back muscles flinch in memory. He still bore some of the scars from his first half year of captivity. Midalla had bought him from a physically cruel owner simply because he had spoken in near-flawless Sundaran to a fellow merchant on her behalf, smoothing over an inadvertent, misspoken insult for her. Eduor’s father had encouraged him to learn a foreign language when he was young, and this desert kingdom still traded occasionally with both Mandare and Natallia. After witnessing his fluency firsthand, the elderly merchant had bartered for him. Once she owned him, she had given him extra lessons in the language and the laws and customs of this land, instead of extra whippings.
At first, it had seemed like a slice of heaven: lessons given to a mere war-slave instead of lashings. However, there were other things she had done, things the nearly seventy-year-old woman had demanded as soon as she found out what else his tongue could do besides speak Sundaran fluently. Things which had demeaned and tormented him worse than a lashing. Nothing physically damaging, but a mental and emotional torment all the same.
Watching Midalla’s niece searching brusquely around the cave until she finally found a riding quirt warned him that those days of nonphysical torment were over. He flinched again as she slashed the stiff, braided whip through the air, making it whistle almost as loud as the storm outside.
Famiel had taken advantage of him in many of the same ways her aunt had, and the thought of her whipping him on top of that other humiliation was unbearable. She was harder and more cruel than her now-deceased relative. He would not submit to her, even if it meant his death. Eduor balled up his fists, ready to fight.
“What you with that do, woman?” That came from the Arbran Knight in their midst, Sir Zeilas of some place up north. Catching Famiel by the wrist, the Knight frowned at her. He spoke Natallian poorly and with a thick northerner’s accent, his words further muffled by the linen tied over his lower face, but he did manage to make himself clear. “You
beat anyone in presence of me!”
Glaring, Famiel yanked on her arm, but he didn’t let go. She shoved her dark hair back with her free hand and glared at him. “Unhand me! You have no right to stop me. By right of inheritance, that Mandarite scum is now
to do with as I please, and I
beat the insolence out of him. Let
The Sundarans hired by Midalla to escort their trade caravan hesitated. A couple of them reached for their weapons, but no one drew a blade. Eduor felt his fear fade, replaced by burgeoning relief. Famiel’s words had triggered a memory, a precious piece of Sundaran law.
“Wrong,” he stated sharply. The dust in the air tickled his throat, seeping through the scrap of linen covering his own mouth, but he struggled to suppress it. Switching briefly to Sundaran, he ordered, “Stand down, guards, or be accounted an accessory to lawbreaking.”
Famiel blinked at him. “
” she demanded, still speaking in her native Natallian. “What do you mean, wrong? You are
, boy, and I’ll teach you to remember your place!”