Release Blitz: One Knight by Ines Johnson

Title: One Knight 
Author: Ines Johnson 
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Series: The Knights of Caerleon Book 2





Sir Lancelot will make you swoon in this steamy, modern-day adventure of valiant knights, sassy witches and the death of chivalry!
 
Lance has loved Lady Gwin for a hundred years. Though he’s the best knight in Camelot, his low birth ensured that she was beyond his suit, and so she was promised to another. But when Lance and Gwin’s lips accidentally meet, Lance flees Camelot, rushing into battle recklessly to avoid conquering the one quest he’s never completed: having the noble Lady Gwin in his arms.
 
Lady Gwin has been living a lie for a hundred years. Her arranged marriage linked two powerful families, ensuring her place among her people—but her vows were never consummated, and the union to a treasonous wizard is a sham. Now, she’s ready to tell the world the truth, starting with the man who captured her heart just before her wedding day. But when a stolen kiss sends Lance running unprepared into a dangerous mission, Gwin is determined to save him.
 
Though forbidden love has drawn them together, the pressures of society and the pursuit of a deadly enemy threaten to tear Lance and Gwin apart. In a place as steeped in ancient tradition and duty as Camelot, following their hearts could spell disaster.

One Knight is the second book in a series of modern-day retellings of the myths and lore of Camelot. If you like fierce knights who would lay down their lives for their brothers and lose their hearts for their women, then you’ll love the Knights of Caerleon.





She would not have noticed him except his hair. It was such a vivid and bold color of red that it invited the eyes to stare. And stare she did. At more than just his hair.
Gwin had seen many fine men in the town; knights, warriors, even princes, and kings came to visit. Many were handsome and well-put together. But there was something different about this boy, no man. His shoulders looked broader than any others. His forearms looked more muscled; his chin more square.
She spied powerful thighs at the edge of his plaid. Thick, bulging muscles that rivaled a horse’s flank. She wondered what it would feel like to mount and ride his rump.
Her cheeks reddened at her lewd thoughts. Such an idea had never once entered her mind. Gwin lifted her gaze and met his eyes.
Such a shock of blue that she’d only seen one time before… on the face of Sir Lancelot, the second of his name. 
Perhaps this young man was a distant cousin? If so, Gwin wondered why she’d never seen him before? Sir Lancelot had no sons of his own, and would likely not have any anytime soon. His dear wife had been in sickbed for much of the last decade with a disease that Gwin’s magic couldn’t heal.
Gwin continued gazing into the red-headed man’s blue eyes until she realized, the reason she saw them so clearly was because he was staring back at her. Embarrassment stormed over her, but she couldn’t look away. It was as though his eyes held her in place. He smiled at her like no man had ever smiled. 
Gwin’s cheeks heated. The heat broke the spell, and Gwin gasped. Was he a wizard? 
Gwin shrank back into the woods. She should’ve gone to Merlin, to see if her fiancé needed any tending, but he had color in his cheeks today. And it looked like it was only a minor cough. If he needed her, he’d certainly say so. Loud and clear enough for everyone to hear it and send someone to find her.
That was mean of her. She didn’t begrudge Merlin. She didn’t know what it was like to be ill. It had to be hard for him. 
She knew he wanted to be strong and able like his father and younger brother. It was a blow to Merlin when Excalibur chose Arthur. But Merlin’s magic wracked his body far too much for him to lift a sword most days.
They’d discovered that Gwin’s magic soothed the savage magic inside him. They’d discovered this when she’d come over to him as a child and touched him. She and Merlin had been in each other’s company ever since. It was inevitable that they would get married.
She cared very much for Merlin. She was sure that care would turn to love one day. Perhaps not blinding and all-consuming passion as other ladies spoke of or what she read in novels. What she had with Merlin was familiar. And it was nice to be needed and appreciated and-
Oof!
Gwin tripped over a tree root having not looked at where she was going. The hem of her dress got tangled, and she couldn’t maintain her balance. There was no time to cast a spell to right herself. She was falling to the ground. Gwin reached out her hands to protect herself. But there was no impact.
She was caught in a hug. A hug that was warmer than Lady Merylin’s. A tight embrace that made her feel safe and secure. Gwin’s instinct was to cling to this feeling and stay in the space forever.
“Are you all right, lass?”
The deep voice startled Gwin. She lifted her hands and shot witch fire. The red-haired boy took a direct hit on his arm and went down. She also went down as he had been holding her, keeping her from falling.
Gwin scrambled to her knees and crawled over to him. “I’m so sorry,” she said when she reached him. “You startled me.”
His eyes were closed. They opened slowly, focusing on her. She had the occasion to watch that unique blue clear and come into focus. She felt like she was watching magic unfold.
Gwin felt something ignite down in the depths of her soul, deep in her gut where her magic lived. Her heartbeat sped up, pounding against her chest cavity so loudly that it rattled her rib cage. Her mouth filled with desire, and she had to swallow it down once, twice. Even with her throat clear, she still couldn’t find her voice.
“Hello,” he said.
“Hello,” she said.
They continued to stare, blue eyes latched on blue. Gwin didn’t understand the fog happening in her head. She felt as though magnets were growing between them. Not the polar opposite charges Morgan had shown her. It felt like they were the same charge fighting to get closer and make a connection.
“Are you a wizard?” she asked.
He smiled and it dazzled her. “No. I’m a bastard.”
Gwin gasped at the use of the foul language. “That’s not a proper word.”
“My apologies,” his Scottish accent was thick on his tongue. “I suppose I shouldn’t say that to a lady. But I have not been around many ladies to know better. Still, that improper word is what I am. My father lay with my mother while he was wed to another.”
She knew such things happened, but not often in Camelot. His father must be of a line that lived outside a magical town that was on the ley lines that spanned the world.
Though his birth was dubious, that made him no less of an equal. At least not in her view. Her mother would definitely believe differently.
“The circumstances of your birth do not dictate the path of your life,” she said to him. “Only you can do that.”
He stared at her for a moment before saying, “Here, let me help you up.”
She hadn’t noticed that they were both still crouched down on the ground. She was leaning over him as he lay on his back. The position wasn’t proper, but it had felt so right being this near him that Gwin hadn’t noticed the impropriety. 
Gwin straightened, coming first to her knees. The young man made to sit up but winced. There was a red mark on his arm where her witch fire had hit him.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “I can heal that.”
She reached out to his arm. She pulled from the well of magic that lived inside of her. There was plenty of herself to give, she didn’t need to tap into the ley energy that ran beneath the entire town.
His face lit in wonder as he watched her. His eyes stayed fastened on her face, not on what she was doing. Warmth flooded her as she touched his skin. She didn’t want to pull away from the sensation. She wanted to get closer to it.
“Do you feel that?” he asked.
“Feel what?” But she knew exactly what he was talking about. As she pulled on her magic, something else pushed its way into her being. The sensation pooled in her heart.
“It feels like the world coming into focus and making sense for the first time.” His eyes dipped to her lips. 
It was like a tale out of a fairy story or a romance novel. It was what she’d always imagined falling in love would feel like. The moment was so ripe for a kiss. And then it all fell apart. 
“You bastard.”
One moment, Gwin had seen her life laid out before her. So clear, so perfect, so right. The next moment, that feeling was yanked away from her as the man, whose name she still didn’t know, was wrenched from her. 
It was the worst feeling, having her destiny stripped from her. Gwin looked up to see Sir Lancelot. His face inflamed a deeper shade of red than his hair. 
“I knew I shouldn’t have brought you here, you ingrate.” Sir Lancelot was so angry that spittle collected at the sides of his mouth.
The young man who was his mirror image from younger days scrambled to his feet. His head had been high, even when he’d called himself that foul word. Now it hung low at hearing it hurled from another. “Nothing happened father-”
“Don’t you dare call me that. You’re nothing but a by-blow. And now I catch you taking advantage of a lady.”
“He didn’t take advantage,” said Gwin. “He was wounded. I was healing him.”
“He’s beneath your notice, my lady,” said Sir Lancelot. “If I could smite out his existence with this sword, I would”
Sir Lancelot raised the blade as though to strike. The young man didn’t cower. He stood tall and proud, ready to take his punishment. But Sir Lancelot was having trouble moving the sword.
The elder knight’s eyes widened, going from his son to the sword. Sir Lancelot struggled as though he were trying to hang on to the blade, not slice it downward.
“No,” growled Sir Lancelot, now using both hands to hang onto his blade. “Not him.”
The sword didn’t listen to its former master; as magical swords were wont to do when their former master’s time was up. The sword slipped from Sir Lancelot’s grip and hovered before his son.

Lover of fairytales, folklore, and mythology, Ines Johnson spends her days reimagining the stories of old in a modern world. She writes books where damsels cause the distress, princesses wield swords, and moms save the world.



Twitter: @ineswrites

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