The subtitle for this blog post could be "See, romance writers can be literary too!"
Seducing the Hermit is my retelling of one of the Grail myths, specifically, the myth of the Fisher King. There are a number of different versions of this tale. Here's the one I remember:
During the quest to find the Holy Grail, Sir Percival, one of the most innocent and pure of King Arthur's knights, enters an enchanted wood and gives his horse its head, that is, allows the animal to roam freely to pick its way through the wood. He enters a waste land in which nothing grows. Within the Waste Land is a lake with a castle nearby. On the lake is a boat with a man fishing--the Fisher King.
The king rows to shore and invites Percival to stay at his castle as long as he likes. Percival notices that the king is wounded but does not dare to ask about the crippling wound to the groin, which he learns has rendered the king impotent. Such a question would be intrusive and rude, and Percival has been taught not to pry.
The feast is lavish and the companionship merry, but when Percival awakens the next morning, everyone is gone. The next evening again brings another party, but again, the next morning the castle is deserted and lonely in its Waste Land.
Finally Sir Percival asks the Fisher King "What troubles you?"
And the king is healed, as is the land, for the land is a reflection of its king's infertility.
I'll let you read the book to find out what Valerie learns. In the meantime, here's a snippet to pique your interest in Val and Fisher's romance.
Fisher pulled her tight against him, and their hips met with a sudden, sharp bang that presaged what Valerie hoped would happen. His cock was a long, thick ridge against her mound, and he ground his pelvis from side to side, rubbing that heavenly bulge against her. She bent one knee and raised it high, wrapping her leg around his waist, opening herself so he’d hit the sweetest spot. Each push of his rod against her clit took her higher, made her hotter.
She tore her mouth away from his and panted for breath, seeking control of herself. She didn’t know him well enough to let herself completely lose her head, and it wasn’t smart to fall into lust with the first man she’d laid eyes on in her new home.
“Isn’t this the kind of help you had in mind?” Fisher’s eyes were languorous, his beautifully sculpted mouth half-open, wet, seductive.
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