by Taylor Hobbs
As the Cloaked Shadow, Fawkes has made his career breaking into prisons for any contract with a large enough purse. He takes advantage of the kingdom's impending revolution by playing both sides of the conflict. Each rescue contract he fulfills turns a tidy profit until he angers the wrong duke.
Charlotte is a criminal-in-training who yearns to crack her mentor’s guarded façade, but is unprepared to confront the depths of his dark past. As her sense of right and wrong blurs, Charlotte discovers just how far she will go for the Cloaked Shadow and the sacrifices he requires.
Now hunted throughout the land, Fawkes must face long-buried secrets in order to survive, but they could destroy him. Charlotte risks everything, including her heart, to set Fawkes on the path to redemption.
Will Charlotte have the strength to pull Fawkes into the light, or will she follow him into the shadows?
“Please, whatever you are,” Henry begged, “don't hurt us. Please.”
There was no answer, but Charlotte heard the rustle of fabric and a felt a light breeze on her skin as the shadow whisked by her. She whirled around to face the cell across from Henry's. Through the haze of her torchlight circle, Charlotte watched as the shadow knelt down, freeing a hand holding a key from the depths of a long, black cloak. With the telltale rasp of iron on iron, the door to the other cell creaked open.
The stranger crept soundlessly inside, returning seconds later with a body slung over its shoulders. The body emitted a low groan, and the shadow lowered its burden to lean against the wall. With unexpected care, the shadow crouched over the emaciated prisoner and murmured softly to him.
Seeing this spark of humanity gave Charlotte the courage she needed. “Help us.” It was a statement, not a question.
The cloaked figure remained kneeling next to its charge, and a man's voice finally spoke in a low rumble. “But you have nothing to offer me.”
Charlotte hesitated at his unexpected statement, trying to decipher its meaning. “Free my brother, and you can have anything you want.”
AN INTERVIEW WITH TAYLOR
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always been a huge reader. One day I asked myself, “Why not me?” I had no real training or experience when I sat down to write my first novel. It was really more of an exercise to see if I could complete an entire story. It was grueling but fun, and my sense of accomplishment when I finished it was unparalleled. It was addicting and I knew I never wanted to stop. I just finished my fourth novel with no end in sight! Stories keep popping up in my brain that need to be written.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Go to Desmund’s cave and read all his books. I’m dying to know what other secrets his library holds.
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
Charlotte would tell me that she always wants to keep traveling and never settle down anywhere. She likes being able to pick up and move on a whim and keep the door to the entire world open.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Probably Fawkes. I would like to hear about all of his exploits as the Cloaked Shadow before Charlotte met him. The best stories would be while he was just starting out and making all kinds of mistakes!
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
Change the stakes, and instead of a duel make him play me in a drinking game! Ale pong, anyone?
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Probably the horror genre. I do enjoy a good Stephen King novel every once in a while, but I would scare myself spending months writing that type of story. I care too much about my characters to put them through anything gruesome.
Taylor Hobbs lives aboard a 38 ft sailboat named Story Time with her husband, baby girl, and dog. They are a military family and who love to travel, whether it is by sea or air. When she's not writing, Taylor enjoys doing yoga and planning her next adventure. You can keep up with their crazy life at cannonstocruising.com or follow on Twitter at @tayhobbit.
Cloaked is her debut novel and can be found at The Wild Rose Press.
Taylor Hobbs will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway