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ONCE AND FUTURE HEARTS BOX TWO by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Once and Future Hearts. Book 6.5

Historical Fantasy Romance/Ancient Historical Romance

More books by Tracy Cooper-Posey
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I’m not sure how she does it, but Tracy continues to make each story more exciting than the last! I can’t stop reading these, even when I should be sleeping! – Reader Review


The next three books of the series that will “keep you hooked until the end”, featuring the myths, legends and magic of the beloved King Arthur stories, surrounding heart-rending romances of the men and women who lived and loved in these perilous times.

War Duke of Britain
He is not the enemy she came to fight.

Idris the Slayer is the champion of the northern kings. Undefeated in battle, the dark, lone warrior who rides to war with a black wolf at his side spreads fear before him, even among those counted his allies.  When Rhiannon of Galleva rides to her first battle with Emrys and Cai, she expects to fight the Saxon hoards pouring into Britain. She is not braced to defend herself against Idris’ incursion into her heart.


High King of Britain
All she wants is to fight for Arthur and Britain.

Lady Mair is a daughter of Corneus—the house of perfect warriors—and wants only to serve Arthur, War Duke of Britain, as her brothers Lucan and Bedivere do.  Yet King Alun of Brocéliande wants to make her his queen, which would mean leaving Britain and Arthur’s court.  Alun’s younger brother and Mair’s best friend, Rawn, sees things as Mair does—nothing is more important than being the best warriors they can be.  But Rawn is hiding secrets of his own, that run counter to Mair’s desperate wish to be free to fight for Britain.


Battle of Mount Badon
Their every encounter gives off sparks of contempt and misunderstanding. Bedivere is one of King Arthur’s companions, his marshall and war duke of his army.  Handsome, remote, traditional and honor-bound, all he wants is to be a perfect warrior and serve Arthur.  Only, Arthur’s people face another dark winter of deprivation and defeat at the hands of the ruthless Saxons.  How can Bedivere find victory for Arthur when there is no hope?  Cara of Brynaich is half-Saxon, the younger daughter of a reviled family. Her facial scars keep her apart from everyone. Her heart holds only hatred for the Saxons who betrayed her mother, murdered her father and brought her and her kin to such misery. She has no time for honor and tradition.  Hope is for blind fools.

Included in this boxed set:
4.0 War Duke of Britain
5.0 High King of Britain
6.0 Battle of Mount Badon

This novel is part of the ancient historical romance series, Once and Future Hearts, set in Britain during the time of King Arthur.

1.0 Born of No Man
2.0 Dragon Kin
3.0 Pendragon Rises

3.5 Once and Future Hearts Box One
4.0 War Duke of Britain
5.0 High King of Britain
6.0 Battle of Mount Badon

6.5 Once and Future Hearts Box Two
7.0 Abduction of Guenivere
8.0 Downfall of Cornwall
9.0 Vengeance of Arthur
10.0 Grace of Lancelot
11.0 The Grail and Glory
12.0 Camlann

A Historical Fantasy Romance/Ancient Historical Romance series

~ Maps for the Series ~

Who’s Who and What’s What for the Series


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Excerpt

EXCERPT FROM ONCE AND FUTURE HEARTS BOX TWO
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2021
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“I didn’t think there were this many people in the entire world,” Rhiannon whispered, three days later. The three of them paused at the crest of the mild hill which led down into Coria. She didn’t feel foolish for saying such an absurd thing, for both Cai and Emrys looked just as stunned, as they peered at the sight before them. The rest of the company filed passed them and through the narrow pass into the valley.

A town was built at the bottom of the long, low hill, with stout walls and watchtowers. The town looked busy—smoke rose from every roof, and movement showed between the buildings, although they were too far away to pick out individual people.

Around the town walls, on every side but the eastern one, an army camp was assembling. Just as Ector’s company was arriving, so too were other companies. They streamed in from three other roads leading away from the town, and across the meadow laid on either side of the narrow river which served the town.

“Look, there is the command tent,” Cai said, pointing. “Right in the center, as Steffen said it would be.”

“The surgery, the smiths, the engineers,” Rhiannon said, picking out the appropriate sections of the camp. “It’s exactly as my father said it would be—remember the map my mother drew?”

Emrys’ eyes narrowed as he took in the layout of the camp. “That is the Durnovaria banner, down there on the bank of the river. The blue and red, see?”

“What of it?” Cai said.

“They’ve been placed on the west side of the camp and the Dumnonnians are on the south, under the town wall. See?”

Rhiannon sharpened her gaze and picked out the green banner that was Dumnonia. “I see it.”

“As far apart as geography allows,” Emrys murmured. He smiled.

“Dumnonia and Durnovaria hate each other,” Cai pointed out.

“Exactly. The seneschal has kept them out of each other’s way,” Rhiannon added.

Cai looked surprised, then thoughtful. “So it’s not a purely Roman layout.”

“It started as Roman,” Emrys said. “Look at the straight rows for the kitchens and the engineers and the metal workers. Only, they’ve adapted it, made it British…”

Ector’s big war mount halted beside them, and Myrddin, who was riding a calm gelding today, instead of walking, came up on their other side.

“Now, lads and lady, mind your manners,” Ector said gruffly. He was a big man, from whom Cai got his girth and height. When Ector had been in his prime, he had been a formidable fighter—or so Steffen had assured them.

“Remember your upbringing,” Ector said. “You’re not savages. See you behave civilized.” He glared at the camp below. “There’s more down there to tempt you into crudity than you could ever imagine. Watch your step, hmm?”

“We’ll keep Cai out of trouble, sir,” Emrys said.

Ector smiled at Emrys fondly, his deep-set eyes warm. “I know you will.” He seemed to be on the verge of saying much more but contained himself to a simple nod.

“Lothian is arriving,” Myrddin said shortly. His gaze was on the far side of the valley where the north road speared between a thick belt of trees and disappeared from view. On that road was a company bigger than Ector’s. At the head, with the banner, rode a tall man with black hair and a sharp, beak-like nose. His officers rode beside him. Unlike most armed companies who kept their slower carts and carriages to the rear, an enclosed cart rolled directly behind them. It was painted with green walls, and narrow window apertures along each side. The door was stout and a guard sat in front.

Rhiannon guessed Lothian’s women were in the cart, shielded from prying eyes and guarded.

“Lot?” Ector said sharply and sat up, peering, his hand shading his eyes. “The northern lords are come?” He sounded amazed.

“You’re a northern lord, father,” Cai pointed out.

Ector didn’t answer. Myrddin did. “The northern lords are a political faction. You remember what I told you about Lot and Urien, and the lords who follow them? Caradog and the others north of the old Roman wall?”

“They fight each other all the time,” Cai said, sounding proud that he had remembered the fact.

“They have no love for Uther, which unites them,” Ector said, his voice a growl. “It is only the most extreme times like this which brings them under Uther’s command.” He grimaced, as if he tasted something foul. “They’ll depart as swiftly as they came, even before Uther gives them leave.”

“They’re here now,” Emrys pointed out, his tone calm. “The Saxons bring us all together for a common purpose. Does it matter how late they arrive, or how soon they leave, if they come at the King’s call?”

“There’s that,” Ector admitted. He glanced to his right, where the tail end of the company was passing by. “We’ve lingered here long enough. We should stake out our camp. Now, remember what I said. Comport yourselves with dignity and avoid shaming your elders.”

“Yes father,” Cai said dutifully.

“Of course, sir,” Emrys added.

Rhiannon said nothing. She was too excited.

And it was exciting to be among all the soldiers and followers and families who traveled with them. Every direction they looked in provided another interesting thing to study. Everyone wore different clothing, in gay colors. Even the leather armor, which had been refined over generations, came in a vast array of construction and shapes and design, so much so that Rhiannon twitched to study them in closer detail.


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