The Aurelian Guard Series

Wild Lavender

The Queen’s Dance

Wild Lavender, Book One

Anna was born of Chevring, a territory renowned for its valorous war horses, in the kingdom of Aurelia. But peace reigns, and her family’s fortune has dwindled. Her father brokers an alliance with the wealthy Lord Roger of Stolweg. The price: his eldest daughter and the secrets to her family’s once great power. Soon after they are wed, Roger proves himself cruel and calculating, a harsh lord who sows the seeds of fear in his people.

He has an ambitious secret, and nothing will stand in his way...
Not his new bride, nor his older brother, heir to all that he covets. But secrets have a way of getting out, and the people of Stolweg quietly bide their time, coming to love Anna for her noble bravery in standing up to her scoundrel husband. She will prove the leader they need to rise up and bring their underground resistance to flourish.

But it is Larkin, a guard of Aurelia, whose presence brings Roger’s treachery to the forefront, igniting the spark of war. Larkin comes to Stolweg to investigate Roger for treason against the realm and ends up giving all of his attention to Anna. For she not only captures his heart, she may be the only person who can stop the battle that will tear the kingdom apart.

The Queen’s Dance, Book Two

Lady Claire is the brightest addition to the queen’s retinue, and the constant activity at high court allows her to ignore her sorrow over the loss of her parents and the destruction of her ancestral home. But when the games of flirtation threaten to expose her closest held secret, she begs to return to her sister’s castle in Stolweg where she’ll be safe from discovery.

In Cathmara, the northernmost territory of Aurelia, Trian of the king’s Royal Guard is given an ultimatum:
secure the hand of the woman he loves or marry one of the many who have properly pressed their suit...

He must follow the long-held traditions of his people, and win a lady’s affection without professing his love or even hinting at his regard. Fortunately, this shy warrior is assigned to escort his heart’s desire, Lady Claire, from King’s Glen to her sister’s castle.

On this journey, Claire discovers that Trian is immune to her curse, and they fall into a comfortable friendship. Trian teaches her his unique way of seeing the world; she tutors him in the healing arts. As her attraction to him grows, so does her frustration that he may not share her feelings, for he never declares his intent. When duty demands his presence in King’s Glen, Claire worries that he’ll forget her—she knows firsthand how proficient are the ladies at courtly games of the heart.

She spends her days helping her sister, practicing what Trian has taught her, and counting the hours until her reunion with him. On the day of his return, her joy at seeing him again is crushed when they are ambushed. The nightmare of the murder of her parents plays out before her very eyes as Trian, whilst fighting to reach her, is knocked down by deadly quarrels. Claire is kidnapped and transported far from Aurelia and from those she holds most dear.

Alone in a realm where women are treated as chattel, Claire must plan her escape and her return to her home. She makes use of Trian’s lessons, taking the strength from her memories of their time spent together. But the kingdom of Nifolhad proves nothing like anything she’s ever imagined. Its customs and secrets seduce her, and plots and machinations drag her into the very heart of the battle for its throne. If she ever hopes to return to Aurelia and to the people she loves, Claire must overcome her greatest fear: embracing the same curse she spent her entire life disguising.

…for Wild Lavender

“This epic fantasy romance is a strong debut! Anna is a heroine to love, as her experiences reveal and hone a gorgeous inner strength. The plot expertly moves from the very personal to family, village and kingdom, keeping readers riveted at every step by Anna’s emotional engagement.”

Nicola Olnychuk

Reviewer, RT Book Reviews

…for Wild Lavender
“5 STARS!!
What a great debut novel by Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher!! This book was a great read and the characters were well developed. I loved Anna…she was strong, but she also had a rare and beautiful connection to her horses. I love horses, so that was a bonus for me in this book. Roger, Anna’s husband is nothing like Anna thought. Their marriage is not what she thought it would be either. I don’t want to give away details. because I don’t want to give away the book! I loved Lark and how strong and loyal he was. This book was very well detailed and I felt like I was living through this book with the characters!! This book had me on the edge of my seat but it also had my heart full. I am definitely excited to see what Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher brings to us in the future!!”
Elizabeth

Reviewer/Blogger, Crazii Bitches Book Blog

…for Wild Lavender

“Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher’s debut novel Wild Lavender is engrossing right from the prologue.”

B.B. Haywood

New York Times Best Selling Author, RT Book Reviews

…for Wild Lavender

“To be quite frank, I actually bought this book because of the cover – a beautiful horse, but let me add that not only was the cover gorgeous, but the story captured me right from the start. If you like strong heroines who can overcome unimaginable horrors, than Lady Anna of Chevring is one of the most fabulous heroines you will ever encounter.

WILD LAVENDER is a sweeping historical romance combining all the things I love, an unbelievable heroine, fabulous secondary characters, amazing destrier horses, and an amazing love story. Add into that mix a reprehensible villain who tops out at one of the nastiest I have ever come across. Author Kelleher has with this debut book become a favorite author whom I will be looking forward to hearing more from and will definitely be looking to follow her Aurelian Guard series...

The prologue actually threw me off into thinking that it would simply be a girl meets boy and eventually they meet years later to fall in love and live that happily ever after. In a nutshell, yes it is similar but wow, the story told is so much more heady than a simple romance. I loved every minute and found this to be so very hard to put down, even resorting to sneaking peeks of the story while attending a boring seminar! That’s never happened to me before. I will be so waiting for the next book in this series.

The writing, the plotting – AMAZING! Very Highly Recommended!!!”

Marilyn

Amazon Reviewer

…for The Queen’s Dance

“…The author has created a vibrant heroine that is atypical as she is lovable.  It is a rare book that you slow down to savor because you want to soak the pleasures of it with you.  This book is phenomenal saga of an indomitable and charming heroine.

Fantasy, adventure and epic world building with unforgettable characters -you can’t go wrong!”

Steph

Reviewer, Blogger , Bookaholics Romance Book Club

…for The Queen’s Dance

“So much more than a sweeping fantasy romance…Kelleher brilliantly captures the exotic and magical world of the Fenrhi women. This is the enchanting, strong, romantic, and powerful rebirth of spirit that every lost soul craves.”

Alexa Jacobs

Author of Rising Ridge and The Dreamer

…for The Queen’s Dance

“Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher’s book, The Queen’s Dance, is built on a wide cast of likable characters and intense, intricate worldbuilding. Read with care; you will need (and want!) to pay attention to get the most from this distinguished and original story.”

Ingrid Hahn

Author of The Landon Sisters Series

…for The Queen’s Dance

Five Stars! “Absolutely mesmerizing!

“A new author for my “FAVORITES” list! 🙂 The Queen’s Dance is a sweeping epic fantasy, with something for everyone — romance, adventure, magic, family drama, historical imaginings, and rich descriptions that enchant all of the senses! The writing is lyrical and carried me through the story effortlessly. The author did an artful job of weaving together multiple threads so that I could follow along without ever feeling lost. Fans of Diana Gabaldon and Kate Elliott will adore the Aurelian Guard series! Do not miss it!”

Anise Eden

Author, The Healing Edge Series

…for The Queen’s Dance

“The QUEEN’S DANCE, book 2 in the Aurelian Guard series, is a fantastic epic romance that kept me riveted from beginning to end. I loved the way Kelleher weaves the intricate descriptions of the world’s history, topography, wildlife and plants with magic and the ongoing plots—romantic and political. The magic and characters’ abilities are inventive and fresh...

The women and men are beyond strong, in different sorts of ways—especially the main character, Claire, who has survived and continues to survive overwhelming physical and emotional ordeals. When I started this novel, I wondered if its title was a hint to a role bees and honey would play in the story. I was delighted to discover I was right, and surprised to find I’d only guessed the meaning at a very superficial level.

I don’t want to give away the plot. Just don’t plan on rushing through this novel. It is best enjoyed slowly as each detail of character and the world will come into play as the plot unfolds.

Oh, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that the romance in this story and how it culminates in the very (sizzling) end made me clap for joy.”

Pat Esden

Author of the Dark Heart Series