Welcome to Stanti, a glorious land where commoners are oppressed and a clueless monarchy rules.
Enly Saint Claire is fortunate. She attends an elite academy, is the heir to a billion dollar fortune, and is betrothed to the future Lord Regent of the Great Plains. But what she desires most is her half brother Jonah’s freedom. Jonah has been enslaved because of his mother’s mistakes. Enly plans to free Jonah when she becomes a lady regent. That plan backfires when her betrothed decides to marry someone else. Now Enly will do anything to free her half brother, even if it means rejecting the love of her life.
Targeted Age Group:: 15+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was relaxing in my room one day while my music was playing in the background. A series of songs made me picture a snowy landscape and a prince. After a series of months, and failed starts, I was able to flesh out the plot.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters and their personalities were developed over time. For instance, I dreamed of a girl named Enly, and decided that she would be the main character. It wasn’t until I heard the song “Girl On Fire” that I realized that Enly needed to be a strong woman. Matthew, is a mixture of my best friend’s personalities. The rest of the characters in this book were happy accidents. It’s like they developed as I told the story.
“You can be honest with me, Regent,” I assure in a coaxing tone. I hold his eyes, and he appears as though he wants to escape my gaze.
“I need a wife. A regent has to marry within ninety days of his or her appointment. But you aren't what I want. I have broken the betrothal with you. Papers will be delivered to your father by the end of the day.”
Just like that, my hopes and dreams are obliterated.
I don't bother asking the regent why he has broken the engagement. I don't cry or plead for him to release Jonah, because he won't. Releasing an illegitimate whose mother tried to murder the king would be too much of a risk to take, especially when the act would only hinder someone’s political career. When the servant enters again and brings tea, I don't bother drinking. What's the point? For years, I banked on being the lady regent in order to rescue my brother. With the backbreaking work he's doing, he may die from exhaustion, malnourishment, or from some hideous untreated disease. But now, I'm numb inside. I can't feel anything.
“Lady Saint Claire, are you all right?” the regent asks me, which is an insulting question. I'm smiling as an attempt to put on a brave face, but it must not look convincing. But does he have to comment on it? He has just ruined all of the plans that were in place. How does the lord regent expect me to be all right?
“I'm fine,” I state, desperately wishing that I could be dismissed.
“I apologize for the inconvenience. I just don't think that you're well-suited to be a regent. You're only a child.”
Liar. If I were only a child to him, his eyes wouldn't have been filled with desire when he first laid eyes on me. Brandon Wilks finds me attractive. The regent doesn't want to break this match. He probably found a more valuable bride.
“I see,” I mutter, the bitterness making my stomach cramp. Brandon continues speaking.
“You have a few more years left at the academy. I would hate to interrupt your studies. So I'm drawing up a contract with Marigold Flay.” So he's kicking me to the curb for a girl I could barely stand. She is a year ahead of me and hasn't focused on a specific area of study. She's graduating in the spring. Though I would imagine that when she becomes lady regent, she won't need to graduate with everyone else. The headmistress will deem her ready to go out into the world, and she will marry Brandon and make my life miserable. Marigold Flay always hated me for some unknown reason. I'm sure that my father's business will suffer for it; I have to warn him.
“When is the wedding?”
“In three weeks.”
Father has three weeks to move to another region. Things will be difficult for him now.
“May I be excused, Lord Regent?” If my father heard what just came out of my mouth, his head would explode. Brandon is a regent, which means that my time was his until he excused me. But I can't be in the room anymore, not when the despair and bitterness are starting to eat at me. Brandon nods, and I stand and perform a fluid curtsy. I dash out of the room, hoping not to run into anyone.
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