Silas has been at war for most of his life. First as a soldier, later as the commander of a small rebel army, aiming to overthrow a great empire.
Now the war is won and Silas has been made a duke for his part in it. But what's a cynical, battle-hardened general supposed to do in peacetime? He has no idea.
And then his friend and comrade, King Leopold, sends him a gift. A woman. Clio is a mage and a healer, and Silas ought to welcome her into his household... but she's young and pretty and far too cheerful for a woman who's lived most of her life in an isolated prison.
And he likes her. Far too much. Not because he believes the sweet mask she wears, but because he can see through it. Somewhere, deep inside, she's like him.
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