In the Shadow of a Hoax
Author: Maci Aurora
Series: Fareview Fairytales, #2
Publication date: January 24th 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
In the Kingdom of Kaloma, a woman is forced to rely on a man to “keep her” and is forbidden from maintaining anything of her own. It’s the law.
In the remote village of Sevens, at the northernmost point of the kingdom, there lives a family with four daughters and a son, toiling day in and day out together, hopeful a treaty with the boarding kingdom of Jast might change things.
When one daughter—at risk of being imprisoned for fighting back—hides away in the Whitling Woods. She stumbles upon a dying man and despite the risk to herself, chooses to save him. Only who he is has the power to change everything…
Tarley Fareview, idealistic and stubborn, does what she can to support herself in spite of an unjust Kaloma law. When she fights back after being attacked, she flees into the woods disguised as a boy. While in hiding, she discovers a dying man and must decide if she risks her life to save him. Unable to walk away, Tarley chooses to intervene and works to save the stranger, only little does she know that by doing so she’ll also risk the heart she promised herself she’d never give to anyone.
When the Crown Prince of Jast, Lachlan Nikolas—forced by the king to attend treaty negotiations with the kingdom of Kaloma in disguise—is attacked, his horse bolts, and they both careen over a cliff, falling to their deaths in a raging river below. Only, miracle of miracles, Lachlan doesn’t perish, and instead is given a second chance at life, but at a price. When he wakes, he’s not only been stripped of his clothes but also his identity. Saved by a strange woman—in a terrible disguise because she looks nothing like a boy—Lachlan must learn very quickly how to survive in a world where he isn’t a prince anymore and with zero skills other than his entitlement and his charm. Unsure who to trust, Lachlan must reinvent himself, learn how to survive, open his heart to discover the truth about worthiness, and discover what it means to sacrifice one’s self for true love.
“Are you just going to stand there?” Tarley asked from near the fire. She hadn’t looked at him and continued shoving more wood into the fire as if she were trying to make a giant bonfire which was glowing bright as the sun went down, casting the place in long, blue shadows.
He started toward her, irritated by her tone. “Do you need all that wood?”
Her gaze found him, and her eyebrows arched over her eyes. “You’re welcome to do it.”
“I don’t need to anymore. You’ve done it, excessively just as you do everything.”
“You’re welcome to do more, your highness.”
Lachlan tripped and righted himself. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
She stared at him and looked away. “Nothing.” She stomped toward him and snagged the fish from his hand, then stormed across to the wooden plank to prepare them.
“What are you doing?” Lachlan advanced on her.
“Everything. Excessively,” she said with a caustic bite and slapped the fish on the board and unhooked the first one. “Why didn’t you clean them?”
Lachlan rounded the board and with his body, nudged her out of the way. “I can do it.”
“Obviously you can’t,” she snapped. “It’s supposed to be done away from camp.” She glared at him. “So bears don’t come looking.”
“I didn’t–” Lachlan felt stupid. He knew that. He’d learned it in one of his many survival sessions when he served in the royal army. And yet he’d forgotten, more interested in pushing Tarley’s patience.
“Know?” She looked down at the fish. “I’ll take them–” She bit out, reattached the first fish and grabbed the line.
“I’ll do it.” Lachlan grabbed the line at the same time.
Each of them held the line.
Tarley tugged at it.
Lachlan tugged back. “Let it go.”
“You let it go.”
“I said I’d do it,” Lachlan leaned toward her.
“But you didn’t. And now I have to fix it.” Tarley leaned closer.
“I can clean my own messes,” he said, and his eyes jumped to her lips as his heart thrashed in his chest with a new beat.
Her eyes flitted to his mouth, then she leaned back as if pushed and released her hold on the fish. “Fine,” she said and stormed away.
about the author
Lover of stories.
Maci Aurora has been writing stories since she was a child. When she was eleven, she fell in love with reading Sunfire Historical Romances about girls who made a difference in their lives and still fell in love. In high school, a friend introduced her to Lavyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught, and from there, her writing journey was cemented in telling stories about love. Having already published many novels (all of which are threaded with romance as upper YA and New Adult titles) under the pen name, CL Walters, Maci Aurora wanted to write stories that offered the same attention to story and characters but with additional steam.
Maci writes in Hawaiʻi where she lives with her husband, their children, and their fur-babies.