The Elven Healer’s Apprentice
Author: Elisa Rae
Series: Elves of Eldarlan, #4
Publication date: February 9th 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Merlon, the king of Eldarlan’s healer, hides his soft heart beneath a prickly exterior. Despite a traumatic childhood, he strives to excel as a healer and an elf. But he gets more than he bargained for when he rescues a human woman from certain death right before being snared in the curse put on the king of Eldarlan.
Left to fend for herself in an absent elf healer’s compound, Adela tries to be useful. The patients call her the healer’s apprentice. Something the healer rejects when he finally returns. Despite his grumpy manner, the healer displays a strange mixture of kindness and care. Intrigued, Adela suspects the healer hides more than he reveals.
The Elven Healer’s Apprentice is a light, fantasy romance novella about a romance between an elven healer and a human woman. It features a grumpy sunshine romance where opposites attract when they encounter forced proximity and jeopardy.
I woke to the low rumble of Merlon’s voice. I didn’t catch the words.
However, I heard Hubert’s urgent tones clearly. “The unicorn won’t move, Merlon. I need to go out to tend the sheep and goats. The creature lowers its horn and threatens to charge each time I open the door. It is a stubby horn, but it can still do some damage, and I have a wife to support.”
Merlon sagged against the much shorter door. His arm slung over the top of the wood panel as he hung his mussed head. The usual straight line of his shoulders drooped. “She is probably here for Adela.”
“Then do something.”
“What is wrong?” I asked as I slung my feet over the edge of the bed and began undoing the mess of hair left by sleeping without binding my hair properly. I finger -combed the thick tresses as I rose. The sky outside the windows had barely lightened toward dawn, and a bird was trilling loudly. I ached as though I hadn’t slept at all, but I knew I had after our late-night talk.
“Sage,” Merlon responded without lifting his head. Exhaustion rumbled in his voice. “Apparently, she escaped her pen and came here seeking you. According to Hubert, she won’t let him leave his house to tend his animals.”
“Surely she came for you,” I protested as I finger-combed the worst of the snarls out.
“Can’t be. First of all, I am a male.” Merlon turned to regard me as I came abreast of him. Instead of finishing his list or explaining himself, he studied me. His luminous eyes flared silver before deepening suddenly to a rich blue. Despite the exhaustion written in the deep shadows about his eyes and the appearance of lines where there had been none before, his expression lightened and a slight hitch in his mouth hinted at a smile.
“And second?” I prompted, assessing his health and his expression. I didn’t like the grayish undertone to his skin or the fact the haggard appearance of his already angular face seemed worse in the dim light of Hubert’s lantern. Perhaps it was just the unusual angle of the light.
“She bonded with you, and you have been gone from the compound for almost a week now.” He rested his head on the top of the door without tearing his gaze from me. The sight was boyishly adorable. “Sage will always come find you should you be gone longer than she deems acceptable.” A slow smile curved his lips. “I told you she liked you.”
“What you are describing is far more than like,” I pointed out before turning to Hubert. “Please show me to where the unicorn is.” Anything to avoid the vulnerable ache in my stomach growing in response to the look in the elf healer’s eyes. “And you—” I confronted him before exiting the room to find he had stepped closer when my back was turned. “Go back to bed. You look horrible.”
“And now who is being horribly blunt?” Despite the snarky response, he paled and wavered on his feet.
Putting a hand out to steady him, I hesitated when it landed in the center of his chest. His hand came up to rest over mine and press it harder against the linen of his tunic. Heat radiated through the cloth and into my palm even as the gentle, familiar sensation of magic initiating swept up my arm.
Merlon drew in a deep breath. His eyelids lowered, and tension appeared to drain from his body, and he hadn’t been that tense to begin with. For a moment, I feared he would collapse right there and then.
“Merlon, I mean it.” I shoved gently against the muscled wall of his chest, urging him toward the bedding he had risen from. “Sleep. You need it.”
Wordlessly, he complied.
about the author
A reader of fairytales and folklore, Elisa Rae loves a happy ending. Noblebright characters, dastardly villains, and chemistry between characters delight her. When she isn’t writing, she loves to watch superhero movies and literary dramas.
If you like romantic adventures of various kinds, join her at: authorelisarae.com!
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