Iron Defiance by Kelly L Lee

(about this author)

  • Amelee, a princess of the Seelie Court, is engaged to one man out of duty, but desperately loves another. She's accepted her fate, willing to deny the deepest longings of her heart in service to her queen.

    Arganos has secretly loved Amelee since the beginning of time, but she is Fey royalty and he is a hardened warrior, reviled by her kind for the sins committed by the God of War he serves. Though Arganos is prepared to sacrifice his own happiness to ensure Amelee's, he refuses to intervene even though he knows her fiancé isn't what he seems.

    But when tragedy strikes, Amelee turns to Arganos, the forbidden war captain, instead of her fiancé for help. Fueled by Faery Court politics and a treacherous Queen's rule, will the secrets they discover drive Amelee and Arganos apart forever, or will they defy everything for love?


    We’re just friends. Don’t read into this.

    “Well…” He cleared his throat and stepped away to put some distance between them. “I should go—”

    “Arganos, don’t freak out, but I’m going to hug you and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.”

    A hug? What the—

    Amelee closed the narrow distance between them and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. As she squeezed him, Arganos felt his back and arms go rigid. She sighed and withdrew her arms, propping her fists on her hips.

    “You really suck at hugs, Arganos. As a rule, you’re supposed to hug me back.”

    “I don’t think your family would approve of us hugging.”

    “I don’t care. You did something amazing in there. Zoey will treasure that toy for the rest of her life. Such a thing earns you a hug, at the very least.”

    Arganos glanced at the window, half expecting to see the squished faces of Amelee’s family pressed together, spying on them. Surprisingly, the curtain hung loose and undisturbed, with no disapproving Fey in sight. For the first time in almost a year, he and Amelee were alone with no one watching.

    “I don’t have a lot of practice at hugs.”


    He took a step forward, intentionally crowding her, watching every detail of her face to see if she retreated. She didn’t.

    “Can I get another shot?”

    A smile curled the edges of her lips. “Sure.”

    The Faery sun bathed them in warmth, intensifying the growing heat between them. Sunlight glittered against her hair, silken strands pulled into an elegant chignon. She tilted her face to his, and instead of wrapping her arms around his shoulders, she placed her hands on his chest.


    She whispered his name through delicate, rose petal lips that probably tasted like candy. He raised his hand and traced her bottom lip with his thumb.

    Just once.

    He would kiss her just this once. She’d probably backhand him, then curse him with Fey magic, but he decided the risk well worth the reward. Arganos leaned down, his mouth hovering inches from Amelee’s lips. Her eyes dropped closed.

    The door to her house flew open. Amelee bolted away, her cheeks flaming several hues of red and pink.

    Xanther stood in the doorway, a murderous expression on his face. Arganos stared back, putting as much silent challenge in his gaze as possible.

    Always in the way, you irritating little Fey.


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Iron Defiance

Iron Defiance

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