The Gauntlet is a Kit Marlowe short from The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 and a companion piece to The Queen’s Witch.
The story is available for free on Karen Chance’s website.
The Gauntlet is a Kit Marlowe short, chronologically the first novella in the Cassandra Palmer series.
Kit Marlowe is only a newby vampire, but he had been given an extra deal of power, elevating him to a master’s rank, in order to help his mistress, and save the Queen. He is in sore need of a red-haired witch to complete a mission, so he goes to the prison to find one.
Kit needed to be at that meeting. And for that, he needed a credible Lady Isabel. But young, redheaded, coven witches were a little thin on the ground these days, thanks to the Circle.
But freeing the witch doesn’t go smooth, chaos erupts, and all of the prisoners are trying to get free. It’s not easy for Gillian to trust a vampire, but she has no other choice.
Gillian hugged Elinor against her, every instinct she had screaming that she was mad to put their lives in the hands of a creature who saw them merely as prey. But if her only choice was between dying now and dying later, she would take later. “If you betray me, I will use my last breath to curse you!”
“I would expect nothing less.”
The Gauntlet actually is the story of Gillian’s escape: it’s very exciting, filled with fight scenes, magic, and revealing some of the history of the witch covens, and also the Silver and the Black Circle in England.
The plot could have been constructed more precisely, as they are having extremely long conversations in the middle of a fight, , but it’s a great and fun story. Marlowe is really charming.
A rain of arrows shot by. One of them grazed Kit’s arm, leaving a stinging track across his skin, while another buried itself in the wood between his spread legs. He stared at it wildly – there were certain things he was not willing to sacrifice for queen and country…