Royal alchemist Kaethe knows two things. One: Drinking tea made from steeped riverhearts will cure almost anything. Two: Never, ever trust an orc.
When a rumor that she believes pertains to her missing brother has her leaving the safety and warmth of King Arkain and Queen Elvie’s court, she finds herself in the heart of the orc’s territory. Brokenbone Mountain is rumored to be filled with unspeakable danger. If you can survive the harsh elements, those foul creatures that call the mountain home will enjoy feasting on your bones. Delightful.
Bazur, General of the Black Claw Clan, has no time for humans. The years have turned him as cold as the mountain he calls home. The last thing he needs to turn up in one of his traps is a brightly-colored-haired human that danger seems to be following like a shadow. Bazur should turn her away and let the beasts have an easy dinner. But there is something about her that stops him, that propels him to take her in and keep her safe—even if she seems terrified of him.
When one of his soldiers falls ill, Kaethe is the only one able to save him. In return, Bazur promises her safe passage through the mountain and volunteers to watch over her while she acts as a healer to his village.
As the nights on Brokenbone Mountain grow longer and colder, Kaethe and Bazur learn that the other is not what they appear. Will their distrust for each other give way to the passion brewing between them? Or are some old wounds too deep to heal?