ROYAL HUNTER
October 2001
Bantam Massmarket
ISBN 0-553-58242-9

As a child, animal rescue worker Talia Trahaern was enchanted by the bedtime stories her mother spun of castles and kings, but she thought they were only fairy tales…until a darkly compelling stranger invaded her world to reveal the fantastical truth. Suddenly Talia found herself face-to-face with a flesh-and-blood hero straight out of her wildest dreams.

Devin Archer had come looking for the legendary healer who could save his dying queen. Instead he found a passionate, beautiful woman unaware of the power she’d inherited or the danger that stalked her every move. Talia was skeptical of Archer’s story of assassins and imperiled kingdoms-but there was no denying his maddeningly seductive charm. As for Archer, he knew there was nothing more dangerous than losing his heart to a woman who didn’t know her own power. Now, with time running out, they will embark together on a perilous journey-and a timeless love that may cost them their very lives.

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SURPRISE TOUCH

His jaw clenched. “I’m not a mercenary. And I’m not a snake.”

Talia tried not to laugh. “That offends you? Tough guy like yourself? I imaging you’ve been called much worse.”

“Oh, I’ve been called many things, sweetheart. But snake?” Archer shook his head. “I really must be losing my touch.”

Now she cocked a hand on her hip. “You have a touch?”
Adrenaline pumped through her, along with something else. She wasn’t actually enjoying this little heated interchange. Was she? “Did you really think you’d just pop into my life, drop this amazing fairy tale in my lap, and expect me to go dancing off behind you, all because you twinkled those eyes and showed off that little cleft in your chin?” Oops. Bad strategy. She’d been doing find up to that last part. What had been the vaguest suspicion of a smile now became one in full.

“You noticed the cleft, huh?” The Aussie accent grew stronger when he grinned like that, she discovered, as did her reaction to it. Gone completely now was the impatient, frustrated mercenary. In his place was…well, she didn’t want to even think about what was going on behind those heated eyes.

Then he stepped closer…

Nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best New Reality

Featured alternate selection of Doubleday and Rhapsody Bookclubs

"Donna Kauffman weaves a spell of delight with her enchanting romances." ~ New York Times bestselling author Teresa Medeiros

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"Kauffman (Your Wish Is My Command) continues to mix fantasy, sex and touchy-feely wisdom in this breezy time-travel romance about the Royal Hunter, a 23rd-century Australian mercenary who travels to 21st-century Connecticut to fetch Eleri Trahaern, the Royal Healer.
Devin Archer, a hard-boiled hottie with a chip on his shoulder, was hired by Queen Catriona as she lay dying and pregnant with the successor to the Welsh throne of Llanfair. Only Eleri can save Catriona’s son, but she fled Llanfair and the century 29 years earlier to protect her unborn daughter from the royal family’s enemies. With the help of Baleweg, a Yoda-like mystic, Devin steps through a triangle of time and encounters Talia, Eleri’s daughter.
Talia, an animal rescuer, was orphaned at the age of six, and although she’s always possessed the ability to feel an animal’s pain, she knows nothing about healing and very little of Llanfair. While Baleweg trains Talia to open her heart, Devin protects them from Emrys, a wizard who was cloned from Baleweg but who still hasn’t learned how to play well with others. Despite Devin’s reserve, he is strongly attracted to Talia, and together they learn how to embrace the power of love.
Kauffman’s whimsical tale stretches the bounds of the believable, but she anchors her readers with sensuality, humor and compassion." ~ Publishers Weekly (Oct. 9) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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"What would you do if a tall, dark, and handsome man with an Aussie accent showed up at your doorstep? How about if he said he was from the future and meant to take you there? Talia Trahaern is just as skeptical yet unable to look away. She has created a life for herself in Connecticut, albeit a lonely one. Then Devlin Archer shows up to tell her that not only is he from the future but that she’s the Royal Healer and must come heal their dying, pregnant queen. Devlin is determined to complete the job, for which the queen will pay him handsomely, but the trick is, he can’t take Talia back to the future unless she comes willingly. Understandably, this will take some doing. He’s up to the challenge, however; although he’s not certain why, she fascinates him. Talia and the reader are in for a great adventure, beginning with her budding relationship with an alluring stranger and ending with saving a kingdom." ~ Maria Hatton, Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

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"An entertaining Time Travel with a wonderful hero."

When Devin Archer is hired by his dying Queen to go out and find the one person who has a chance of saving her, he does not know that in order to find this healer he and his shape-shifting pet will have to enlist the aid of a man with mysterious magical powers, fight an unknown malevolent being, and travel through time. And then to top it all off, just when he finds the woman, it turns out that the healer he is searching for has died and her daughter (and successor) knows nothing of her mother’s past and is into denial about any powers she may possess. How will he ever convince this woman to travel back to the future with him and risk her life to save a Queen she has never heard of?

"Talia Trahern is living a quiet life in the country running an animal rescue and adoption service. She does her best to ignore the fact that she is somehow “different” and can feel her animals’ pain. Before her mother died they lived life moving from place to place, trying to hide her difference from others. She doesn’t know that the fairy tales about Kings and Queens her mother told her as a child were actually true until one day she looks up to find two strange men who claim that she is the daughter of the long lost Royal Healer and that only she can save their Queen and her unborn baby. She doesn’t believe them until mysterious things begin to happen and someone tries to kill her. And then there is the fact that she is beginning to feel an emotional connection to Devin that she has never felt before. Should she distance herself from him like she does from everyone else, or should she take a chance on him and trust this man from the future?

THE ROYAL HUNTER was an entertaining blend of time travel, high tech medieval court intrigue and wizardry. I especially enjoyed Devin with his tough exterior that he uses to hide the vulnerable man beneath. When he finds himself falling for Talia he is mostly bewildered and, not having ever known love, he doesn’t recognize it for what it is. He is not your cold hearted hero who has sworn off love, he is a man who has accepted the fact that love is just not going to ever be a part of his life. He won’t even admit that he cares about his shape-shifting pet, Ringer, even though he always keeps it with him. I found myself taking the time to re-read the parts where he was thinking of Talia and trying to convince himself that it was only lust he was feeling. Talia is a good match for him, having faced adversity of her own as a child. She doesn’t think she is capable of doing what these men ask, but she reaches down inside herself and finds a strength she never knew she possessed. I highly recommend this one." ~ Janice Bennett, Posted October 19, 2001

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"Talia Trahaern has immersed herself in the work of rescuing animals She has a strange connection with the little creatures that allows her to frequently save their lives. What she doesn’t know is that perception with animals is only the tip of her talents – talents handed down to her from her mother, Eleri.
Eleri had been the healer for the royal family – years and years in the future. When Eleri’s life was threatened, she came back in time to hide from those who wanted to kill her. Only Eleri died when Talia was 6 years old, leaving Talia with bedtime stories about a royal family but no hint of her true heritage.
In the future, extra sensory perceptions are common. Baleweg, a mystic from the future, teams with a man hired by the Queen to find Eleri. Archer is a mercenary, hired only to bring back the woman who was the Royal Healer. But when Archer and Baleweg travel back in time, they discover that Eleri has died and Talia is the last link in the family. Assuming she has the gift of healing from her mother, they convince her to travel to the future to help the Queen.
I love Donna Kauffman. What a gift to create whole worlds, making them as real as the one we exist in now. This book is the perfect combination of romance, suspense and science fiction. If you’re unsure about science fiction, cut your teeth on this one. You’ll love it! I certainly did." ~ Morgan Chilson, Reviewer, Old Book Barn Gazette.

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"Action packed adventure, steamy sensuality, and a bewitching plot all come together in a surprising and dramatic ending which shows just why the eclectic talent of Ms. Kauffman makes her one of the leading authors in romantic fantasy." ~ Rendezvous

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"The Royal Hunter is a charming book, and one I’d recommend if you’re looking for a fun and light time travel romance." ~ Claudia S. Terrones, All About Romance

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