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Excerpt 1—Aug. 7
“Jamie, please get my bag. I’ll see to his injuries while we wait.”
“Didn’t the lord order him killed?”
The youth was right. Sir Mortimer promised death to the man he sought. But Kate had yet to learn the offender’s crime.
“If the new master of Stonehill wants anyone dead, he can do it himself.” The words were sharper than she’d intended, and Jamie fixed her with a worried gaze.
Excerpt 2—Aug. 14
“But you’ll turn him in, won’t you?” His voice hitched.
Her glance took in the prisoner’s face that seemed so familiar. She had no choice. “We must.”
Still looking troubled, Jamie darted out. Young or no, the boy understood the danger they courted. While soldiers combed the area for a stranger, none of her people were safe. But once Sir Mortimer had his hands on the man he wanted, he’d call off his mongrels.
Kate had to believe that.
Excerpt 3—Aug. 21
Kate glanced at the unmoving knight. His mere presence filled the hut’s tiny space. A part of her hoped he wasn’t the culprit being sought.
Pushing away a niggle of guilt at the hope, she went to a small, rough table where a jug of water sat. Filling a wooden bowl, she considered how long until Sir Mortimer called off the hunt. Oscar or Sam’l would send word as soon as he did.
She picked up the bowl and turned, just as a voice boomed. “Who the hell are you?”
Kate jumped, splashing water across her front.
Excerpt 4—Aug 28
If Henry hadn’t been so angry, he’d smile at the youth’s open-mouth shock. But he was angry. And his damned head rang like a benighted gong.
He’d lain quiet, waiting for the pain to fade into a throb. That, and taking stock of his surroundings through slitted eyelids. But enough was enough. He had no time for this interruption.
What did the youth play at, attacking an armed knight? Surely the stripling realized he could have been badly hurt.
The fact that the armed knight now lay bound on a pallet only made Henry more disgusted with himself.
Excerpt 5—Sept. 4
Perhaps his capture didn’t qualify as a prank after all. The two who tapped him on the chin, then trussed him up hadn’t been joking.
“Well?” he demanded. “What have you to say for yourself, boy?”
Struggling to pull off the now-soaked hooded cape, the boy raised his head.
A girl? Shock sliced through Henry’s discomfort. How had he not noticed that thick, moonlight-colored braid before? Ah, it had been draped inside the short cape.
Excerpt 6—Sept. 11
Beneath the cape, she wore a dark, rough tunic covering thick hose that obscured the curve of her legs. But that glorious hair—it lit the glum interior of the small chamber.
Glowering, she whisked the braid beneath the neck of the tunic.
“Untie me at once.” His voice croaked from a dry throat, not as threatening as he’d planned, but gruff enough to send her back a step. “I promise not to beat you.”
Excerpt 7—Sept. 18
wouldn’t go wrong about now. She’d be safer in the long run. “You’ll find yourself in wor
trouble if your lord learns what you’ve done.”
Rather than cower, she smiled. “I rather think I’d be in worse trouble if I did set you free.”
Her voice flowed over him like a liquid blanket. Thick, warm, soft. This was no girl. This was a woman.
“Who are you?” he rasped. “And what are you about here?”
“The lord of Stonehill sent word to watch for a stranger.”
Her tone had deepened, roughened. Did she really believe he’d think her a boy? “And he said to attack this stranger, bind him like prisoner?”
An unwelcome suspicion wormed into Henry’s aching head. “Why?”
“He said the man is a traitor to England and must die.”
Excerpt 9—Oct. 2
Paxton already must have arrived to spread his lies. Damnation.
“This has all been a mistake,” he insisted.
“You might well think so.” She edged closer as they spoke.
Something about her hair—its remarkable color—danced at the edge of his memory. He’d seen it before, but memory failed. No matter. He’d not allow an intriguing female to deter him. “What I think is you should loosen these cords. I’m Henry of Chauvere. I’m no danger to anyone here.”
Excerpt 10—Oct 9
Her mouth opened, then closed. Blasted dim light made it difficult to see clearly. But even in in the near darkness, her expression was unmistakable—recognition.
How the hell did she know him?
Relief and frustration warred in Kate. This was Alyss’s brother. It was not the villain everyone expected.
She ought to have trusted her first reaction. But years had passed since she’d glimpsed her friend’s brother. He’d grown. Goodness, how he’d grown.
Excerpt 11—Oct. 11
An unexpected warmth tingled through her veins—here was a friend.
The warmth gave way to a chill.
A friend who could spoil everything.
Another thought made her hesitate. Before her lay a powerful man. But even she, living quietly at Stonehill, knew Henry of Chauvere’s story. He’d been struck down defending King Richard from attack following the king’s release from captivity three years earlier. Since then, he struggled to recover from those near-fatal wounds. According to tales she’d heard, he still could scarcely lift his sword arm.
The knight eyeing her through narrowed lids appeared far from feeble.
Excerpt 12—Oct 23
Yet her memory had stirred from first glance today. She’d been fifteen when she last saw Henry. This man looked like he might nine years later. Surely two people could not appear the same, down to the scar.
She propped her fists on her hips and pitched her voice low. “You’ve picked the wrong name to claim. We all know Lord Henry’s near an invalid. I’d say you best shut your mouth afore Oscar comes back to shut it for you.”
He didn’t react at all as she’d intended. His chest shook. In laughter?
A rough chuckle confirmed it. “I fear your intelligence-gathering is behind times, lass.”
Excerpt 13—Oct. 30
Blast. He’d seen her braid. Yet Kate remained reluctant to admit the deception. “Even if you are who you claim, why would Lord Henry be sneaking through a forest, leagues south of his home?”
“Searching for the same traitor your lord does.”
“This outlaw must have committed a terrible crime to have such a hue and cry go out.”
“That he did, and I must be after him. We’re wasting valuable time. Set me free.”
She almost smiled at the incongruence of the fierce scowl hunching his brows coupled with the tightly bound wrists and ankles. Still she hesitated, torn between duty and conscience.
If this were Lord Henry recovered from his injuries, as it seemed, he certainly posed no threat. She’d wager her life on it. Could she wager the lives of those who depended on her?
Imagine his reaction when he learned the youth who toppled him from horse was a female? Whom he knew.
Excerpt 14—Nov. 6
Here at my blog:
Indeed, perhaps he lied, used the name because of its familiarity in the shire. Perhaps she noticed a resemblance because she wished the connection to be true. Nine long years had passed since last they’d met. And other men might bear similar scars.
Then she realized a way to confirm his identity. Something only three people in the world knew. Would he?
If she asked the question, he’d guess her secret.
The chance for help was worth it. Henry wouldn’t betray anyone. “Prove you are Henry of Chauvere. How did you come by that scar on your chin?
A sudden, dangerous stillness gripped the muscled warrior, and the sight of his bound legs dangling from the pallet didn’t seem as amusing.
His gaze bore into hers. Probing. Questioning.
If her heart thudded before, it thundered now. Mary’s tears. She refused to lose courage. Chin tilted, she glared back.
Finally, one side of his mouth twitched. The knowing look in his eyes told her he remembered.
“My young sister and her friend were trying out the pages’ wooden swords one afternoon. God only knows how they came by the weapons. I stepped in to halt their dangerous play and…”
When he paused, Kate couldn’t stop a chuckle.
“…my sister’s friend dealt me a blow.”
“It was an accident, you know.” Kate’s low voice sounded breathless.
He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?
When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.
Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate's past catches her.
When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.