|About the Book|
When Lady Katherine de la Motte sets out to secure her ancestral castle from her greedy stepfather, she is delighted when King Edward grants her dearest wish. But a castle in The Marches requires a strong defender. If Lady Katherine is to keep herMoreWhen Lady Katherine de la Motte sets out to secure her ancestral castle from her greedy stepfather, she is delighted when King Edward grants her dearest wish. But a castle in The Marches requires a strong defender. If Lady Katherine is to keep her castle, she must wed with all speed. Will the king choose the man she loves, or will she be given to a stranger?Rhys of St. Quintin has no time for damsels in distress. He certainly has no time to fall in love with one who is beautiful but outspoken and willful. Yet, being a chivalrous knight, when he uncovers Lady Katherine hiding in the forest, he accepts her plight and becomes her champion, never realizing the impact she will have on his life and his heart. But how can he gain her trust when he is unable to be honest with her? And how can he control his growing love for her when other obligations place that love beyond his reach?Excerpt from the bookRhys beckoned to Katherine and offered his interlaced fingers. I have no pillion but mayhap we can fit, if we sit tight.Reluctantly she set a boot in his hands and gingerly placed a hand on his shoulder to balance herself. A jolt of heat surged through her at the contact. He was strong and young, with muscles developed for war. Gladdened when his boost settled her astride the horse, when she could remove her hand from the rugged shoulder that strained beneath his chain mail, she dared not venture a look in his direction.Faith, when had the mere touch of a man been so nettling?Tis not my wont to aggrieve fair maidens, Sir Rhys commented in a disgusted tone, cocking a frown up at her. Natheless, I seem to have succeeded this day.Katherine felt the heat rise in her cheeks. He had noticed her discomposure. She darted a glance in the opposite direction.The knight swung up behind her, jostling her within his arms as he wrapped the leather straps around his gauntlets.But as the steed was nudged toward the hillock, Katherine found the hard, chain-clad frame at her back not unsettling, but reassuring. In truth, the knights presence gave succor to her flagging spirits. For the first time in days she was not burdened with fear of the morrow. The mighty dread overwhelming her and the body-splitting weariness that was her constant companion since Aunt Matilda died in her arms, faded away. With a heavy sigh, she relaxed against the stalwart chest.Gods Mercy!The bellow in her ear nigh deafened Katherine. The knight hauled on the reins. The horse lunged to a stop. Betwixt the knights long arms, she jerked upright. She rubbed the back of her head where she had met unforgiving armor.Sit aright, else Ill be off my horses ars—rump! Sir Rhys barked.Katherine shifted her hips, trying to shimmy closer to the leather saddle. But with her legs dangling on either side of the destriers haunches and her wounded hand useless, she found no leverage.In the next instant, powerful hands encircled her waist, lifted her as though she were a feather, took her breath away as she was settled up against the high-backed saddle. Sir Rhys pressed behind her, his sinewy thighs cradling her buttocks and legs.She resented the pain where the saddle cut into her breasts, resented as well the disturbing apposition of the knight. Twas unnecessary to manhandle me. Her skin tingled where his armor rubbed against her spine. Her cheeks flushed with heat.Rhys slapped the reins and his mount moved into a walk. Twas most necessary, Lady Katherine, he murmured beside her ear. A horse has a limited magnitude.