Returning home triumphant from the Crusades, Dominic le Sabre is determined to claim the bride promised to him by the king, but the high-born Celtic beauty is equally determined to resist him.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has more than eighty titles published to date with over twenty-four million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the Western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.
Date of Birth:April 5, 1944
Place of Birth:Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Education:B. A., University of California, 1966
Read an Excerpt
Spring in the Reign of King Henry I Northern England
The sound of a war horn sliced through the day, announcing the coming of Blackthorne Keep's new lord. As though summoned, a dark shape condensed out of the mist ... a knight in full armor riding a huge stallion. Horse and man seemed one, indivisible, fierce with the male power singing in their blood like a storm.
"They say he is a devil, m'lady the widow Eadith muttered.
"They say that of all Norman knights," Meg said to her handmaiden with desperate calm, " yet among them surely there must be men of Kind and generous hearts."
Eadith made a sound that could have been a throttled laugh.
"Nay, mistress." Tis fitting that your bridegroom wears chain mail and rides a savage destrier. There is whispering of war."
"There will be no war," Meg said firmly. "That is why I will wedto end the bloodletting.
"Do not mislead yourself . War is more likely to be waged than a wedding," Eadith announced with savage satisfaction. Death to the Norman invaders!"
"Silence," Meg said softly. "I will hear no talk of war."
Eadith's mouth thinned, but she spoke no more of war.Standing at a high window of the keep, shielded from view by a partly closed shutter Meg searched the land for the riding household that must have accompanied the warrior, who would soon become her husband. Nothing moved behind the war-horse but silver mist twisting above the fields. The horn had been sounded by someone hidden within the forest that lay beyond the keep's cultivated land.
Horse and chain mail-dad knight loomed larger with every moment, riding openly up to the keep,fearing nothing. No retainers hurned behind the knight no squires appeared leading war-horses or pack animals burdened with the shmmg metal tools of war. Against all custom, Dominic le Sabre approached the Saxon keep with nothing but the war horn's deep cry attending him.
"This one is truly the Devil wearing man's flesh," Eadith said, crossing herself.I would never wed him.,,
"Quite true. 'Tis my hand to be given, not yours.,"
'May God save you," Eadith muttered. I tremble for you, my lady, since you have not the wit to tremble for yourself!"
I am the last of an ancient and proud line, Meg said in a husky voice. "What is a nameless Norman bastard to make a daughter of Glendruid tremble?"
Yet even as Meg spoke, fear washed coolly down her spine. The closer Dominic le Sabre rode, the more she feared her handmaiden was right.
"God be with you, m'lady, for 'tis certain tile Devil will be!"
As Eadith spoke, she crossed herself again.
With outward composure Meg watched the proud warrior ride closer This was the man who would claim her as bride, and with her, the vast domain that she would inherit upon the munment death of her father. That was the lure that had brought a famous Noman knight from Jerusalem to the northern marches of King Henry's realm. Her father's estates had always been the lure for the Scots lords whose families had asked Meg's hand for their sons. But first William ll and then Henry I had refused to condone a marriage for Lady Margaret of Blackthorne. Until now.The knight on his war stallion approached closer, telling Meg that her future husband was unusual in more than that he rode alone.Like an outcast knight, he wears no lord's colors, yet certainly he is favored by the English king. When he becomes my husband, he will control more land than any but the greatest of the king's barons. Puzzled, Meg watched the Norman knight who had become a great English lord. He rode under no banner and wore no man's emblem on his teardropshaped shield. His helm was fashioned of a strange, blackened metal, the same color as the war horse that bore him. The long cloak that mantled his mailclad body and that of his horse was dark, rich, and swirled heavily with the stallion's powerful movements.
Proud as Lucifer both of them. And as strong.
Meg watched the dark lord's approach, willing herself to show no fear.
"He's uncommon large," Eadith said.
Meg said nothing.
"Does he not appear fearsome to you?" the handmaiden asked.
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