||The Wild Rose Press
Lady Cynthia of Abertaine is trapped. Not only has her fiancé. Sir WilliaM Leyborne, not been back to the castle for over ten years, but she’s also not a titled Lady. Lord Simon of Cowell, a renegade warlord aligned with Mordred against Arthur and his Knights, has declared himself sovereign over Leyborne Castle and everything that once belonged to Sir William - including Cynthia.
Sir Constantine, Knight of the Round Table, has come to the shire to give Cynthia the news that her fiancé has fallen in battle. With him is William’s oral will giving all he owns to Cynthia as though they had been wed. But when he finds Cynthia and discovers that the shire under the control of an evil warlord, he knows he cannot leave without first driving Simon and his soldiers from the land.
Drawn together by an attraction older than time, Cynthia and Constantine soon discover that though a vow made by a knight’s honor has brought them together, it may just also cost them their lives.
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The WIld Rose Press
Coming soon from the WIld Rose Press
Book One - Brother Knights
Cynthia and Constantine
Lady Cynthia of Abertaine is trapped.
Not only has her fiancé not been back to the castle for over ten years, but she’s also not a titled Lady.
As a child of ten, Cynthia was pledged to William of Leybourne when William and her father swore their swords to King Arthur and rode to join his knights. William left Cynthia in the hands William’s elderly former nursemaid and the welfare of his people in the hands of his Steward until his return. But over the succeeding years William returned to Leybourne Castle only once; to bring Cynthia’s father’s body to the pyre.
Over those same years, Cynthia has become loved by the people of the shire. When the steward died suddenly, she assumed the role left to him by William. Now Lady of the Castle by default, she sees to the needs of the people with kindness and justice until Williams’ return.
But Lord Simon of Cowell, a renegade warlord aligned with Mordred against Arthur and his Knights, has declared himself sovereign over Leybourne Castle and everything that once belonged to Sir William Leybourne - including Cynthia. Without title or holdings, Cynthia can do nothing more for the people then hold off Simon’s advances by professing her love for William and waiting for his return.
Cynthia fears that if William does not return soon and reclaim what was rightly his, she may have to succumb to Simon to protect the people. After warding off one of Simon’s attempts have her submit to him, she sees Simon accosting her handmaiden, Jane and stops it. But now Cynthia knows time is running out for her.
Cynthia follows Simon into the forest when he takes out the hawk. As she prepares to send an arrow into Simon’s heart, she is stopped by the most handsome man she has ever seen.
Sir Constantine, Knight of the Round Table, has come to the shire to give Cynthia the news that her fiancé has fallen in battle. With him is William’s oral will giving all he owns to Cynthia as though they had been wed. By a knight’s honor Constantine is bound to deliver William’s signet ring to Cynthia and take her to the bishop to put William’s wishes on record.
But when he finds Cynthia and discovers that the shire under the control of an evil warlord, he knows he cannot leave without first driving Simon and his soldiers from the land. After telling Cynthia the awful news of William’s death, Constantine discovers the depth of Simon’s treachery. He sends the local monk to Camelot to ask for help, and together he and Cynthia plot a way to keep the news of William’s death hidden while they wait for aid.
Disguising himself as a minstrel, Constantine finds work at a local tavern. He is intent on watching over Cynthia and keeping her safe until the Knights arrive. But the attraction they both feel cannot be denied and they meet in secret, finally giving in to a love that grows deeper each time they are together.
Simon becomes suspicious. His suspicions are confirmed by a villager knowing there is money to be made from information he has about the stranger to the shire. To set a trap, Simon throws a celebration feast and hires Constantine to sing for the guests. As Constantine sings, Simon becomes enraged by the way Cynthia and Simon look at each other.
Cynthia and Constantine try to escape, but are confronted by Simon. After a sword fight during which Constantine is wounded, he taken away to die slowly from his injury. Cynthia is taken to Donahyde Castle in the neighboring shire to further break her spirits and prepare her for Simon’s bed.
Inspired by her Lady’s courage, Jane uses herbs to make a sleeping potion and gives it to the jailer in the night meal. With the aid of soldiers still loyal to William, she takes Constantine to the ruins of the monastery and tries to nurse him back to health.
Spending days in the dungeons at Donahyde Castle is taking its toll on Cynthia’s body, but not her resolve. She devises a plan using Simon’s desire for her against him to escape. The plot successful and Cynthia races to find Constantine before Simon does. She desperately searches for him and finds Constantine at the monastery clinging to life. She takes over his care from Jane and works tirelessly to bring him back from the brink.
It is only after he realizes Cynthia is gone that Simon learns Constantine is a Knight of the Round Table and still alive. He declares Cynthia and Constantine traitors and scours the countryside looking for them. He ransacks the villages and kills anyone he suspects has tried to help them.
Cynthia succeeds in nursing Constantine back to health. With the help of loyal villagers and soldiers, they continue to hide from Lord Simon while they wait for Arthur’s knights and Constantine regains his strength. Simon takes out his anger on the villagers, plundering the shires and punishing the people.
As word of the plight of the people reaches them, Cynthia and Constantine consider surrendering to Simon. They make vows to each other and wed in the ruins of the abbey after which they seal their love in a shelter made for them by Jane and the soldiers.
In the morning they awake to the sound of a battle. Simon is fast closing in on them. As they fight, they are finally joined by Arthur’s Knights who help turn the tide of the battle.
Constantine and Simon fight in a battle they both know is to the death. Though still weak from his wound, Constantine manages to find the strength and settles the score; for William, for the people of Leybourne shire and for Cynthia.
But their happiness is short-lived. Lancelot has betrayed Arthur and the Knights must return to Camelot for the fight at Joyous Garde. Cynthia and Constantine must be parted once more as Constantine must fulfill his oath to his King. He vows to return and make Cynthia a proper wife.
Once again, Cynthia must wait for her betrothed, this time heavy with child. Months pass without word from Constantine although the news of the battle with Lancelot and the death of Arthur has reached Leybourne Castle. With no news about Constantine, Cynthia fears the worst.
Couriers herald the coming of a contingent from Camelot and Cynthia fears with it, the news of her beloved’s death. She steels herself and waits, with Jane, for the new king.
As the King dismounts and approaches Cynthia, the child in her belly stirs. When he removes his helmet, she sways with disbelief and falls into his arms. It is her own beloved Constantine wearing the crest of the king.
Before his knights and the people of Leybourne shire Constantine reaffirms his love for Cynthia and declares her to be his queen. Together they wait for the birth of their prince.
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Reader Reviews for "Cynthia and Constantine"
|Reviewed by Kathye Quick
|Title - Cynthia and Constantine (Beyond Camelot, Brother Knights, Book 1)
Author - Kathye Quick
Blue Ribbon Rating
Reviewed by Romance Junkies
Cynthia Locke of Abertaine is betrothed to a man she has not seen nigh on ten years. Taken into his home and protection as a child, Cynthia barely knew her betrothed, Sir William Leyborne, a sworn knight, before he left to fight for King Arthur and England. As the years pass with neither a word nor letter from her fiancé, Cynthia clings to the barest of hopes that William will return to claim both her and his lands. He could not have foreseen Lord Simon of Cowell seizing his properties, nor his absence allowing Simon free reign to blatantly covet the Lady Cynthia.
Sir Constantine, a Knight of the Round Table, swore to fulfill a fellow knight's dying wish - that he give his betrothed the news of his death and let her know that he bequeaths all he owns to her as if they had been married. However, upon witnessing the precarious situation William's absence left his people, Constantine is honor bound to protect and liberate William's lands, the townsfolk, but more importantly, Cynthia from the rule of an evil tyrant and conspirator of Mordred.
United in the cause to take back the land from a usurper, Cynthia and Constantine find more than a fight against evil in common. They find temptation incarnate in one another. And in true courtly love fashion, risk not only the mission, but their lives to be together.
CYNTHIA AND CONSTANTINE is a rollicking ride for lovers of Arthurian romance. Cynthia, our heroine, is smart, saintly, and sexy. Constantine, quite literally our knight in shining armor, is unearthly beautiful, brave, and bestowed with too many manly gifts to mention. Together, their coupling is the stuff of songs, sung by minstrels sitting by a fireside, with eager listeners trailing all around them.
Evil doesn't get any clearer cut than in the form of Simon of Cowell, not to be mistaken with the infamous Simon Cowell of pop TV's American Idol; although both do enjoy a modicum of arrogance, entitlement, and braggadocio that few would lay claim.
Still, with such a clear line between good and evil and the perfect pairing of lovers, the reader is left to wonder at the "how's" behind Simon's demise and the fruition of our lovers' happily-ever-after (HEA). But make no mistake, Ms. Quick leaves no questions unanswered, and the HEA is most happily handed to the reader on a silver platter, equipped with a plot twist that none could have seen coming.
CYNTHIA AND CONSTANTINE is an entertaining adventure with a unique take on the original Arthurian legend. A satisfying read, to be sure.