Knights in shining armor...damsels in distress... adventure, romance, intrigue....
Dirick of Derkland, man of the king, sets off on a mission of revenge after his father’s brutal murder. His mind is bent solely on vengeance until he meets the beautiful Maris of Langumont….
Maris of Langumont has vowed never to wed…but her father must do his duty to protect her, and he promises her to Victor D’Arcy—a man who makes her blood run cold.
Bon de Savrille rests his eyes upon Maris only once, and decides she must be his. He whisks her away just before her betrothal ceremony, determined to force her into marriage.
When Dirick appears at the castle where Maris is held captive, she believes he is part of the plot…and ’tis nearly his death she causes during her chance to escape.
“Do you not know to have a chaperon with you at all times? ’Tis not meet for a lady to have assignations alone with a man in the stable of all places!”
Maris’s eyes snapped. “And here I stand with you, then! Alone in a stable, with no chaperon…and my virtue has never been safer!”
He dropped the bridle, grabbing for her as his patience broke. “I would not say that your virtue is safe with me, my dear lady,” he said, pulling her to his long body. “In fact, Maris, I should say that you are treading upon very thin ice…once again.” He looked down at her and saw no fear in her eyes, only surprise, and he felt the warmth of her breath touch his face. His hands on her shoulders, he eased her backward until she felt the wall behind her and he imprisoned her there, holding her with his muscled legs.
Dirick let his breath out slowly as his hands ran through her hair. She was not afraid, he noted, although if she had any sense, she would be. It was all he could do to keep from tearing off her clothes and tossing her onto the bed of hay in the next room. It was madness!
“Maris,” he said softly as their gazes met. He would never see her again; and she was not yet betrothed. “I cannot leave without kissing you once more.” He did not wait for a response, but dragged her up against him.