Caught in a web of lies, Lady Rowena is being forced to marry a man with dark intentions. All hope is gone until a handsome knight emerges from her past. Sir Eadric is torn between honor and the love for a woman. He knows that one night with Rowena could lead to their deaths. Her betrothed finds out about their affair and hunts them down. Will the lovers survive a moment's passion?
Lady Rowena's world is about to be turned upside down. She will do anything to get out of marrying Lord Hector Drageon even if it means sacrificing her life. Just when things seem hopeless, a handsome knight comes to escort her to her betrothed. Rowena can't keep her eyes off of Sir Eadric and longs to warm his bed. She is determined to experience the pleasures of the flesh and wants Sir Eadric to be the one to indulge her.
The lovers fall into temptation, but they will have to pay a price for their sordid affair. Lord Hector uses the powers of evil to tear them apart in order to have Rowena for his own. Will Sir Eadric be her hero, or will he be just a one night stand?
An Unwanted Betrothal
Sweat poured from her brow as she rocked back and forth. Heat consumed her with each forceful thrust. He probed farther, plowing deeper into her sheath. Yes, she thought, wrapping her legs around his waist. This was what she craved. This was what she wanted. Faster. Deeper. He pushed into her, pulsating wildly. The rhythm of their lovemaking drove her to the edge. With one final plunge, her body spasmed and convulsed as the essence of her desire drenched her sex.
Rowena shot straight up in bed gasping for air. Her heart throbbed against each rib with such vigor that she thought it would leap out of her chest. The linen shift, damp from perspiration, clung to her body like a second skin.
"It's just a dream," she breathed, feeling gooseflesh pepper her arms.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Rowena's lady in waiting barged into the bedchamber.
"Rise and shine, my lady," Matilda said cheerfully, "You have a big day ahead of you."
"I'm not sure if I can go through with this," she sighed.
Matilda shot her a wary eye. "What's wrong, child? Are you ill?"
"No," she said, "I'm not ill."
"You look a bit feverish," Matilda bustled over and felt her forehead. "No fever. It must be nerves."
"This is more than just jitters."
"All maidens get anxious before their wedding night."
"Anxious isn't the word. Dread is more like it."
"Don't be silly, child."
"This is a fool's errand, Matilda. I don't even like him."
"You will in time."
"Some say that he is cruel."
"You're beauty will soften his heart." Matilda ran a few fingers through Rowena's blonde locks. "Everything will be fine."
"How do you know?" she asked.
"Rowena," Matilda said solemnly, "I'm not going to lie to you. It's no telling what you may face, but Westhaven Castle is depending on you. You can't let your father down."
Rowena looked down at the floor and wished that she could disappear. Why did she have to be the martyr? A few weeks ago, she had the displeasure of meeting Hector Dreogan when he visited her father. His eyes held a darkness that frightened her. There was something about him. Something that she didn't trust. His questionable integrity wasn't the only thing that bothered her—he was dreadfully hideous. With his grey hair and crooked teeth, her betrothed was far from being the man of her dreams.
"Matilda," she started, "How am I supposed to sleep with a man that I don't love?"
"You don't have to love him in order to sleep with him."
"He's not even attractive."
"Just grin and bear it."
"Enough talk, Rowena. Things will work out the way it's supposed to. We don't have much time. Let's get you ready." Matilda clapped her hands, and two servants filed in carrying a tub. "It will take two days to reach Dunsford, and your bags have already been packed. Your escort will arrive soon."
"This will be the first time I've ever left home," she whispered, watching several servants pour buckets of hot water into the basin.
"No need to worry, Rowena," Matilda said, "The union between you and Lord Dreogan will guarantee Westhaven's safety. It has to be this way."
Rowena sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly. She couldn't understand how a marriage could reconcile the differences between two men who had been sworn enemies—until now. How could her father agree to such a union? Perhaps he had gone mad.
"Come, my lady," Matilda said, watching the last servant close the door, "Let's get you bathed before you go on your journey.
Rowena slowly slipped the linen shift from her shoulders and let it fall to the floor. She stepped into the tub gently, submerging herself in the mixture of warm water and oils. The smell of heather tickled her nose, refreshed her senses. For a brief moment, she drifted away, losing her thoughts on the delicate aroma that filled her bedchamber.
She closed her eyes and thought of the dream she had. The desire. The passion. It all seemed incredibly real. Too bad she couldn't give herself to the phantom that haunted her fantasies. If only dreams could come true.
Quick Read 4/5*
Rowena's father was an easily tempted man and couldn't resist a wager. In a moment of weakness he used his daughters hand in marriage as his stake and lost. Rowena was not happy. The man she was being forced to marry was Lord Dreogan, an evil leader who was cruel to his minions. Having to travel for two days to her wedding venue, Rowena's childhood friend Eadric; now a well battled knight, was to be her escort to ensure her safe delivery to the Lord.
One Knight's stand is a short story, we have a maiden in distress and a Knight in shining armour who comes to her rescue. The `love' scenes are very tastefully written without the use of vulgar or crass words which is a refreshing change! The plot is simple, uncomplicated and quite predictable but is an easy and quick read for those with a romantic heart. The character development is suitable for the stories length and the story is complete within itself not leaving the reader with the `I need more' feeling. I enjoyed it.
Dramatic, Exhilarating and Sexy Medieval Short Story 4/5*
What would you do if your weak father had made a drunk wager on you, his only daughter?
What would you do if, because of the wager, you had to marry a man you had seen only once, a man you don't like, a man not even slightly attractive, a man with a frightening and diabolical aura, a man who is simply not meant for you?
What would you do if your long-lost-but-never-forgotten childhood secret love were to be the one to escort you to your unwanted betrothed?
Wouldn't you jump at the chance to experience just once in your life the pleasures of the flesh? Maybe you would, but what about Rowena?
Lady Rowena has been born at a time where women are mere pawns in a game only played by men and where women always lose, well maybe not this time ...
Brooklynn Rivers offers us here a dramatic and exhilarating short story where no word is wasted. Her very lively descriptions take us effortlessly into a world of dark magic inhabited by unspeakable creatures.
She managed to create a wonderful and intriguing tale in One Knight's Stand that is filled with passion and danger and brilliantly combined with some very exciting paranormal elements. Rowena and Eadric are childhood friends who grow to love one another but never say it aloud. And then it is too late: Eadric leaves for the Crusades to make a name for himself, intending to return home one day and marry Rowena. However years later, he returns home only to find Rowena is betrothed to another. While she felt deserted when he went off to fight in the Crusades, Eadric feels a different kind of desertion upon return--the loss of her affection. The two main characters are indeed meant for each other and the fact that they have this past that has inexorably tied them to one another makes for an achingly sweet story where the reader wonders if things can ever be set right for them. Their past gives the story enough depth and credibility to make it work completely.
Despite the quality of it, I cannot help but wish it were longer. It's the second book I've read, the first one "The Road to Dark Desire" was perfect and I have to confess that Ms. Rivers has become one of my favorite. I'm looking forward to reading her next book. For now, I give this exciting tale 4/5.