The Warlord's Woman
Genre: Medieval Romance
Edward I summons his grandson, Alexander of Kent, to court for the purpose of orchestrating the kidnap of Princess Catherine of Scotland, the surviving heir to the throne, and marry her. An heir through her would give Edward both thrones...
"Please, my lady, understand what is at stake here. You can heal the wounds of both lands by marrying the Duke of Kent," the old priest pleaded with his weathered hands shaking.
"No, I will not marry him, Father. He is a brute and I will not subject myself to cruelty at his hands." Her worried stare vacillated between the priest and the Duke. The overbearing brute was handsome to say the least with bronzed skin as well as a slight scar that ran from brow to cheek. Eyes containing a fiery flame stared at her from beneath a hooded brow complimented by high cheekbones. Lips, full and luscious, rested above a strong chin, no doubt experienced at eliciting the slightest bit of emotion from a woman. She shivered as she stared at his hands. Large and imposing, those digits have killed before but somehow possessed the power to bring pleasure to those he touched. She closed her eyes as images of his hands cupping her body and holding her close flooded her mind. All she could see was his fingers massaging her breasts root to tip, tugging on her aching nipples while one had traveled lower…
"You have no choice, Catherine." She opened her eyes. The Duke crossed his thick arms over his chest, a dangerous signal that his irritation grew at the delay.
Catherine added as much ice as she could in her stare. The last thing she would do is fall under his sexual spell. "I have a choice, my lord for I am a free woman. I will simply not wed you—"
The moment Catherine heard her name called softly but a familiar and dearly loved voice, she turned. Standing behind her was an older version of her beloved brother, Duncan. He was perhaps the only other man besides her late father that meant the world to her.
Brilliant fiery hair streamed down his broad shoulders while his warm smile was still there. She nearly melted. Those damned eyes of his still as blue as she had remembered. "Duncan? Is that you?"
He nodded and held his arms out wide for an embrace. "Aye, tis' me, sweet little sister."
She launched herself into arms and held on to the form she had missed for so long. Her brother had been gone for many years, exiled because of a transgression against their grandfather, King James of Scotland. "Where have you been? What has happened to you?" She stepped from the warmth of his arms and stared at the great changes. Bright crimson hair covered his chin and upper lip, smartly cut. His sapphire hued and richly embroidered tunic covered his much larger body and highlighted the deep azure of his eyes. The last time she had seen him, he had been a bawdy youth exiled into a foreign country because of the crime. That boy from that hated era had long since disappeared. In his stead was the man standing before her.
He pulled away from her and gave her a quick look over. "I have been living in England all this time, enjoying court life, as you should be."
Catherine stepped back as her heart sank. The sudden realization of why he was became all too clear. The King had sent him as well to assure her willingness to marry the Duke of Kent! "Why, Duncan, why?" Her jaw grew slack at his betrayal. "How could you do this to me?"