Medieval Monday: The Highlander’s French Bride Faces ‘Betrayal’

Welcome to Medieval Monday, when your love of medieval romance is indulged. Today’s exciting vision of betrayal comes from talented author Cathy MacRae, who shares a scene from her exciting THE HIGHLANDER’S FRENCH BRIDE.

Excerpt:
Melisende’s arms fell to her sides. “Why would you go back
to such a life?”
“To the parties,” Lucienne answered, “and the gowns of
fabrics so fantastic they make you cry from the sheer pleasure of them. Laces
so delicate they can scarcely withstand the needle. Embroidery so fine it takes
four seamstresses a week just to produce one sleeve.” Her eyes closed and
rapture lit her face. “The men so courteous, so eager to woo me. Dancing,
stealing kisses behind the fountain. They tell me how beautiful I am, how much
they desire me.” She opened her eyes, settling her gaze on Melisende’s shocked
face.
“Once Raul began annulment proceedings, their interest
increased a hundredfold. I will have no lack of sponsors once I return.”
“That is a shameful way to live, and you know it, Lucienne.”
Tears burned in Melisende’s eyes. 
“How can you do this to yourself?” She swept
a hand toward the bed. “To her?”
The scorn returned to Lucienne’s face, casting ugly shadows
beneath her high cheeks. “You think you know what is right for me. That I
should be exactly like you, drowning behind your polite façade. You believe
everything is perfect in your little world with your adorable new husband who
loves you?” Her eyes narrowed as she slid her gaze to Arielle. “Have you not
wondered why she looks like him?”
Melisende immediately looked at the child asleep on the bed.
Her dark hair spilled across the pillow like a shadow in the dimly lit room.
She glanced back at her sister. “Why do you say that? I think she looks just
like you.”
“She has my nose and eyes, oui. But her dark hair comes from her father.”
 “Raul.”
Non. From your
oh-so-sweet husband.”
Melisende’s gaze bounced from Lucienne back to the child.
Lucienne’s parting words so many years ago loosed themselves from the depths of
her mind. What do you think went on
whilst he slept in our house—only me and him? He would be unable to look you in
the eye if you knew everything that happened.
She shook her head. Non!
It is impossible to think of it!
He
has already assured me there was nothing between himself and Lucienne.
But
her heart grew cold in her breast.
Lucienne strolled to the bed and stroked her daughter’s
hair. “She looks so much like me. But she has Kinnon’s hair.” Her smile set an
arrow in Melisende’s heart.
Brushing aside her doubts, Melisende stepped forward. “Do
not be absurd, Lucienne. Her hair is much like mine, and Raul’s is dark as
well.”
Lucienne tossed her head. “You do not seem to recall Arielle
was born early—or so I told Raul.”
“Lucienne, did you have relations with someone whilst we
lived in Randon?” Melisende demanded. “Did you marry Raul knowing you were
already enceinte?”
Lucienne sent her a mocking look. “You would love to believe
that, wouldn’t you? To keep your lover innocent of the deed.”
“I do not believe you,” Melisende replied firmly, against
the reservations that gnawed at her.
Lucienne’s eyebrows raised, a lofty smile taunting
Melisende. “Yet you see the resemblance, non?
No matter what you tell yourself, you will always know there is the
possibility. We spent an entire week together, unchaperoned. You know how
insatiable he is, n’ai-je pas raison?”
Her eyes glittered. “No matter what you try to believe, you will always wonder
if he shared his body with me first.”
Blurb:
Heir to a lairdship, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove his
worth by fighting the English on the battlefields of France. His dreams of
heroic valor are destroyed by the realities of war—the atrocities visited by
fellow soldiers on the very people he is sworn to protect. Three years in a
French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one
thing of beauty in his war-torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom
named Melisende.
Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of
soldiers who would imprison her for helping an injured Scotsman wrongly accused
of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—until a chance encounter sends
her fleeing into the unknown once again, haunted by the beguiling friendship
with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.
Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns
to France, only to discover a trail of clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their
reunion will open the doors to passion, but half-truths and lies from the past
could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.
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Betrayal on Medieval Monday: Jenna Jaxon’s Time Enought to Love

Betrayal! There’s nothing worse whether it’s by a loved one or a friend. The new theme for Medieval Monday looks at that very issue. My first guest is the talented Jenna Jaxon, who features an especially poignant example from Time Enough to Love.
Excerpt:
Abruptly, he gripped her face,
pulling it up until she peered into the dangerous dark eyes of her husband.
Terror surged through her at the sight of his snarling countenance.
“Why so amorous this morning, my
sweet?” he growled, his eyes snapping with anger. “Were Geoffrey’s kisses not
as satisfying as you remembered?” 
Oh,
God. Oh, God. He saw—
Thomas flung her toward the bed.
She huddled at its foot in a heap, shivering, while he strode to where she lay,
towering over her. Alyse cringed before him, head bowed, too frightened and
ashamed for tears. 
“I believe I may have misspoken
earlier, madam.” His voice dripped sarcasm. “I had, in fact, gone in search of
you, to invite you to an intimate breakfast with your husband. Imagine my
dismay to find you engaged in one already, albeit with someone else’s husband.
From the exchange I saw, I can scarce credit that you hunger still. Yet you
enter our chamber apparently unsatisfied. Pray tell me, how many more husbands
would you devour ere the day begins?” 
His voice rose to an excruciating
volume, and Alyse clamped her hands to her ears lest she be deafened. 
“I have played the tender lover
these past weeks. Petted and cajoled you, like some simpering green boy in an
effort to remain true to the vow I made you, despite my right as your husband to demand your obedience in bed. I have been
patient, kind, and true, madam, and I am repaid in treachery!”
“Nay, Thomas!” Quite suddenly, she
found her tongue and raised a resolute face to her livid husband. She rose from
the floor and stood facing him, breasts heaving in indignation. “Whatever you
saw, whatever you think, I did not
betray you with Geoffrey.”
“You were in his arms, your mouths
locked together as though nothing could pull them asunder. Do you deny that?”
He spat the words at her.
“Nay.” She pitched her voice low,
her resentment of his accusation ebbing. “God forgive me, I kissed him and held
him, and he held me. And the world ceased to exist for a little while.”
 Blurb:

When Lady Alyse
de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make
the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and
although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully
sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best
friend.
 
From the first,
Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation
with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing
Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them,
Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in
love with her himself.
 

As the three
courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong
into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with
her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?

Medieval Monday First Kiss: Mary Morgan Brings DRAGON KNIGHT’S SHIELD

Here’s a delectable ending to
Medieval Monday’s FIRST KISS series. Angus and Deirdre of Mary Morgan’s DRAGON
KNIGHT’S SHIELD singe the page with their first foray into romance. Next week Medieval Monday will be back with a new themed series. Meanwhile, settle in for the delightful hero and heroine in this time-travel romance.

Excerpt:

His look was predatory, lustful, inviting, and she
took a step backward. Words failed her as she took another step back.
He arched a brow and his smile became seductive. “Do I
frighten ye?”
“No!” she lied. Like
hell you do! You’re as gorgeous as sin standing there, and I want to rip your
clothes from your body
.
Pushing off from the wall, he stepped into the room
and silently closed the door behind him, his eyes never leaving hers. His hair
hung in soft waves past his shoulders, and her fingers itched to twine within
them. Her body ached in places so deep—longing for even the slightest
touch. 
“Are ye unwell, my lady?”
The burr of his voice so low—so sexy, she could only
stare at him until his words resonated in her mind. “No,” she replied softly,
feeling the flames of desire heat not only her face, but also her entire body.

 
This time when he took another step closer, Deirdre
didn’t back away. Now he stood so close she ould feel the warmth of his breath
across her face—a mix of wine and pure male.

She watched mesmerized as he reached for a lock of her
hair, twining it around his finger. “So verra soft.”
Deirdre couldn’t breathe, as he let the curl unravel
and cupped her face in his hands. “Ye confuse me. Ye torment me in my dreams,”
he whispered against her cheek, sending a wave of pleasure down her spine.
Without thought, she groaned and leaned into him—his
beard grazing her cheek. She no longer battled her mind for the man. “Kiss me, Angus.”
This time he groaned, capturing her mouth with savage intensity and
drawing the breath from her lungs. His tongue plundered deep, and Deirdre
opened fully to the fiery possession.
Blurb:
Angus MacKay, leader of
the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his
sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on
Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as
mightily as his warriors, and he takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day,
the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for
him. 

Famed mystery writer, Deirdre Flanagan, is
unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she
steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander.
However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as
evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight. 




Will their love be
powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes? 
Buy Links:
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