For This Knight Only
Thanks for having me here today, Vicky. I’m sharing an excerpt from For This Knight Only. That’s Roark and Alyss’s story, one I had great fun writing. Sir Roark is such a ‘guy’! He expects Lady Alyss to be docile—and thankful he’s come along to marry her so she won’t have to take care of everything after her brother’s death. Of course, he’s in for a surprise!
The book is celebrating its birthday, and as in any birthday party, there is a gift. One name will be drawn from commenters to receive an e-book of their choice.
He’ll do anything for land, even marry her; she’ll do anything for her people, except marry him. If only either had a choice. It’s a marriage only love can save.
Sir Roark will do anything to gain land, even beguile an unwilling lady into marriage. He knows she’s much better off with a man to take control of her besieged castle, to say nothing of her desirable person. But it isn’t long before he discovers that, although her eyes sparkle like sunlight on sea waves, her stubbornness alone could have defeated Saladin.
Lady Alyss is determined to hold her family’s castle, protect her people, and preserve her freedom— until her brother’s dying wish binds her to a stranger. Still, she’ll allow no rugged, over-confident, appealing knight to usurp her authority, even if she must wed him. Especially since he thinks a lady’s duties begin and end with directing servants. Alyss has a few surprises for her new all-too-tempting lord.
But when a common enemy threatens everything, Roark and Alyss face a startling revelation. Without love, neither land nor freedom matters.
What would it take to persuade her to marry him? A sudden pain burst between his legs, and he gasped, eyes blurry. The little hell-cat kneed him. Even though chain mail deflected some of the impact, he used every bit of his willpower to remain standing.
Apparently persuasion took more than a kiss.
He drew a steadying breath. “You don’t understand, my lady. You will be my wife before the sun sets. It was your brother’s dying wish. It was my pledge to a comrade.”
By God, he’d begun to believe it himself.
Alyss met him toe to toe. “This morning I had never seen you, and by tonight, you think I will marry you?”
Her head tilted back and she glared into his eyes. “Were you, perhaps, wounded in the head during a fight? Have you lost your senses as well as your hearing? How do you propose to force me to the altar?
With your army?”
With an exaggerated look around, she nodded at Alain. “Ah, yes. There it is. Impressive to be sure.”
Turning from Roark, she said, “Sir Baldwin, see that these two knights are outside
the gates by sundown. Call every man in the garrison to help, if need be. I want them gone.”
Head high as if confident her word would be enforced immediately, she strode to the stairway.
Frowning, Sir Baldwin started forward. Roark lifted a hand to halt him. He glanced at Alain, then back to Alyss. “One moment, my lady. Hear me out.”
She continued to walk, but everyone in the hall had no trouble hearing her. “Unless you intend to apologize, you can say nothing that will interest me.”
Roark had known this would not be easy, but he had expected the female to at least listen to reason.
An obedient, well-behaved lady is how Sir Godfrey described her. An excellent housekeeper, but helpless to defend herself if her menfolk were all dead. Obedient, well-behaved. Helpless.
That Lady Alyss wasn’t this Lady Alyss.
Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math. Through careers as a newspaper reporter and editor, then a college journalism and English professor, she’s retained her fascination with history. Give her a research book and a pot of tea, and she’s happy for hours. But what really makes her smile is working on a new story. Now retired, she lives in Missouri where she edits for others and spins tales of heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.
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