Honor's Splendour

Honor's Splendour

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by Julie Garwood
     
 

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In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon's main. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his

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Overview

In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon's main. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand fast...as bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for...Honor's Splendour.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Romantic Times Memorable and powerful....A beautifully sensitive love story.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671737825
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
04/30/1991
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
184,731
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 4.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter Two

Dear God, she wasn't going to be left behind.

Madelyne took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. She told herself she was just too distraught to think clearly. Of course the baron wasn't going to take her with him. Why, she wasn't significant enough to bother about.

She decided she still needed to hear his denial. "You don't think to take me with you, do you?" she blurted out. Her voice sounded strained; she knew she hadn't been able to keep the fear out of her voice.

Duncan walked over to Madelyne. He took hold of her satchel and threw it to his squire. She had her answer then. Madelyne stared up at Duncan, watched him swiftly mount, and then extend his hand down to her.

Madelyne began to back away. God help her, she was going to defy him. She knew if she tried to climb the distance to the top of his demon horse, she'd disgrace herself by fainting, or worse, screaming. In truth, she believed she preferred death to humiliation.

She was more frightened of the stallion than she was of the baron. Madelyne was sadly lacking in her education, and possessed none of the most basic riding skills. Memories of very young days, when Louddon had used those few riding lessons as a tool to inflict submission, still visited her on occasion. As a fully grown woman, she realized her fears were unreasonable, yet the fretful child inside her still rebelled with stubborn, illogical fright.

She took another step back. Then she slowly shook her head, denying Duncan's assistance. Her decision was made; she'd force him to kill her if that was his inclination, but she wasn't going to get on the stallion.

Without a thought as to where she was going, Madelyne turned and walked away. She was trembling so much, she stumbled several times. Panic was building inside until she was almost blinded by it, yet she kept her gaze directed or the ground and continued on, one determined step at a time.

She stopped when she came to the mutilated body of one of Louddon's soldiers. The man's face was horribly disfigured. The sight proved to be Madelyne's breaking point. She stood there, in the center of the carnage, staring at the dead soldier, until she heard a tortured scream echo in the distance. The sound was soul-wrenching. Madelyne put her hands over her ears to try to block out the noise but the action didn't help. The horrible sound went on and on.

Duncan spurred his horse forward the moment Madelyne started screaming. He reached her side, leaned down, and effortlessly lifted her up into his arms.

She stopped screaming when he touched her. Duncan adjusted his heavy cloak until his captive was completely covered. Her face rested against the steel links of his hauberk, yet he took time and attention to pull some of her own cloak forward so that the side of her cheek was cushioned against the soft sheepskin lining.

He didn't question his desire to be gentle with her. The picture flashed before him of Madelyne kneeling in front of him, taking his near-frozen feet under her own gown to give them warmth. It had been an act of kindness, that. He could do no less for her now. After all, he was the one solely responsible for causing Madelyne such pain in the first place.

Duncan let out a long sigh. It couldn't be undone. Hell, it had started out as such an easy plan too. Leave it to a woman to confuse it.

There was much to reevaluate now. Though he knew Madelyne wasn't aware of it, she had certainly complicated the issues. He'd have to sort it all out he told himself. The plan was changed now, whether he liked it or not, for he knew with a certainty that both amazed and infuriated him that he'd never let Madelyne go.

Duncan tightened his hold on his captive and finally gave the signal to ride. He remained behind to form the end of the long procession. When the last of his soldiers had cleared the area, and only Gilard and the young squire flanked his side, Duncan took precious minutes to stare at the destruction.

Madelyne tilted her head back so that she could see Duncan's face clearly. He must have felt her looking up at him, for he slowly lowered his gaze until he was staring directly into her eyes.

"An eye for an eye, Madelyne."

She waited for him to tell her more, to explain what her brother had done to cause such a retaliation, but Duncan just continued to stare at her, as if willing her to comprehend. He wasn't going to make any excuses for his ruthlessness. Madelyne understood that now. The victorious didn't need to justify.

Madelyne turned to look at the ruins. She remembered one of the stories told to her by her uncle, Father Berton about the Punic Wars of ancient times. There were many tales handed down, most of them frowned upon by the holy church, but Father Berton had repeated them to Madelyne all the same, educating her in the most unacceptable fashion, punishable in fact by severe discipline if the church leaders had any inkling as to what the priest was doing.

The carnage she'd witnessed now reminded her of the story of Carthage. During the third and final war between two mighty powers, the victorious had thoroughly destroyed the city once Carthage had fallen. What had not burned to ashes had been buried beneath the fertile ground. Not a stone was allowed to top another. As a final measure, the fields were covered with salt so that nothing would grow there in the future.

History was being repeated this night; Louddon and all that belonged to him was now being desecrated.

"Delenda est Carthago," Madelyne whispered to herself, repeating the vow made so long ago by Cato, an elder of ancient times.

Duncan was surprised by Madelyne's remark. He wondered how she'd ever come by such knowledge. "Aye, Madelyne. Like Carthage, your brother must be destroyed."

"And do I belong to Loud...to Carthage as well?" Madelyne asked, refusing to speak her brother's name.

"Nay, Madelyne, you don't belong to Carthage."

Madelyne nodded and then closed her eyes. She sagged against Duncan's chest.

Duncan used his hand to push her chin up, forcing her to look at him again.

"You don't belong to Louddon, Madelyne. From this moment on, you belong to me. Do you understand?"

Madelyne nodded her head.

Duncan released his hold on her when he saw how frightened he was making her. He watched her a moment longer and then slowly, aye, gently, pulled the cloak up over her face.

From her warm hiding place against him, Madelyne whispered, "I think I would rather belong to no man."

Duncan heard her. A slow smile crossed his face. What Lady Madelyne wanted wasn't the least significant to him. Aye, she belonged to him now, whether she wished it or not.

Lady Madelyne had sealed her own fate.

She'd warmed his feet.

Copyright © 1987 by Julie Garwood

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Meet the Author

Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Fire and Ice, Shadow Music, Shadow Dance, Murder List, Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-six million copies of her books in print.

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Honor's Splendour 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 310 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My all time favorite book....I have reread this dozen of times!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book ties only one other book (Princess, Galen Foley) as the best book I have ever read!! I give it 10 stars not just 5! I still have yet to read a book that had such thrill and adventure from the very beginning. I could not put it down!! I love the whole 'captive/protector' thing in love stories. No matter what book I pick up, I always compare it to this one and I have read A LOT of romance novels. I plan on reading this book over and over and over again during my lifetime. If you want a love story that stands on its own with a great plot and spell-binding adventure, this is the one. A true classic and a keeper. Thank you, thank you, thank you Julie Garwood for writing such a fantastic novel!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first romance novel I ever read. It is so good, I've read this book MANY times over.
christine thorne More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
BookReflections More than 1 year ago
I've loved Julie Garwood for some time and I had read all of her books carried by my library.  When I saw this one at my eLibrary, I jumped at the opportunity to give it a listen.  It didn't let me down.  The characters were funny.  Duncan's brothers really made me smile. Plus I love protective men.  Lady Madelyne was a bit naive but I loved how she stayed true to her morals and was consistent throughout the novel.  The side plots were entertaining.  I really enjoyed the narrator as well.  Ms. Flosnik did a great job with the different voices.  While the plot doesn't stand out for historical romance standards, the story is told quite well and I loved the characters.  For that, I wouldn't have missed this one for the world.
Monica0927 More than 1 year ago
What can I say .. it is a Julie Garwood masterpiece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Gulie Garwood
Tracy Yakicic More than 1 year ago
Honor's Splendor is one of my all time favorite romance stories. I have read all of Julie Garwoods books and this is one of my favorites. I am glad I downloaded on my Nook. If you like romance you'll love this book.
Anonymous 10 months ago
*I have a new favorite book.. absolutely excellent...
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read several of Julie's novels and this is one of the best....just when you think it's predictable she suprises you once again. There are no boring parts like some authors have in great books seemingly only to extend the number of pages. Every chapter of "Honors" I give 5 stars!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't necessarily bother all that much about historical accuracies in historcal romances. I care about my own enjoyment of the book and my affection for the characters. Unfortunately, I find myself hard pressed to finish Honour's Splendor after quite a few chapters in, mostly because of my dislike of the heroine (and I truly give a lot of them the benefit of the doubt initially). I find the heroine courageous (and I do love heroines with spunk), but heroines that aren't too bright frustrate me to no end because of their lack of wit in crucial moments. After suffering through more than a few pages Madelyn just proves over and over how frustrating she can be. I DO NOT find her antics charming or entertaining at all. Rather the way she deals with Duncan demonstrate to me that she is a heroine with no backbone, will of her own, or ingenuity. There is no conviction to her resolve because she never follows through or cleverly improvise to make things work her way except for the moments when she try to save Duncan and the servants. I love heroines with a soft heart, but not if they are useless baggages that still somehow befuddle the hardened heroes with exterior beauty, lust, and ill-timed bouts of rudeness. One example I'll give that annoys me about Madelyn's supposedly softheartedness but lack of true ingenuity and sincerity is when she sights vengeful soldiers on the trail of Duncan and his soldiers. Resolving to save lives and prevent a battle, she walks over to Duncan and wastes precious time trying to establish a "nice" conversation with him. Freak, lady, aren't you trying to save lives!? Why not just blurt the life-saving news out so they'll have time to deal with it or escape? To make it worse, after Duncan blatantly ignores her she does not even cuss him out saying she has important information that could save the arrogant jerk's life so it'd be in his best interest to listen. No, she just has to act cute and kick him even though prior experience should tell her it'd do her no good. Then after gaining his attention she very "nicely" takes him aside away from his soldiers to explain, as if her news is confidential information that can in no way benefit his men. The whole situation had me wanting to ditch her. Cussing Duncan out would've done the job of gaining his attention as well as a cute kick to his knee, but I guess Madelyn shows she has a violent disposition when angry that can't be excused as self-defense or saving someone's life. Julie Garwood does not impress me. I loved The Wedding and Brenna, but this one is far from a favorite. I probably won't finish, even though I usually give characters time to redeem themselves. Since my reading friends are extreme Garwood fans I will see what they think of it.
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Loved! I have read this story more than once. :)