Knave's Honor [NOOK Book]

Overview

His arrow strikes true...

bringing Lady Elizabeth d'Averette face-to-face with the decidedly intriguing Finn--an outlaw with more honor than most knights. When he saves her from unspeakable violence, she agrees to reward his valorous actions. But would sharing his bed--however chastely--prove too high a price to pay?

Finn values courage, a quality Lizette displays in abundance. She joins him in a dangerous subterfuge to rescue his brother and ...

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Knave's Honor

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Overview

His arrow strikes true...

bringing Lady Elizabeth d'Averette face-to-face with the decidedly intriguing Finn--an outlaw with more honor than most knights. When he saves her from unspeakable violence, she agrees to reward his valorous actions. But would sharing his bed--however chastely--prove too high a price to pay?

Finn values courage, a quality Lizette displays in abundance. She joins him in a dangerous subterfuge to rescue his brother and expose the long-held secrets of the royal court, her adventurous spirit seeming to be a true match to his own. But could a noble beauty really care for a common son of the hills of Eire?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460306055
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 10/15/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 539,456
  • File size: 598 KB

Meet the Author

She has also been an award-winning public speaker, a synchronized swimmer, an archer, and studied fencing and ballroom dancing, as well as being a wife and mom. How did Margaret start writing? She was home with two small children, and her friend Cheryl, who was apparently born clutching a romance novel, gave her The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Margaret loved it. It was like the romantic adventures she'd enjoyed growing up— albeit much sexier. Then she thought: Wouldn't it be fun to write a story like that? Margaret took a course in popular fiction writing at the University of Toronto, and through that, found Romance Writers of America.

Three years later, in 1991, she sold her first historical romance and the premiere book of her Warrior Series, A Warrior's Heart, to the Harlequin Historical series. Her books have since been published in France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

One of her books, The Viking, won an award as Best Foreign Historical from Affaire de Coeur and two of her heroes have received K.I.S.S. (Knights In Shining Silver) Awards from Romantic Times. She was a Romantic Times finalist for Career Achievement in Medieval Historical Romance. Her most recent release, The Unwilling Bride, recently appeared on the USA TODAY Bestseller List.

Margaret currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with her husband of over twenty years, two children and three cats.

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Read an Excerpt

The Midlands, 1204
"I feared I'd go mad if I had to sit in that wagon another moment," Lady Elizabeth of Averette declared as she lifted the skirts of her blue woolen traveling gown and delicately picked her way toward the mossy bank of the swift-moving stream.
"Don't you think we ought to stay with the men?" her maidservant asked, anxiously glancing back toward the escort of mail-clad soldiers who had dismounted nearby.
As such men were wont to do, they joked and cursed among themselves while they led their horses to drink or let them eat the plentiful grass by the side of the road. Some of them took out heels of bread from their packs or downed a sip of ale. The leader of the cortege, Iain Mac Kendren, did neither. He stood with feet planted and arms akimbo as if he were a statue, only his turning head giving any hint that he was alive and keeping watch.
"Last night I heard the innkeeper talking about a thief who sets upon travelers hereabouts," Keldra said, breathless with a fearful excitement. "A huge fellow, fierce and terrible!"
Lizette, as she was known to her sisters and the people of Averette, gave Keldra a sympathetic smile. Keldra was only fifteen, and not used to travel. It was no wonder every tale of every thief, no matter how bizarre or exaggerated, frightened her. "According to a serving wench, he's a very handsome thief. She also says he won't rob a woman if she'll give him a kiss, which sounds like something out of a minstrel's song to me. Whatever this thief may be like, though, we have fifty men to guard us, and Iain Mac Kendren, too, so I'm sure we'll be quite safe."
"I hope so!" Keldra whispered, as if she feared the thief might belistening.
Smiling and very glad to be out of the stuffy confines of the wagon, Lizette removed her silver coronet and silken veil, then crouched down on the bank of the stream. "As long as he takes a kiss instead of my clothes or jewelry, I might even enjoy meeting this thief."
"Oh, my lady, you wouldn't!" Keldra exclaimed, scandalized—which showed how little she really knew her mistress.
Lizette cupped some clear, cold water in her hands and lifted it to her lips before she answered. "Wouldn't you be willing to kiss a handsome rogue?"
"Not if he's an outlaw!"
"I'd rather kiss a handsome outlaw than some courtier who may then assume I want to marry him," Lizette said as she rose.
Men she might—and did—appreciate. She enjoyed their company and the teasing banter of flirtation. She envied them their easy camaraderie, although not as much as she envied them their freedom.
Marriage, however, was something else entirely. Most women might find those bonds a form of security, but after witnessing what passed for marriage between her parents, Elizabeth of Averette did not.
"I don't have any jewels, my lady," Keldra pointed out as she, too, bent down to drink. "He might make me kiss him!"
"Being kissed against one's will is rather unpleasant," Lizette conceded, as she had cause to know. More than one eager suitor who'd come to Averette seeking a wealthy bride had been swift to try seduction of the lord's youngest, and presumably most innocent, daughter as a means to that end.
"I wouldn't really want to meet a thief, of course," she admitted, listening to the birds sing as if they hadn't a care in the world. "It would be frightening."
Like the time that drunken nobleman had cornered her in the chapel and no amount of gentle admonition would persuade him to let her go, until she'd finally promised to meet him later in a more secluded place. Her older sister had gone in her stead, and while Adelaide never revealed precisely what had transpired, Lord Smurton and his entourage had departed the next day at first light without even a farewell to his host.
"Oh, my lady!"
Lizette raised her eyes at the sound of Keldra's cry and found her maid pointing at the middle of the stream—where her new silk veil was floating away on the water.
With a curse, Lizette hiked up her skirts and immediately gave chase along the slippery bank. She didn't dare run because the rocks were too slick, but she had to get her veil. Iain would no doubt say she deserved to lose it if she was so careless and he'd probably never let her out of his sight for the rest of the journey home.
While she tried to keep her eyes on the veil as well as look for a stick with which to retrieve it, a man suddenly appeared on the opposite side of the stream as if he'd materialized out of thin air.
"Have no fear, my lady!" the stranger called out as she came to a startled halt. He unbuckled his sword belt and put it down on a nearby rock. "I mean you no harm."
If he was taking off his sword and was alone, he likely didn't mean any harm. More importantly, he sounded educated and of high rank—a knight, at least, if not a lord or baron.
Whoever he was, he wore a simple leather tunic with no shirt beneath, dark breeches and plain boots. Standing by the stream with the woods behind him, he was like some sort of god of the forest—or maybe that thought only came to her because of his simple clothing and dark, waving hair.
He began to wade across the deep stream and when he reached her veil, he plucked it from the water as easily as another man might pluck a daisy from its stem, then raised the dripping rectangle of cloth like a victor with his spoils.
"Permit me to introduce myself," he said as he approached her, the water splashing up around his shins, his deep, musical voice again assuring her he was no rough rogue. "I'm Sir Oliver de Leslille, of Ireland."
Sir Oliver—a knight indeed. Ireland explained the slight, delightful lilt to his words that made it seem as if he were singing rather than speaking.
He also possessed a high forehead, denoting intelligence, a remarkably fine, straight nose and a chin that was exactly what a man's chin should be, while his full lips curved up in the most incredibly attractive smile.
Something deep inside her seemed to shift, as if a mild earthquake had moved the ground beneath her feet. Or the very quality of the air had changed.
Or as if something that had been slumbering had awakened.
"I was hunting with some friends and got separated from them," Sir Oliver explained as he reached the bank and stood beside her. Water dripped from her bedraggled veil, and she couldn't help noticing that his wet woolen breeches clung to his muscular thighs.
"Since I had a powerful thirst," he said, "I stopped here, and then I heard your, um, cries of dismay. Very colorful, I must say."
Sweet Mother of God, he'd heard her cursing. She wasn't usually easily embarrassed, but right now, she was—so much so, she almost wished the stream would rise up and wash her away. Almost.
She wasn't usually prone to blushing, either, but she was doing that, too, even as she realized she should say something. Give him thanks, at least. Unfortunately, the words would not come—another oddity—and instead she found herself transfixed by the steady, brown-eyed gaze of this handsome stranger who'd waded through the water toward her as if he did this sort of thing every day, and as if that water wasn't ice-cold. "You must be frozen!"
"I've been colder than this plenty o' times before, my lady," he said as he handed her the sopping veil.
"It's worth a little chill to be of service to such a lovely woman."
"I—I thank you, sir," she stammered.
What in the name of the saints was wrong with her? She'd never sounded like such a complete ninny.
Unfortunately, she simply couldn't seem to think clearly, to form coherent words or a thought other than that he was the most breathtakingly good-looking man she'd ever met. "I'm very grateful you retrieved this for me. I paid a great deal for it—too much, my sister will say—and I would have been very upset if I'd lost it. It's fortunate you were nearby, although you're a long way from Ireland."
God help her, now she was babbling.
"Aye, my lady, I am," he said, a twinkle of amusement in his brown eyes. "And who might you be?"
Fool! "I'm Lizette." Simpleton! "I mean, I'm Lady Elizabeth, of Averette."
The man nodded over her shoulder. "That's your maid, I presume? I trust you have others with you and aren't traveling alone?"
"Yes, no, that is, yes, that's my maid. And of course, I have an escort. Of…" Sweet savior, how many? "Fifty men. They're close by."
"I'm glad to hear it. There are thieves lurking hereabouts and you'd be a very tempting morsel," he said with a look in his eyes that made her throat go dry and her heartbeat quicken as it never had before.
"So I've heard. That is, that there are thieves, not that I…I don't mean to sound vain…or imply…" She gave up and silently cursed herself for a dolt.
Sir Oliver laughed softly. "Modest as well as pretty. That's a potent combination."
Merciful Mary, she might swoon like some giddy girl if he kept looking at her that way and she might say… anything.
If this man had cornered her in the chapel, who could say what she might have done?
"Averette—that's in Kent, isn't it?" he asked.
"It is indeed! Have you ever been there?"
What a stupid question! Surely if he'd visited Averette she would remember him.
"No, I've never been to Kent. I've met your sister at court, though."
A surge of dismay and disappointment tore through her. If he'd been to court, if he'd met Adelaide, he would be comparing them in looks, if nothing else, and nobody could come out ahead of Adelaide if beauty was the measure. The men who sought her hand had all tried for Adelaide first, and been refused.
His smile grew and she supposed that was because he was thinking about Adelaide. "Actually, I asked her to run off with me, but she wouldn't. There was another man, you see, that she liked better."
All Lizette's anger and envy disappeared. He'd probably felt the sting of Adelaide's rejection—and Adelaide could be very stinging.
"How unfortunate for you," she replied as her confidence returned, and she gave him a smile of her own.
"Why don't you ask me instead?"
It was an outrageous thing to say, yet surely he would laugh and say something clever in return, as courtiers and handsome noblemen were wont to do.
Instead, the joviality left his face, and he said, in a voice soft and low that acted upon her like a bold and intimate caress, "Would you say yes if I did?"
He must be teasing. He couldn't possibly be serious.
Yet her heart throbbed as if it wanted to break free of her ribs. Her lungs seemed to stop functioning. God in heaven, she'd craved excitement and adventure all her life, and here it was, in the flesh. Handsome, seductive flesh.
"My lady!"
She'd completely forgotten about Keldra. And Iain. And everything else in the entire world except Sir Oliver de Leslille of Ireland.
She looked back over her shoulder to see Iain Mac Kendren marching toward them, his sword drawn and a hostile expression on his sun-browned face. Keldra must have gone to fetch him, for she came scurrying along behind him.
Iain, who was forty-five if he was a day, had spent most of the journey from Lord Delapont's castle ignoring her complaints that the rocking motion of the wagon made her queasy. He'd also made it quite clear that he resented being sent to bring her home to Averette, although he couldn't be any more annoyed than she at being summoned home as if she were a child.
In spite of Iain's belligerent bearing, however, Sir Oliver didn't appear the least disturbed, and he once again regarded her with amusement in his dark eyes. "Who's this, then?" he inquired, quirking a brow. "I hope not an irate father or husband?"
"No!" She cleared her throat and spoke in a more ladylike tone. "No, he's the garrison commander of Averette, the leader of my escort."
She turned to Iain and spoke with what she hoped sounded like authority. "Iain, put up your blade. This is Sir Oliver de Leslille, and he means us no harm."
Iain came to a halt, one hand on his hip as he ran a measuring gaze over Sir Oliver who was, Lizette suddenly recalled, still soaking wet.
Despite Sir Oliver's title, Iain didn't look impressed—but then, it took risking your life in several battles to impress the Scot.
"Good day to you, my lord," he growled with only the slightest hint of courtesy. "Traveling alone, are you? Bit dangerous, isn't it?"
"As I explained to your lady mistress, I'm with a party of friends, hunting," Sir Oliver replied, still genial despite Iain's brusque and even insolent tone. "I got separated from them. However, since the hour grows late, I should seek them out, lest I be benighted in the wood and forced to eat nuts for my dinner."
"We'll be at the Fox and Hound tonight," Lizette offered. "Perhaps you could send word there in the morning as to how you are. I'll be worried you've fallen ill doing me a service."
Sir Oliver cut his eyes to the scowling, wary Iain. "I'm flattered by your concern, but I think not, my lady."
She pursed her lips and silently wished Iain back at Averette.
"As he says, my lady," Iain declared, "the hour grows late and we've dallied here long enough."
Unless she wanted to stand on the bank of the stream and quarrel with Iain, she had to go. Besides, it couldn't be good for Sir Oliver to be standing there in wet breeches and boots.
"Farewell, Sir Oliver," she said with more regret than she'd ever felt bidding farewell to a young man before.
How she wished she and Sir Oliver had met another time, such as in a hall during a feast, where they could talk. He would surely be a very amusing companion. Perhaps they would dance…and touch…and slip off into a shadowed corner to share a kiss….
The nobleman bowed with courtly elegance before addressing Iain. "I commend you for your care of the lady, Mac Kendren, and you need have no fear that I'll come creeping into the inn under cover of darkness. I'm not that sort of nobleman."
Iain merely grunted in reply.
Such an act would be most improper; nevertheless, Lizette found herself subduing a surge of disappointment. To think she might have met one man who could tempt her to make love without benefit of marriage, and he was more honorable than most.
Despite her secret regret, it was an insult to imply that Sir Oliver would try to sneak into a woman's chamber for any reason, and she should acknowledge that. "You must forgive the garrison commander for his lack of courtesy, Sir Oliver. He takes his duties very seriously."
Sir Oliver bestowed another smile upon her. "For your sake, my lady, I'm glad of it. These are dangerous times, and evil men roam the land." He backed away toward the stream. "Now I must say farewell."
Realizing she had no choice, she inclined her head as Iain held out his arm to escort her back to the wagon. "Adieu, Sir Oliver," she said as she laid her hand upon Iain's chain-mail-encased forearm and let him lead her away.
She glanced back over her shoulder, but Sir Oliver de Leslille was already gone. He'd vanished like a true spirit of the forest, or a magician who'd stayed only long enough to cast his spell upon her.
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    wonderful Medieval romance

    In 1204 Lady Elizabeth d'Averette travels through the Midlands to her home in Kent. When her party is attacked by an organized gang, Irishman Sir Oliver de Leslille rescues her. He offers to escort Elizabeth and retinue to a nearby nunnery. Lizette is in awe of her hero until she learns Sir Oliver is Finn, a low life thief who steals from women their jewelry and kisses. Finn knows he must rescue his brother, incarcerated by Lord Wimarc, but has no reasonable plan as to accomplishing his mission. Apparently, Lord Wimac¿s men were the ones who attacked Elizabeth¿s party. When she learns of the plight of Finn¿s sibling, she offers her help in a dangerous ploy. They masquerade as a newly married couple to gain entrance into Wimac¿s stronghold so as to free his brother and learn why the villain wants to abduct Lizette. --- Medieval romance fans will not be shocked to find out that Margaret Moore¿s latest historical KNAVE¿S HONOR is a wonderful tale. The exciting story line contains two strong protagonists with Finn being a unique fascinating knave. The villain is over the top of meanness leading to fans rooting even more for Lady Elizabeth and Finn the thief to defeat Wimac. Their falling in love while fighting against the odds make Ms. Moore¿s marvelous medieval must reading for the sub-genre audience. --- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted January 4, 2010

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    Posted January 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 1 Customer Reviews

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