So Speaks the Heart

So Speaks the Heart

4.1 59
by Johanna Lindsey
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Born a wealthy French heiress but betrayed into bondage, Brigitte de Louroux swears she will never be any man's slave.

Rugged and powerful Rowland of Montville sees only a beautiful enchantress in peasant's rags -- a wench to serve his every need. Defenseless against his unbridled passions, Brigitte is forced to yield her innocence to desires the warrior lord

See more details below

Overview

Born a wealthy French heiress but betrayed into bondage, Brigitte de Louroux swears she will never be any man's slave.

Rugged and powerful Rowland of Montville sees only a beautiful enchantress in peasant's rags -- a wench to serve his every need. Defenseless against his unbridled passions, Brigitte is forced to yield her innocence to desires the warrior lord arouses in her heart. But her surrender will vanquish the handsome knight - awakening within him a love as mighty and relentless as his conquering sword.

Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
Johanna Lindsey creates fairy tales that come true.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380814718
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/28/2004
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
411,508
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

France, A.D. 972.

Brigitte de Louroux sighed, keeping her blue eyes on the fat goose lying on the work table before her. Frowning with concentration, she plucked the feathers as she had been recently taught. It was a new chore to the seventeen-year-old girl, but only one of many that she was slowly getting accustomed to. She wearily wiped a tendril of flaxen hair away from her face.

Blood from the slaughtered goose was splattered on her apron and also on the hem of her brown woolen tunic beneath. Brigitte's wardrobe of fine gowns was nearly all ruined from the filthy chores that were now forced on her. This drudgery was her own choice though, she reminded herself, her own stubborn choice.

Across the table stood Eudora, whose task Brigitte was doing. Eudora's brown eyes were sympathetic until Brigitte looked up and smiled almost apologetically.

"It's not right!" Eudora hissed, her eyes suddenly round with anger. "I, who have served in your father's house all my life, and happy for it, must stand idle while you work."

Brigitte lowered her gaze, her blue eyes misting. "Better this than my giving in to Druoda's plans for me," she murmured.

"That lady is cruel."

"I am inclined to agree," Brigitte said softly. "I fear my brother's aunt does not like me."

"She is a bitch!" Eudora replied heatedly.

Eudora's mother, Althea, crossed the kitchen waving a large spoon. "You are too kind, Eudora. Druoda forces us to call her lady, but she is a slothful cow. She gets fatter and fatter while I have lost weight since she came here. She has said she will cut off my fingers if I taste while Icook, but what cook can cook without tasting, I ask you? I must taste what I am cooking, yet she says I must not. What can I do?"

Eudora grinned. "You can add chicken droppings to her food and hope she doesn't find out, that's what you can do."

Brigitte laughed. "You would not dare, Althea. She would beat you, or even banish you. She might even kill you."

"Ah, no doubt you are right, milady." Althea chuckled, her large body jiggling. "But it was nice to think about it, to savor as I would a sweet cake."

Eudora quickly grew serious again. "It has been terrible for us since Druoda began to rule here. She is a cruel mistress and that cowardly husband of hers does nothing to stop her. Lady Brigitte does not deserve to be treated like the lowest serf on the manor." Eudora became even angrier. "She is the daughter of the house, and her half brother should have made provisions for her after their father died. Now that he--"

Eudora stopped and lowered her head in shame,

but Brigitte smiled. "It's all right, Eudora. Quintin is dead, and I realize that."

"I only meant to say that he should have made arrangements with his liege lord. It's cruel that you should fall under the will of a woman like Druoda. She and her husband came here to beg the mercy of Lord Quintin as soon as the Baron died. He should have turned them away then. Now it's too late. They seem to think this fief is theirs instead of yours. Your stepbrother was a great man, but in this case--"

Brigitte silenced her with a sharp look, her bright blue eyes fierce.

"You do Quintin wrong, Eudora. My half brother could not know that Druoda would keep me from Count Arnulf. But the Count is our liege and my rightful guardian now, no matter what Druoda says, and he will settle my estate. I have only to reach him."

"And how will you reach him when Druoda will not let you leave the manor?" Eudora asked heatedly.

"I will find a way." Brigitte's voice lacked conviction.

"If only you had family somewhere." Althea shook her head, sighing.

"There is no one. You should know, Althea, for you were here when my father became lord of LourOUX. His family were few, and the last perished in the King's campaign to regain Lotharingia. And on my mother's side there was no one, for she was ward to Count Arnulf when she married the Baron."

"Milady, Druoda already makes you toil as if you were a mere serf. Soon she will beat you as one, too," Eudora said gravely. "If you know a way to reach Count Arnulf, then you must do it quickly. Could you send a messenger?"

Brigitte sighed. "Who, Eudora? The gladly do as I ask, but they need permission to leave the manor."

"Leandor would help you. Or one of the vassals," Eudora persisted.

"Druoda keeps Leandor tied to the manor as well," Brigitte said. "She will not even let him go to the Abbey of Bourges to buy wine. And she has convinced my brother's vassals that her husband, Walafrid, will be seneschal here once she marries me off, and that she will find a husband for me who will not dispose of them, so they will not disobey her for my sake.

"Count Arnuff of Berry is more than a day's ride from here. How can I get to him?"

"But-"

"Be quiet, Eudora!" Althea snapped with a warning look to her daughter. "You are upsetting our lady. Would you have her travel the country alone? Be prey to thieves and criminals?"

Brigitte shivered despite the heat of the cooking fires and the sweat beading her brow. She stared dismally at the half-plucked goose, thinking that her prospects for the future could not be worse.

Eudora gazed compassionately at the Baron's daughter. "Why not go out and feed Wolff, milady? I will finish the goose for you."

"No. If Hildegard came in and saw that I was not working, she would run to Druoda. When Mavis protested my doing this work she was beaten and banished. And I could do nothing to help my old friend. The soldiers are following Druoda's orders, not mine.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >