- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
The Earl is dead! Long live the Countess! Only a few in the de Vieux castle know the headstrong Lady Isabelle's secret, and she now rules an uneasy population that may rise up against her at any moment. The castle is under bitter siege and the young lady is at her wits end trying to defend her people?and her heart.
As a lowly knight, Edmund de Montfort watched the lovely lady grow up into a beautiful, vivacious woman and now that she's of marriageable age, he vows to make her ...
The Earl is dead! Long live the Countess! Only a few in the de Vieux castle know the headstrong Lady Isabelle's secret, and she now rules an uneasy population that may rise up against her at any moment. The castle is under bitter siege and the young lady is at her wits end trying to defend her people…and her heart.
As a lowly knight, Edmund de Montfort watched the lovely lady grow up into a beautiful, vivacious woman and now that she's of marriageable age, he vows to make her his wife. He isn't of noble blood but he's experienced in all the ways of winning a lady's heart. Except one. After making love to him, Isabelle betrays him and he is forced to choose between the lady and her castle. When passion and politics collide, the decision may be a matter of who is the strongest of them all…
Reader Advisory: This story was released as part of the Brits in Time Anthology by Total-E-Bound.
1322 Anno Domini
Edmund de Montfort watched the beautiful Lady Isabelle half-hidden high above him on the castle rampart. His groin tightened merely thinking of her and of pulling her gown off her shoulders to reveal her delicate, creamy shoulders, then lower still to show the swell of her breasts. He knew he was in a bad state. Everything he had done for the last ten years had been to prepare to conquer the lady’s heart. But without a title, without sufficient lands to make a comfortable living, he had been merely a knight. Nothing to her. Nothing to himself.
The crisp pennants with his new coat of arms whipped and snapped in the wind. The sun beat down on Edmund’s bare head as he shaded his eyes to catch yet another glimpse of Isabelle, the unusual golden-coloured hair he knew was her one vanity and her liquid blue eyes that reminded him of a clear blue stream on a cloudless day. He was a lovesick fool, but since the lady had captured his heart, what could he do but what the good Lord had given him to do? Conquer her and make her his not only in name but in physical fact.
In an effort to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying went, he had ridden from the castle one night, five years earlier, and turned to the king for help. The king had the power to ennoble him after suitable service, and Edmund was determined he would receive lands to woo Isabelle with. But Edward’s queen, Isabella of France, had heard Edmund’s plea instead. And turned it inside out to her liking. If Edmund agreed to spy on the king, the second Edward of that name to sit on the English throne, then she would see that he was suitably recompensed for his efforts. Not knowing what else to do, Edmund had done as the queen ordered. He had been the poor fool to inform Isabella that her husband did not much care for women but rather cared for men in his bed.
Isabella had been furious but had kept her promise. She had created the title the Earl de Montfort and provided appropriate lands, unbelievably, next to the lands of the Earl de Vieux. Edmund had promptly sought the hand of the lady Isabelle in marriage, but her father had refused. The old man wanted a better match for his only daughter than an upstart, newly created noble. Edmund, however, was single-minded in getting what he wanted no matter how much opposition was thrown in his path. Even if it came to kidnapping the lady, he would make her his wife.
The kidnapping itself would lead to problems of its own. Her father would undeniably lay siege to the Montfort castle, and many lives would be lost. Edmund was not the kind of man who could stand by and watch innocent people die. He was not heartless like the queen was. The tale was being spread far and wide that she wanted her husband dead so she could rule as regent when the younger Edward took the throne. What kind of evil woman was she that she considered striking down her husband? He was God’s chosen and not to be trifled with.