By King's Command
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by Linda Lea Castle
Description: SHE VOWED NO MAN WOULD CLAIM HER.... Lady Elsbeth wanted no part of marriage! Fleeing her uncle's keep with a chest of her dower coin, she believed Lambeth Abbey would offer sanctuary--with her treasure as payment. Elsbeth never imagined she would be abducted by a surly monk, who promptly revealed himself as one of her uncle's knights, come to take her home! Arrogant Roger of Angelsey was everything Elsbeth despised in a man--even if he was far more handsome than she cared to admit.... UNTIL HE PROMISED TO STEAL HER HEART.... Clearing thieves from St. John's Wood was unpleasant enough before Roger encountered the hellion Elsbeth. Yet when he returned her to her uncle, Roger was astounded to find the king in residence--and himself in a position of honor. When his plan to secure disputed borderlands met with favor, he found his reward was a bride--Elsbeth! Winning her affection would be a thankless battle ... until he discovered he longed to claim her heart.
eBook Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc./English Tea Rose, 2007
eBookwise Release Date: December 2007
17 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [272 KB]
Reading time: 178-249 min.
The rattle of branch and the crackle of dried leaves underfoot cut off Elsbeth's words. She looked over her shoulder at the dark confines of the larch, Caledonian pine and oak.
Wouldst the thieves return? If they took Elsbeth's virtue would the holy order still allow her to enter?
Elsbeth had never been overly devout and had only seized upon the notion of joining a nunnery when Uncle Corwin had told her of the King's recent interest in arranging marriages to secure his most troublesome borders and barons. She was nearly past the age most heiresses were wed and knew her days of maidenhood were nearing an end. She had to join the Abbey at Lambeth, or see herself bartered away like a milking cow to breed and die young.
'Twas not a fate she cared to endure.
Uncle Corwin, her guardian, was a kind man--'struth he indulged her in most things--but he was the King's man to a fault. Even if King John betrothed Elsbeth to an old battle hardened knight, her uncle wouldst do as his liege commanded and trundle her off to be wedded and bedded within a fortnight.
She was merely a maid, with no rights. Under the circumstances it was obvious she had no choice but to flee and secure her own future. She had heard of the argument in the church between Grahan and Lombard. For her own portion, she was agreeable with Grahan's views, that marriage required consent and agreement from the maid, that there should be mutual affection, not merely the need to align properties and bloodlines.
Elsbeth wrinkled her nose when she thought of the next part of Grahan's argument. He insisted there should be consummation, and that there was no binding marriage without it. Consummation was something Elsbeth had no liking to learn about. To herself, she was more than simply a brooding mare, to be ridden and gotten with child to satisfy some man's ambitions or need for an heir.