Keeper of the Stone (Norman Brides Book 1)
Today’s Free Kindle eBook: Keeper of the Stone (Norman Brides Book 1)
A lovely Saxon lady. A fierce Norman knight. Can an innocent maid’s gentle surrender quench the fire raging in the heart of a brutal warrior knight?Young, lovely Lady Rhiann of Saxony is captured by the brutal Norman invaders after the fall of her father’s estates and is taken to London at the command of the Norman Duke William who would be king. By the king’s command she is wed to his loyal vassal, Nathan, who was awarded her father’s estates as a reward for his faithful service. She hoped her parents did not judge her too harshly from where they looked down on her from heaven. What choice did she have, after all? Now, she fought against the terror of the coming consummation of her fateful choice. She was not so naïve she did not recognize desire in a man’s eyes. As much as her Norman husband wanted her father’s estates he was awarded as a condition of their marriage, she suspected he was not inclined to forego enjoying fully all of the rights granted to him as her husband. She belonged to him now. In the eyes of the law and the church she was his property, to do with as he wished. He promised he wouldn’t hurt her. After months of war, Rhiann was afraid to trust the word of her enemy, but she feared more not being able to trust him. So she battled against the panic rising within her at the contemplation of the night ahead, resisting the urge to give into her terror. The queen left her just moments ago, leaving her with the promise her new husband would join her soon.The queen’s prediction proved accurate. The heavy door barely closed behind Matilda when Rhiann heard it creak open again. She stood in front of the hearth trying to draw ragged breaths into her suddenly tight throat. She refused to turn around; hoping a few more moments would help her gather her courage to face the terror of the night ahead.Nathan stepped into his room and closed the door behind him, sliding the wood latch into place to bar any interruptions. He saw his wife stiffen at his entrance. He drew in a deep breath in an attempt to calm his raging needs. His bride’s slender form was outlined by the light from the fire. The see-through gown did little to hide her naked body from his avid gaze. He needed to gather his discipline before she turned to face him, lest he terrify her with his lustful intent. He drew a steadying breath, willing his thudding heart to slow down. He was never going to be able to summon the patience he was certain would be needed to gain his bride’s trust if he couldn’t clear his head and slow his body’s incessant urging to take the maid and have done with it. “Rhiann.”Her name echoed in the hushed silence of the room. Reluctantly Rhiann turned to face the man who was now her husband. Her arms were wrapped around her stomach in a protective gesture and in what she knew was a foolish attempt to cover herself as much as possible. The way Nathan’s glance raked over her she recognized she would be defenseless against his greater strength. Just as she was unable to stop the Norman siege on Heaven’s Crest, she would be unable to prevent her husband’s assault on her virgin’s body. She shivered involuntarily at the thought of what was to come.Not wanting to give the terror his bride was unable to hide from him a chance to take hold, Nathan held her glance and demanded, “Come to me, wife.” He winced at the sound of his harsh command in the silence of the room. He was already struggling to contain his raging desire. He suspected his self-control would be tested tonight in a way he was never tested before. When his innocent wife took an instinctive step back towards the heat of the fire he could almost believe from the blind panic he read in her eyes she found going up in flames a more preferable option to a night spent in his bed. Hoping not to push her any further, he added softly, “Do you remember your vows to the priest?” At her reluctant nod, he added, “Do you intend to keep it
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