Harow, mistaken as a duke, has spirited the High Queen Reginee and her daughter Desiree-Rose to safety in the mountainous land ruled by bold Duke Owaine. Now Owaine and Reginee are scheduled to be wed and the queen wants Harow to stand up for her at the ceremony. With a short supply of eligible men, Harow finds himself the target of several young ladies and a jealous Desiree-Rose who is already planning their wedding. But Harow has other things on his mind as the queen’s brother and leader of the rebellion that overthrew the kingdom continues to plot with his allies close by just across the border. They want to stop the royal wedding at all cost, including murdering or kidnapping the queen and her daughter.
“Besides,” Desiree-Rose crossed the floor and held out her hand for him to kiss again. “I would not want you running away.” She made a face and shook her head, allowing her long black hair to hang free. “Running back to the farm or whatever hovel you came from. You do want to be near to me, don’t you? I will be only a day’s ride away.” She toyed with the emerald on her finger, the ring she’d taken from him the night they reached safety.
The hair on the back of his neck marched in parade formation. She sounded like her mother. Like her mother did, when she wanted a favor. He knew well how dangerous those favors turned out to be.READ MORE
“Knowing you might hesitate, Duke Harow, given the uncertainty of our situation here, I have already spoken to young Daneld, your good friend and comrade-in-arms. He readily agrees to act as your second-in-command. All the men who followed you here are equally eager to be under your direction once more. I feel safer already knowing you are my own faithful one standing between me and the madness.”
The queen’s warm breath brushed against his cheek. A flock of birds churned his stomach. He inhaled a sweet scent that was not wood smoke.
Desiree-Rose moved to stand close on his other side. “By the seven Saintly Sisters of the White Tower, I would trust no other to keep us safe. You do want me kept safe, don’t you?”COLLAPSE