Once a Knight (Knight, Book 1)
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A Lady's ChampionOnly a threat to her life can make strong-willed Lady Alisoun hire Sir David of Radcliffe to protect her castle. Although he had once been a hero and master swordsman, the good life has been a little too good, and his warrior skills have become as rusty as an old suit of armor. But he needs the money to support his motherless daughter, and Alisoun is in no position to haggle.At Alisoun's grand estate, Sir David does indeed discover mischief-makers afoot. But the danger that surprises him most is how quickly his own well-protected heart is falling to a fiery damsel who brings him to his knees.
Osbern. She couldn’t see him. “Want me t’ find out where the duke is?” Ivo asked. She nodded, and he urged his horse into the outer fringes of the crowd and toward a tree, laden with children who had climbed there to watch the combat. Stretching up out of the saddle, Ivo twisted the hair of a stableboy and the rumble of his voice rolled through the leaves. “Where’s the duke o’ Framlingford?” The children all laughed, their high-pitched voices full of scorn. The stableboy pointed at the
would a sacred vessel. “What of rebellion?” he asked. She didn’t think he spoke of a political thing. She’d watched him this last month, and every day had been a rebellion against the formality of life as she knew it. Every day he spoke to the common folk. He’d charmed and encouraged them, and in the waning and waxing of one moon, she’d observed the results of his interference. In sooth, it had been odd to have old Tochi answer her questions about her garden with such confidence, but she
need of kisses.” He stood, seeming massive in the tiny room, and she shrank back as if he threatened her. He didn’t, only she had the sensation of hearing something she’d known for a long time and steadfastly ignored. He encouraged her to think beyond her earliest teachings, and she didn’t want to. She wanted to cling to the safety of her prejudices. Yet when he bent over her, she felt the winds of temptation buffeting her. “Don’t be afraid,” His lips brushed her forehead, his hands enclosed
the indignant David. “Let’s walk around one time before we go in to see the horses.” David nodded, knowing his restless vigor wouldn’t sit well with the animals, who even now were adjusting to their new stalls. As they started around the saggy wooden building, Guy returned to the subject. “Tacking their ears won’t work. She has to win them over herself, and I don’t know whether this lazy bunch of knaves and sluts will respond to the woman when they know you married her for her wealth.”
the king’s heiresses? Are you mad?” Irked that Guy would think such a thing, David snapped, “I didn’t force her with any violent means. I simply came into some knowledge that she would prefer remain hidden. And there is the babe, of course.” Guy staggered backward and sat down on a stack of hay. “She’s with child?” David grinned proudly. “Aye.” “With your child?” His grin disappeared. “Aye!” Guy seemed overwhelmed, unable to speak another word. David waited, and when Guy did nothing but