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Original publication: 1994
A woman banished
Griffith, battle-seasoned warrior and the king'smost trusted emissary, expected to find a shallow, vain, frivolous woman at Wenthaven Castle. After all, as lady-in-waiting to the queen, lovely Lady Marian had been in a position of privilege, yet she had been banished from the court. And the rumors were that she had given birth to an illegitimate child.
An outrageous offer
When he arrived, Griffith found Lady Marian to be strong, intelligent and fiercely protective of the young baby in her custody.... and very suspicious of him. If he were smart, the knight would just deliver the message with which he had been entrusted. Instead, he longs to linger to delve into the mystery that is Marian, to discover what she so desperately fears-and why he so improperly wants her.
almost frantic intensity. His armor, though light, was complete, and he wore the weapons of a warrior. It was as if he anticipated battle—a battle he could not lose. “What would you do with the letter if I dropped it?” he asked. “Burn it.” At his chuckle she went on, “It’s going to burn. Either I will burn it, or Henry will burn it when he burns your castle, your crops, and your vassals in their beds.” “Don’t listen to her, Wenthaven!” Cecily cried. “Your own daughter doubts your power and
Cledwyn’s hairy leg and swung him away just as the mercenary’s hand descended. “He bit me!” Cledwyn shrieked, lunging for Lionel. “Th’ half-wit whelp bit me!” Griffith’s hands were full, so he aimed his kick to Cledwyn’s groin and let Cledwyn’s forward momentum drive the blow home. Cledwyn’s arms flew out, and he paused like a man dangling from a sky noose. Then he crumpled while his fellow mercenaries cheered. Griffith took no notice of their approval, knowing well they’d have cheered just as
with me, I trow, to make it fair. Ye’ll like Wales. The mountains are rugged and beautiful, with Snowdon towering above them all. The people are kind and generous, poetic and full of song. Castle Powel is set on a hill above the rugged Atlantic coast, where the waves pound and the seabirds sing. Aye, my lady, ye must come to Wales with us.” Griffith watched as she wavered, wanting to make the last step but frightened of the consequences. And he didn’t want her to make it. All well for Art to
sounded amazed at this outbreak from his previously docile wife. “As though it were my fault.” “It was your fault,” Angharad told him. “So the next thing I know, my twelve-year-old bride tells me she’s sixteen and sick of being treated like a child.” “And he said if I wanted to be treated like a woman, I should act like one.” “So I took her to bed.” They’d been involved in the telling, topping each other with each addition, but Rhys’s blunt statement seemed to catch them almost by surprise.
as soon as we’ve finished here,” Griffith answered, his deep tones sounding as barren as the Welsh peak of Snowdon. Chilled by his manner, stunned by the absurdity of their plan, she sought a reason to postpone the ceremony. “We have no contract of dower and dowry agreed upon, drawn up, and ready to sign.” “I have settled the matter,” Henry said. “When the ceremony is complete and the witnesses have signed the registry, then I will give, as compensation, a vacant earldom to Sir Griffith—or,