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"Who would marry--all the knights had heard tales of Lady Murie, King Edward III's goddaughter and much feted favorite. It was said she was stunningly beautiful, with bright blue eyes, golden hair and a sweet smile. It was also said that the king had doted on the girl and spoiled her rotten. Despite his need, when Sir Balan saw her howling and sobbing, Murie was the last person he wanted to wed. The brat? But all that glitters is not gold, and sometimes diamonds look very, very rough. There was more to Murie than met the eye, and Balan soon learned that he'd be lucky indeed to deserve such a bride. Yet he was not the only one to discern the truth, and the other hopeful hubby was not quite as honorable. A plot was afoot. Soon would come a reckoning, a time to show who was chivalrous, who was a cad and who had won the love of a heart unspoiled.
what approach you use. Now let it go.” “Oh, very well,” his cousin muttered. “I just think— Is that not him?” Osgoode interrupted himself to ask. Balan glanced up the hall in the direction from which he’d expected Malculinus to come, but saw nothing. Frowning, he glanced the other way, toward Murie’s door, and stilled when he saw Malculinus standing two doorways beyond. The man’s clothes were rumpled, his hair was a mess, and he was busily kissing a woman in the door, quite thoroughly. “Is
thought you were at the ball with everyone else.” “I saw you leave and thought you might desire some company,” he replied with a smile. There was nothing in the least threatening about him. He was neither standing too close, nor leering in any way that could be considered improper, and yet she was suddenly on the alert. So much so, when she spotted Balan approaching along the path, she hailed him with relief. “My Lord Gaynor! Lord Reynard asked me to give you a message,” she called out to
war. Osgoode and Reginald were among the men who immediately began stripping him, and Murie watched wide-eyed as her new husband was denuded before her. He really was an impressive sight, with his wide strong shoulders and muscular chest tapering to a flat stomach. Mary swallowed as her eyes dropped lower, then quickly turned her gaze away and tried to pretend she was anywhere but there. The men finished stripping her husband and then pulled the linens away, briefly revealing her own nudity as
think you should be back up in bed.” “Aye, but …” Murie hesitated as Clement arched an eyebrow. His expression seemed to suggest she had best have a good excuse, so she let her breath out on a sigh and admitted, “I was hoping to have some of the ale my husband brought back from Carlisle and perhaps something to eat.” Apparently it was the right thing to say; the cook relaxed at once, but chided, “You should have sent someone to fetch it for you. I sacrificed one of the chickens to make soup,
gaze flickering over where she knelt. Some of the anger slid from his expression. “Aye, well, that’s as may be, but …” “Husband?” Murie murmured when his voice trailed away. His eyes had caught on the neckline of her gown. Their positions gave him a lovely view down her top, she noted, glancing down, but the realization did not make her stand up. Instead, she reached out a hand to his upper leg as if to steady herself. The muscle under her fingers tensed. “Aye?” he asked. His gaze slid over her