It's Monday! I'd like to extend a warm welcome back to Barbara Bettis with a very compelling excerpt from The Lady of the Forest.
Kate had no more than lain across her pallet when the realization hit. Sir Mort would never allow such an incursion to go unpunished. He’d set his entire troop to search. Everyone in the village would be at his mercy. And everyone in the forest.
A giant fist squeezed her lungs until she couldn’t draw breath. The little food she’d eaten set its own fire in her stomach. The villagers must be warned, and those who lived in the forest alerted to take cover if necessary. They could disappear deeper into the woods, north toward Glenmore. The plan called for bravery and courage from them, but they’d do it for Oscar. For one of their own.
Sam’l appeared just as Kate and Jamie finished a cold morning meal of water, bread, and cheese. He sniffed when he heard the plan. “Might work a’ that. Ye be right when ye say he’ll take his anger out on th’ people. But if’n we time the fire right, most of ’em will be fightin’ th’ fire. Couldn’t blame those in plain sight.” Reasonable men wouldn’t. Sir Mortimer’s actions had never been those of a reasonable man. The alternative—take no action—wasn’t an option.
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He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?
When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.
Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate's past catches her.
When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.