A holiday romance
to warm your heart all season long.
The nights are growing longer and the winter snows are coming—Darkenwald Castle is under siege.
Lord Guy Blackthorne is prepared to lay down his life for his children, his wife, and all who seek his protection. But as renegades, mercenaries, and political intrigue surround his ancient family stronghold, he’s forced to stay his hand against those who would dare to attack his fortress.
As supplies and hope dwindle, Lady Vespa fears Yule will not be one of good cheer, and the children shall have no gifts this year. At least she and Guy have one another, for that she is thankful. But there are few private moments to share their love, and every endeavor to satisfy their passion is interrupted when the enemy attempts to invade the castle.
On Christmas Eve, when a battle to the death begins, Guy faces his greatest challenge. Now Vespa’s wish for a happy Yule celebration turns to a prayer for her beloved’s safety.
She ran her hand across the front of Guy’s mail shirt, the rings bit into her fingers as apprehension prickled though her body. Every time he was away overseeing the land or doing the king’s bidding, he had always come home safely. With aid from her brother-in-law, the odds were better and success more likely—but not assured. Was she to lose him now a stone’s throw from their castle door?
Swallowing down the words she wished to utter, she smiled as best she could. There would be no stopping him, and she’d not send him off to battle with anything less than all her support. At times like this, he belonged to more than just her. Guy fought for everyone who had come seeking his protection.
“Godspeed.” Her smile turned wooden, her hands cold, yet the love burning in her heart was fire enough to destroy a forest. She slipped free a thin strip of silk belting her waist. “Come back to me safe.” She tied the bright fabric to the horse’s bridle. “I’ve grown accustomed to you and do not wish to train a new husband.”
He laughed at that, then quickly sobered. “I love you, Vespa.”
He’d promised to tell her more often and now he had, yet the declaration near set her back on her heels. Regardless of his good intentions, this was not a statement he tossed about lightly. He showed his affection in other ways like bringing her trinkets from markets in other holdings, and when they did come together, their union was with a great passion. But this pronouncement, issued on the brink of battle where others could hear, this was special. Did it also mean he feared he may not return to her?
“And I love thee, Guy.” Finding her voice, she breathed out the words, but they were lost to the flurry of activity as he turned and mounted up. Her throat tightened with fear and the tears she held back, and she couldn’t repeat the phrase.
Cover art design, and self-publishing formatting and design by Mistress of Book Reviews.