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I’ve come to the conclusion that all the books I said I loved in the past, I didn’t. I was wrong. I’m realizing that I lusted after them, not truly loved. This book is love.
The way I wrote my review for Whitney, My Love, is going to be the same way I write my review for this book. There isn’t anything I can say that hasn’t already been said about this book. It is a phenomenal book and everyone should read it regardless if you like Historical Romance or not. I guarantee you will love it after you read it and it will most likely render you speechless.
“You’re so cold, you’re fighting back tears?” he uttered in disbelief, trying to see her face with only the dying embers of the little fire in the center of the tent for illumination.
“No,” she said hoarsely.
“Then why?” he demanded, completely at a loss as to what could have finally battered down her stubborn pride and made her cry. “The thrashing I gave you?”
“No,” she whispered achingly, her eyes locked with his. “Your horse.”
Of all the things she could have said, that answer was the one he least expected and most wanted to hear. Somehow knowing that she regretted the senseless loss of his horse made it seem somehow less painful.
“He was the most beautiful animal I’ve ever seen,” she added hoarsely. “If I’d know that taking him this morning might have led to his death, I’d have stayed her until I could-could find some other way.”
Staring up into the earl’s hooded eyes, Jenny saw him wince as he pulled his hand away from her face. “It’s a miracle you fell off or you’d both have died,” he said gruffly.
Turning to her side she buried her face in the furs. “I didn’t fall,” she whispered brokenly, “he threw me. I’d ridden higher over obstacles all day. I knew could clear that tree with ease, but when he jumped, he reared up at the same time, for no reason at all, and I fell backward. He shook me off before he jumped.”
“Thor sired two sons, Jennifer,” Royce said with rough gentleness, “in his exact likeness. One of the is here, the other at Claymore being trained. He isn’t completely lost to me.”
His captive drew a shattered breath, and in the darkness, she said simply, “Thank you.”
-Jennifer to Royce
Jenny’s huge, feared-widened eyes were riveted to his face. “Please,” she whispered, mistaking his silence for refusal. “I’ll do anything. I’ll kneel to you. Please, you have only to tell me what you want.”
He finally spoke and Jenny tensed with hope, too overwrought to notice the odd meaningful note in his voice as he said, “Anything?”
She nodded, vigorously. “Anything-I’ll have this castle set to rights and ready to receive a king within a few weeks, I’ll say prayers for each of you-“
“‘Tis not prayers I want,” he interrupted.
Desperate to reach an agreement before he changes his mind, she said, “Then, tell me what it is what you want?”
Implacably he stated, “You.”
Jennifer’s hand fell away from his tunic as he continued without emotion, “I do not want you on your knees, I want you in my bed. Willingly.”
Her relief that he was willing to let Brenna leave was temporarily overwhelmed by blazing animosity at what he was demanding.
He was sacrificing nothing by releasing Brenna, for he would still have Jenny as a hostage, yet he was requiring that she sacrifice everything. In willingly surrendering her honor to him, she would become a harlot; a disgrace to herself, her family, and all she held dear.
-Jennifer pleading to Royce to free her sister, Brenna, who fell ill at the castle.
“Do we have a bargain?” he asked calmly.
Jenny lifted her small chin, looking like a proud young queen who’d just been stabbed by someone she trusted. “I was mistaken in you, my lord,” she said bitterly. “I credited you with honor when you said me nay two days ago-for you could have promised me what I asked for, taken what I offered, and then attacked Merrick anyway. Now I see ’twasn’t honor, but arrogance. A barbarian has no honor.”
Even when she knew she was vanquished, she was splendid, Royce thought, suppressing an admiring smile as he looked into her stormy blue eyes. “Is the bargain I offer you so loathsome?” he asked quietly, putting his hands on her stiff arms. “In truth, I have no need to bargain with you at all, Jennifer, and you know it. I could have taken you by force any time these past days.”
Jennifer knew that, and although her resentment remained, she had to fight against falling under the deep spell of his voice as he continued, “I want you, and if that makes me a barbarian in your eyes, so be it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you let me, I’ll make it good between us. There’ll be no shame nor pain for you in my bed,-except for the pain I must cause you the first time. After that, there will be only pleasure.”
“Because I doubt your sister has paid enough heed to Hardin’s defenses to tell your father anything. You, however,” he added in a voice of amused irony, “were calculating the thickness of its walls and counting my sentries as we rode across the drawbridge.”
“You are mad!” she snapped, her chest heaving.
“And you are a devil!”
“And you, my dear,” Royce imperturbably replied, “are a bitch.” With that, he turned to the horrified friar and unhesitatingly announced, “The lady and I wish to be wed.”
“I hate you,” she said with deadly calm.
“A perfect basis for the perfect marriage,” Royce said sarcastically.
“Your home,” he interrupted, and to her complete confusion, he grinned suddenly. “You have the bluest eyes on earth,” he added with a low, appreciative chuckle. “When you’re angry, they’re the color of wet blue velvet.”
Jenny rolled her eyes in disgust, momentarily pacified by his answer that this was her home. “Wet velvet?” she repeated wryly, wrinkling her nose. “Wet velvet.”
His white teeth flashed in a devastating grin. “No? What should I have said?”
His smile was irresistible, and Jenny fell in with his teasing mood, “Well, you might have said they’re the color of-” she glanced at the large sapphire in the center of the crucifix”-of sapphires, she provided.
“That has a nice ring to it.”
“Ah, but sapphires are cold, and your eyes are warm and expressive. Am I doing better? he chuckled when she voiced no further argument to wet velvet.
“Much,” she agrees readily. “would you care to go on?”
“Fetching for compliments?
His lips twitched with laughter. “Very well. Your eyelashes remind me of sooty brooms.”
Jenny’s mirth exploded in a peal of musical laughter. “A broom!” she chuckled merrily, shaking her head at him.
“Exactly. And your skin is white and soft and smooth. It reminds me of….”
“Yes?” she prompted, chuckling.
“An egg. Shall I go on?”
“On, please, no,” she muttered, laughing.
Why is it when you yield, I feel like the one who has been conquered?”
It was a kingdom of dreams— a place where things would be just the way I wanted them to be.
-Jennifer Merrick Westmoreland
Since reading this book, I went online and ordered many of this authors books, some without even looking at what they’re about. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t care what they’re about, only that I have them and read them.