In the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings, Lady Rowena is the sole survivor of the once powerful House of Godwin. Rowena is now the Norman King William’s ward and is ordered to marry one of his most powerful knights. Can she set aside her proud heritage to become this warmonger’s latest conquest?
John of Normandy faithfully follows the edicts of his mentor and king without question. King William rewards his loyalty and service with valuable lands, titles and a special “prize”. But John is now saddled with an impossible task. Marry the spoiled Saxon, win over the bitter Saxon people and produce a mixed-blood heir in hopes of peace.
Join the struggle as both Rowena and John battle feelings of loneliness and abandonment within and the continuing rebellion of the Saxons from without. If they can succeed in their own union, mayhap the country can follow their lead.
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Pacing the small area like a confined animal, she finally paused to look out the window. The dreary day reflected her feelings, rain threatening at any moment. ""Do you know when my husband will be returning?""ABOUT Ashley York
""I am back now.""
John stood in the doorway handsomely dressed as befit the new Lord of Essex. Rowena's breath caught in her throat. She looked away before the immense pleasure she felt at his return showed on her face.
Joan quickly gathered her sewing and removed herself from the room, closing the door behind her.
""Will you attend me, my lady?""
Rowena went to him and helped him remove his surcoat before seeing to the heavier chainmail. He smelled like horses and leather. Manly. Rowena tried not to close her eyes as she drank in the intoxicating smell of him. Why would a dirty, sweaty man make her feel so light headed? She stepped away when she realized why, the chainmail slipping forward off his arms. His hooded eyes told her that he knew what she was feeling.
""Is there a problem?"" His deep voice seemed to reverberate through her body.
Quickly putting the heavy material down, she headed to the door. ""I will order a bath for you.""
Rowena froze with her hand on the latch and heard him coming closer to her. He stood close behind her, his breath soft against her cheek.
""Yes?"" Be done with this. Her body yearned for his arms to pull her against him, to feel his kiss again. She licked her lips.
""Why are you leaving in such a hurry?"" His hand lightly touched the side of her head as he spoke, pushing her hair away from her face. He leaned in closer to her exposed ear. A responding shiver ran down her body. ""Are you afraid of me?""
She backed up to the door with a thud and faced him. Her pulse was racing as she lied. ""No, my lord. Methinks you have a rather strong odor about you and I would have you take a bath before the evening meal.""
John backed away quickly, his eyes flying open. ""I am sorry if I offend you. Please see to the bath.""
Rowena felt only slightly guilty when he turned away from her, standing like a lost little boy in the middle of the room.
Always an avid romance reader herself, Ashley York enjoys bringing history to life through vibrant and meaningful characters, writing historical romance novels full of passion and intrigue set in the 11th and 12th century British Isles. Her newest release, The Saxon Bride, is the first in the Norman Conquest series.
When she is not writing, talking about writing, or thinking about writing, Ashley relaxes with visits to the local pubs listening to live Celtic tunes. She lives in southern New England with her husband and three very spoiled animals.
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