Her honourable mercenary
An innocent maiden
And a legendary warrior
When captured and held prisoner in an enemy castle, Margery of Lyon is guarded by brooding mercenary Evrart, who’s been commanded to watch her—day and night. Margery’s determination to escape brings her closer to Evrart and the kind heart hidden beneath his granite-hard body. Now Margery is torn… Fleeing under the portcullis will mean leaving behind the man she’s falling for…
But it’s good, so damn good. Mesmerizingly good, sizzlingly and seductively great. In other words, just go out and buy the thing to find out for yourself.... - Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
'What do you think, my dear,' Ian of Warstone waved before him. His posture, voice, and sweeping gesture every bit depicting that there was a correct answer, and for her sake, for her very life, she'd best know what it was.
Aware there was an audience waiting for her reply, Margery of Lyon craned her neck to take in the tilled fields and orchards that led down and then up to a sprawling village winding around a dark monstrosity of a structure which blotted out the soft blue sky.
Warstone Fortress was...menacing.
Giving the guards who circled her a smile, Margery adjusted her reins from one hand to the other in the vain hope the horse she rode somehow understood what she needed.
It didn't, just as it hadn't understood all the other hints she gave it on this journey for the past sennight. For instance, her begging it to gallop the other way, to dash off in a different direction. To help her escape. No such fortune for her, however.
The horse wasn't to blame; it simply followed its master, which wasn't her. The expansive lands and the forbidding fortress before her, and the man, Lord Warstone, weren't hers either. She wasn't even Ian's mistress, a role she was meant to play for however long he wanted her to play it.
In truth, if she were to give an opinion on his home and lands it wouldn't be hers.
Her true opinion would be that Warstone Fortress was beyond frightening. That she knew the moment they rode under the portcullis, she may never see her family again.
That opinion, she utterly knew, wouldn't be the correct answer.
'It's impressive,' she lied.
‘You can’t even see it from there,’ he clucked.
That was because the horse wouldn’t swerve around the guard in front of her, and most likely wouldn’t move until Warstone’s horse did. They were both following Warstone. The horse she rode, however, was blessed with the ignorance of not knowing its fate. She knew hers all too clearly.
‘It’s difficult to miss,’ she added. ‘What with its...vastness.’
Ian’s pale grey eyes swept over her. She could have sworn his lips curved before the wind brushed his black hair across his cheek, hiding any sign of amusement.
Had she amused him? She wasn’t sure she wanted to. But at least now he’d turned to a guard and they were conversing. So his attention was—
A burst of laughter from the two men and she jumped. Judging from the sneer of the guard nearest her, her fright had been noticed. And frightened she most definitely was.
Ian of Warstone was dangerous.
She hadn’t needed him to abduct her to know that. All it had taken was his reputation, rumours and the fact over a week ago she’d caught him in a darkened corridor with a dagger at a whore’s throat.
She’d run before she’d known what had happened to that poor woman, but she hadn’t run fast enough not to be caught.
Pretending to stretch, Margery tried to slow her breath. This was only nerves. She must just think of this situation like all the others she’d found herself in in her life. There was no doubting Lord Warstone was a bit more challenging than her past adversaries, but it was nothing she couldn’t resolve. She was still alive—which meant she’d lasted longer than she’d expected at least.
‘Is everything well?’ Ian said. ‘That palfrey isn’t any trouble, is she?’
Not for the reasons he suggested.
Margery patted its neck. ‘She’s lovely. I’m looking forward to seeing your home, that’s all.’
He gave her an indulgent smile. ‘Of course you are.’
What did he truly want with her?