Welcome to this weeks Tuesday Treat. My guest today is the very talented
Elise Cyr with a post you’ll enjoy.
Thanks so much for hosting me, Daisy!
For today’s treat, I’m sharing a scene from my medieval romance Siege of the Heart, which released this year from Kensington and recently became available in paperback.
This is the point where my heroine Isabel, an English heiress, confronts Alexandre, a Norman knight who has unexpectedly arrived at her father’s castle. This is the first time she’s had a chance to speak to the man and she’s none too happy to find him taking command of her home.
The servant made one last attempt to smooth Isabel’s thick chestnut hair underneath her headrail. “We should go. This way, my lady.”
“Wait.” Isabel picked up her mother’s brooches from the table. “I would wear these too.”
“Yes, my lady.” Averill placed them on either shoulder to hold back Isabel’s light mantle.
Isabel relaxed under the familiar weight of the golden bands passed down through the generations. Regardless of what happened in her conference with the Norman knight, she had something to remind her of heritage.
Following the servant across the hall, she reached for the seax, which normally hung at her waist, but the short, sharp knife was not there. Instead, only her leather purse and keys to the larder and storage rooms hung from her belt. Matilde had informed her their Norman visitor had seen fit to confiscate her weapons.
Another point they would have to settle.
Isabel grimaced as Averill stopped at the door to her father’s chambers. Unfortunately, apart from her rooms, they were the only quarters befitting a man of Alexandre’s station—the envoy of the man who would soon be the king of England.
The door opened, and Alexandre admitted the two women into Lord Dumont’s solar.
“Please sit.” Alexandre indicated the chairs placed around a table covered in Father’s correspondence and accounts. He signaled for the servant to leave them.
With one last pitying look at Isabel, Averill shut the door behind her. Isabel remained standing, warily staring down Alexandre. He stared back, his sharp blue gaze trained on her.
He appeared even more formidable in the flickering candlelight than he had when she first awakened. His thick, black hair was roughly shaped in the Norman tradition, and the knight wore it long, framing his angular face. He was several inches taller than she, an uncommonly tall girl herself. He had massive shoulders with such strength and power she could only assume they were the result of rigorous training and countless battles. William had brought his finest men to the shores of England.
They stood there like hunter and prey, but she would be no man’s quarry.
“I am Alexandre d’Évreux. But you, my dear, can call me Alex.”
He was clean-shaven, and she caught herself staring at the way his lips quirked. Englishmen, even her father, wore beards. Until now, she had not realized how much emotion the facial hair hid from view.
“I am here to escort Lord Dumont and his family to London, where he is to greet King William. While the lord is away, I am acting in his place. I chose to ignore your questionable arrival when you were with fever.” He walked toward her with a decided prowl to his gait. “Now, I will wait no longer for answers.”
Isabel lifted her chin, willing herself to ignore the fatigue already clamoring for attention. “I have questions of my own.”
“I am sure. But first, Lady Isabel, you will explain to me why Matilde thought it necessary to hide your identity from me.”
“I know not.” Her gaze swept over him once more. “Perhaps she thought your intentions were dishonorable.”
A muscle worked in his jaw. “Matilde is extremely loyal to you, no doubt. I assure you, I am acting under orders from William himself. No harm will come to you or your family, but I expect your cooperation.”
She stiffened. “Am I a prisoner?”
“Non, not unless you refuse to cooperate. I only intend to be your family’s escort to London. How easy or difficult that is will be up to you.”
About Siege of the Heart
He fought for king and country, but that battle is nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.
Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Èvreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.
For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.
Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?
CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.
About Elise Cyr
Elise Cyr has always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. She writes primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun. She lives in New Mexico with her husband and the sweetest dog ever. When she’s not writing, she hikes, bikes, cooks, and (of course) reads. Siege of the Heart is her debut medieval romance. You can follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or check out her blog.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/siege-of-the-heart-elise-cyr/1118940307