Excerpt 10 — THE LADY OF THE FOREST by Barbara Bettis
If the support of the soldiers in the hall had, indeed, changed, Sir Mortimer stood no chance of winning free. But Henry had seen a cornered wolf fight. He’d be brought down, but not before a last attack.
Henry forced himself to calm. If provoked, Mortimer could lunge any of three directions with fatal results to bystanders, all before Henry could reach him.
In a soothing tone he said, “Lay down your sword, Sir Mortimer. Look. The priest has moved.”
He had no idea if the priest lived, but Henry edged forward when Mortimer squinted at the body. “No one has died this day. You were mistaken about Lady Katherine, but what man could fault you for pursuing the king’s order? Come with me to the authorities, explain the misunderstanding. I know Richard. He can be lenient.”
Mortimer, sword wavering, gazed around at the bystanders. Slowly his hand began to lower, and a cautious relief found Henry.
Then Mortimer’s sight lit on Kate, and he snarled. “It’s your fault, you stupid wench.”
He lunged to his left, snagging her skirt with his hand, jerking her toward him. “You’ve been nothing but trouble from the day I arrived. If only you’d been dead in fact, no one could have usurped me.”
Mortimer laid his sword against the side of her neck, and a chasm opened in Henry’s chest. Dear God.
Follow the action next week by visiting Cathy MacRae’s blog: http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com/bits-n-bobs-author-blog
Back Cover Copy
He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?
When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn't an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.
Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate's past catches her.
When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.