Desperate and proud, Rhianna ap Brynn Ffrydd, a Welsh princess, is captured by a hated Englishman, Baron Garrett deShay, an agent of Edward I of England. Despite the passion he arouses in her, Rhianna must find a way to return home to her younger half sister, whom she’s raised since birth.
Garrett, emotionally scarred but intent on gaining the respect of his monarch by surrendering a member of Welsh aristocracy, fights an overwhelming attraction and the need to protect this woman, despite the charge of witch that hangs over her head.
Can the two lovers conquer the cruelties awaiting them and their own natural animosity, to accept a forever kind of love?
Rhianna watched Garrett ride beside the marching line of men. She fought the most unusual sensations. Something about him heated her blood. It had to be her hate and she did detest this man. He ordered her father killed and taken her and Arthur into captivity. She suspected he longed to put an end to all the lives associated with Brynn Ffrydd. Still, he had not sacked the keep, so her home was safe, at least for the moment.
Yet the sight of him on that black charger sent her blood racing through her veins. She shook her head and wiggled into the furs. Of course her blood rushed through her veins. Nothing about any of this was as it should be.
Was it only the day before that she had run from her home to warn her father that Garrett deShay planned to avoid their ambush by traveling a more difficult road? Now, her home was without protection and she had no idea who cared for Lilybet. Her father had given his life to save his keep and she and Arthur were in the monster’s clutches.
It was no wonder she loathed the English after all they had done to her. She and her friend, Dafydd, son of a neighboring lord had been betrothed when she was sixteen. Oh, what a fine man he had been. She’d loved him, loved him with all her heart. But the English came. All her dreams were destroyed, her heart broken, her love crushed. Nor would she ever love a man again. Nay, all her love went to the small child placed in her care.
Even today all Wales knew the English for what they were, cruel, torturous, barbaric. Hadn’t they been savaging the Welsh countryside, raiding and ravaging at will? And, hadn’t she already paid the full price?
Just then deShay turned the black devil he rode around and started in her direction. She wiped the moisture from her eyes. Never would she allow him to see her tears. Bracing herself against the wooden sides of the cart, she waited for him to stop beside her once more.
“Do you do better?”
His rich, powerful voice sparked more sensations. She gritted her teeth and snarled, “I am not myself. I need to sleep.”
“‘Tis the wound.” He smiled at her and her heart lurched in her chest. “You did lose much blood and the Scotsman says it may take a while to rebuild your strength. Mayhap, on the morrow you will be improved.” He rode off, leaving her confused and disliking herself for that confusion.
She stared after him but refused to admit to the dryness of her throat, to the frantic rhythm of her heart, to the difficulty she had in taking a satisfying amount of air.
“It is naught but hate and fear,” she mumbled watching him ride toward the front of the column. She swallowed the lump in her throat while she wrestled with more strange emotions. Anger, fear of the unknown, concern for those at home, she decided before she snuggled into the furs to sleep. She must not think on the horror deShay and his ilk had wrought. Nay, she had to sleep, regain her strength. Then plan an escape.