Redeeming the Rogue Knight
THE STORY BLURB
The spy who sought refuge…
When injured spy Sir Roger Danby comes asking for shelter at her inn, Lucy Carew is wary. He may be strikingly handsome, but the disgraced single mother has learnt the hard way with men like him. Against her better judgement, she gives him refuge.
Sir Roger has never been at the mercy of a woman before, and he’s never met one as mysterious and bewitching as Lucy. He hasn't come looking for redemption, but Lucy is a woman who could reach in and touch his closely guarded heart.
Except for her infant son, Lucy has had enough of men and their sweet words, but there is something different about Roger and it might just be worth the risk to give into his love…
READ AN EXCERPT!
Readers first met Roger in The Blacksmith’s Wife where the disreputable knight was last seen leaving Yorkshire to seek his fortune abroad. That should have been the end of his tale, but readers wanted to know what happened to him. Now readers can discover what brought him back to England, and what sort of woman could reform the rogue.
Through the haze of pain, Roger became aware he was not alone in the room. He groaned weakly, trying to speak, but his throat was too dry. His arms were leaden and would not rise. He fought down panic.
Cool fingers stroked his forehead, brushing the hair from his brow and easing away his anxiety. A woman’s voice, soft and high, murmured soothing words that jumbled in his mind. He felt something cool and damp pressed to his brow, stroking gently and he sighed.
The stroking stopped. ‘No.’
An unfamiliar voice.
The hands moved down to his jaw, firm strokes cleaning away the grime from his cheeks. Despite the coldness of the cloth, Roger’s skin began to burn hotter from within. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman had touched him unbidden with such gentleness and desire began to awaken, tickling with devilish fingers at his groin.
Good. If he could still contemplate a spot of swiving between the sheets he was not yet dead. He opened his eyes to see who was caring for him, but his lids felt unaccountably heavy. He forced them wide anyway, but the brightness hurt and the woman was silhouetted against the window so he could see nothing of her features. He screwed his eyes tight, wincing.
A pale face framed with fine, light-coloured hair and the impression of a grey dress filled his mind: the girl from the inn who had been half-terrified to death by their appearance.
Lucy Carew. He hoped it was she who was nursing him. He remembered her mouth, hot against his, resisting at first in alarm, but quickly giving in to his kiss and meeting him with as much fire as he was exuding. It would be pleasant indeed if it were she.
Lucy—Roger would assume it was until evidence proved otherwise—removed the cloth from his forehead and put it to his cheeks, freshly damp. She began to bathe his neck and chest, lifting each arm to wipe it before moving down towards his waist, which sent shivers of bliss cascading over him. The sensation was so unbearably erotic Roger felt he would be consumed by the sheer pleasure of it. However, when he gave himself up to the indulgence, he realised the reaction was in his mind alone. His body was refusing to acknowledge anything was happening to rouse him. Perhaps he was closer to death than he had realised after all. He lapsed into sleep with this troubling thought.
He woke again to find himself being bathed still. Or perhaps a second time because now the room was darker. The hands moved over his body as before, but shifted now to his right shoulder. As they probed the wound searing pain shot through him, obliterating any thoughts beyond making the torment end. He cried out, but his voice rasped painfully.
‘Thirsty…’ he managed to croak.
Those bewitching fingers stroked his brow once more. He felt the back of his head cradled and lifted, firm fingers burrowing deep into his thick hair. A cup was put to his lips.
‘Not too fast,’ a soft voice instructed.
It was ale. Cool and thirst-quenching. Roger could not remember the arrow being removed, or Thomas returning, but the pain in his shoulder was so intense it must be from the brand that sealed the wound. Panic filled him once again and he twisted his head from the cup. Lucy’s firm hands guided it back and the cup was put to his lips once more.
‘Drink this,’ she commanded, her voice allowing no possibility of disobedience. ‘It will ease the pain.’
Her voice brooked no argument. If it meant those delicate fingers exploring his body once more he would do anything she asked.
It was not the same cup. This brew was sickly and bitter at the same time. He was being drugged.
He groaned with relief. Wonderful woman, to ease his pain in such a way.
His head began to swim once more. Oh, he’d thank her indeed when he was back to strength with everything working as it should. He could think of so many ways to show his gratitude that did not even involve leaving this bed.
‘The arrow?’ he mumbled. His mouth now felt too small to hold his tongue.
She drew a sharp breath and the hand at the back of his skull tightened briefly. She muttered something to herself and Roger caught Thomas’s name.
‘I’m sorry. I didn’t know what to do. It’s still in your shoulder.’
He felt her move away and shortly the door closed, leaving him alone.
The news was bad, but the matter was out of Roger’s hands for now. However hard he tried, he could do nothing to fight the sleep that was claiming him.
He fell into a deep slumber and dreamed of Lucy.
Elisabeth grew up in York and fell in love with history after being surrounded by so much from an early age. Her writing career began when she entered her first novel, Falling for Her Captor, into Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013. She finished in third place, was offered a two-book contract and hasn’t looked back! She has since written five novels for Harlequin Mills & Boon with settings ranging from the turbulent events of post- Norman Conquest Cheshire to the thrilling tournaments of fourteenth century York.
Elisabeth is a part time teacher and full time mum to two children. She spends whatever spare time she has reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book. She loves ginger mojitos and hot & sour soup, though not at the same time.
Elisabeth lives in Cheshire because her car broke down there when she was house hunting and she never left.
Lara: How often to you get lost in a story?
Elisabeth: Every day. If it isn’t one of mine that I’m plotting, writing or editing I’ll be curled up with a book somewhere. I don’t think a day goes by where I haven’t read something. I’ve just come back from a three week camping trip and as well as editing my latest WIP I read seven books! I teach five and six year olds and my favourite part of the day is storytime.
Lara: What’s your favorite “love” word?
Elisabeth: I like ‘adore’ because it slips off the tongue nicely.
Lara: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Elisabeth: Will Rudhale from A Wager for the Widow. His job is the household steward in a nobleman’s establishment (the one whose daughter he wagered he could kiss). He’d be experienced at organising an impressive feast so I could sit back and relax while he got on with it. If not him then Lucy from Redeeming the Rogue Knight because she could bring some homemade beer and we could have a drink and moan about men together. The one I’d least like to invite is Robert de Coudray from The Saxon Outlaw’s Revenge because he was a complete psychopath.
Lara: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Elisabeth: I get to be creative and listen to the voices in my head, which is wonderful. I feel so lucky that I get to do it. It also means I can teach part time rather than full time because the profession is such a pressured environment. I’m surprised anyone does it full time and remains sane!
Lara: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Elisabeth: A mystery story where I can work out the clues along with the characters. If that can be combined with a historical setting and a spot of romance that’s even better - something like Lindsey Davis’ Falco series set in Imperial Rome which has one of my favourite romantic couples in Falco and Helena, or Ellis Peter’s Cadfael series set in Medieval Wales. There is a bit of mystery in Redeeming the Rogue Knight as Roger tries to work out who ambushed him and why.
Lara: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Elisabeth: I love to take a long, deep bath with my favourite bubbles and a good book. My husband always complains I come to bed too late because I lose track of time and will stay there until the water goes cold.
Lara: What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do?
Elisabeth: I love Romance because I think the world needs more happy endings. I chose medieval because I like how different life was to modern life. The period had very clearly defined conventions, social structure and strict codes of behaviour. Life was harsh and produced some fantastically strong women who I try to model my heroines on. It’s a real balance getting period detail in to create a world that feels real without alienating readers. Who would want to know their hero probably had lice and used soot to clean his teeth!
Lara: What inspires you daily?
Elisabeth: I have a wonderful group of friends who also write for Harlequin Historical who inspire me with their brilliance and enthusiasm. We hang around on Facebook in The Unlaced Book Club where there are always fun discussions about inspirations, bizarre historical facts and romance.
Lara: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Elisabeth: I don’t listen while I write because I get distracted but each book has a ‘theme song’ that I have in the back of my mind. It might be a single line or verse, or the whole song, but it is something that gives me an insight into the characters or plot. If I get bogged down with writing I can stick it on and remind myself where the story should be going. With Redeeming the Rogue Knight the theme song is Anything for Love by Meatloaf which suited both Roger (who hasn’t let much stand in his way of getting what he wants) and Lucy (who is needs a way out of her colourless, lonely life).
Lara: Who’s your favorite villain?
Elisabeth: I have a real soft spot for Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was evil and amoral (and pretty rubbish at being a villain) but so sexy and snarky with it. My favourite villain from my own books is Roger, of course, who was so charming and self-centred that he couldn’t stay a villain and I just knew there had to be a story to discover. I had real fun writing his attempts at flirting with Lucy (which fell completely flat).
Lara’s GOTTA ASK: What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?
Elisabeth’s GOTTA ANSWER: First up is How to be a Victorian by historian Ruth Goodman. I’ve also got The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch which is part of a series I’m reading. I started Mary Beard’s SPQR before I went on holiday but left it at home as it is quite big so I want to get into that again. After that I might read Persuasion again because I love it so much and at the start of the school year I want something I can read without thinking too hard. I don’t have a fifth lined up yet but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
FIND HER ON THE WEB!
UP NEXT: I’ve just handed in my next manuscript to my editor. It is set after the Norman Conquest and features a Breton ex-archer sent to escort his lord’s English betrothed bride from a priory. Its a double-disguised identity story and was a lot of fun to write. As soon as I have a release date I’ll let you know.
Falling For Her Captor October 2014
A Wager for the Widow July 2015
The Blacksmith's Wife May 2016
The Saxon Outlaw's Revenge December 2016
Elisabeth wants to know...
Lucy brews her own beer to sell in the inn. What is your drink of choice and who would you like to share one with?
Leave a comment for your chance to win one signed copy to a reader in the US or UK.