From the windswept, craggy coast of a remote British Isle comes the thrilling tale of a daring lady and a dangerous knight... bound by the tempests of fate--and the dawning of... Desire
Upon her father's death, beautiful, headstrong Lady Clarre knew that she must wed, for the protection of the Isle of Desire new fell to her. Yet when her guardian's choice of prospective husband rode through her castle gates, she felt utterly betrayed. All sinewy muscle and savage steel, Sir Gareth of Wyckmere was not the poet she'd requested but a fearsome knight whose only interest was in war.
Legions of robbers had fallen beneath the Hellhound of Wyckmere's sword, and now this bold warrior was certain that he could tame one willful wife. Yet even Gareth could not deter Lady Clare from trying to mold him into her ideal... until their clash of wills ignited a passion that set them both aflame... and a treacherous plot put their lives in deadly peril.
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November 30, 1993
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Excerpt from Desire by Amanda Quick
Chapter One Clare was in the convent gardens with Margaret, the Prioress of Saint Hermione, when word reached her that the first of the suitors was on the Isle of Desire. “A grand company of men has arrived, Lady Clare. They are coming toward the village even now,” William called. Clare paused in the middle of a detailed discussion of the best method for extracting oil of roses. “I beg your pardon, madam,” she said to Prioress Margaret. “Of course.” Margaret was a stoutly built woman of middle years. The wimple of her black Benedictine habit framed sharp eyes and gently rounded features. “This is an important event.” Clare turned to see young William hopping about in great excitement near the convent gatehouse. He waved his bag of gingered currants at her. A plump, brown-haired, dark-eyed lad of ten, he was a good-natured combination of lively curiosity and unquenchable enthusiasm. He and his mother, Lady Joanna, had come to live on the Isle of Desire three years earlier. Clare was very fond of both of them. As her own family had dwindled down to nothing, leaving her alone in the world, she had grown very close to William and Joanna. “Who is here, William?” Clare braced herself for the answer. Every inhabitant on Desire, with the exception of herself, had been eagerly anticipating this day for weeks. She was the only one who was not looking forward to the selection of a new lord for Desire. At least she was to have a choice of husbands, she reminded herself. That was more than many women in her position got. “’Tis the first of the suitors you said Lord Thurston would send.” William stuffed a handful of gingered currants into his mouth. “They say he appears to be a most powerful knight, Lady Clare. He brings a fine, great host of men-at-arms. I heard John Blacksmith say that it took half the boats in Seabern to get all the men and horses and baggage from the mainland to our island.” A curious flutter of uneasiness made Clare catch her breath. She had promised herself that when the time came, she would be calm and businesslike about the matter. But now that the moment was upon her, she was suddenly vastly more anxious than she had thought to be. “A great host?” Clare frowned. “Aye.” William’s face glowed. “The sunlight on their helms is so bright, it hurts your eyes.” He gulped down two more fistfuls of the currants. “And the horses are huge. There is one in particular, John says, a great gray stallion with hooves that will shake the very earth when he goes past.” “But I did not request a great number of knights and men-at-arms,” Clare said. “Desire requires only a small company of men to protect our shipments. What on earth am I to do with a large number of warriors underfoot? And all their horses, too. Men and horses eat a great deal of food, you know. “Do not fret, Clare.” Margaret smiled. “Young William’s notion of a vast host of fighting men is likely very different from our own. Keep in mind that the only company of armed men that he has ever seen is Sir Nicholas’s small household force at Seabern.” I trust that you are right, madam.” Clare lifted the fragrant pomander that hung from a chain on her girdle and inhaled the soothing blend of roses and herbs. The scent comforted her, as it always did. “Nevertheless, it will be a great nuisance having to feed and house so many men and horses. By Saint Hermione’s ear, I do not like the notion of having to entertain all of these people. And this is only the first of the candida