England's most valiant knights paid court to wealthy Liana Neville, but only the infamous warrior Rogan Peregrine made no secret of his powerful desires. His very caress melted Liana into liquid fire, and she vowed to capture this manificent, wild man. Boldly the delicate beauty gave him her hand -- and Britain's richest dower. Yet he was bound to a bitter feud: for love betrayed, brothers killed, and ancestral land usurped. In Rogan's war-ravaged castle, Liana would lay her tender seige...to redeem his embattled spirit and win his untamed heart!
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April 30, 1991
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Excerpt from The Taming by Jude Deveraux
Either your daughter goes or I do," Helen Neville said sternly, hands on hips as she looked down at her husband, Gilbert. He was stretched out on a cushioned window seat, the sun streaming in through the old stone window past blue-painted wooden shutters. He was rubbing the ears of his favorite hound while eating tasty little bits of ground meat.
As usual, Gilbert didn't make any response to Helen's demand, and she clenched her fists in anger. He was twelve years older than she and lazy beyond anything she'd ever known. In spite of the fact that he spent most of his time on a horse following a soaring hawk, his belly was large and growing bigger by the day. She had married him for his money, of course, married him for his gold plate, for his thousands of hectares of land, for his eight castles (two of which he'd never seen), for his horses, his army of men, for the beautiful clothes he could give her and her two children. She had read a list of Gilbert Neville's possessions and said yes to the marriage proposal without even asking to see the man.
Now, a year after their marriage, Helen asked herself, If she had met Gilbert and seen his slothfulness, would she have wondered who ran his estates? Did he have a superior steward? She knew he had only one legitimate child, a pale, shy-looking girl who said not a word to Helen before the marriage, but perhaps Gilbert had an illegitimate son who ran his estates.
After they were married and Helen knew she had a husband who was as lazy in bed as he was out of it, she found out who ran the Neville lands.
Liana! Helen wished she'd never heard the name. That sweet-looking, shy-seeming daughter of Gilbert's was a devil in disguise. Liana, like her mother before her, ran everything. Liana sat at the steward's table while the peasants paid their yearly rents. Liana rode through the countryside and saw to fields and ordered broken roofs repaired. Liana decided when a castle had become too dirty and the crops depleted and told the retainers it was time to move. Three times in the last year Helen had first heard that they were moving when she saw a maid packing her bedding.