She came to him as a precious gift, a naked angel rolled in a rug. Once he gazed into her green eyes, saw her tangle of honey blonde hair, he was undone with passion.
Elizabeth would never surrender. He was a hated Montgomery -- she was a Chatworth -- and the blood war between their families raged on, a wildfire of rape, murder, and betrayal.
Elizabeth vowed to fight the handsome lord, to resist the burning desire in his eyes -- no matter how great the temptation.
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August 28, 2003
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Excerpt from Velvet Angel by Jude Deveraux
THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND
Elizabeth Chatworth stood on the very edge of the steep cliff, gazing toward the sea of tall barley grasses. Below her, seemingly tiny men walked with scythes on their shoulders, a few rode horses and one drove a team of oxen.
But Elizabeth didn't really see the men because her chin was held too high and it was locked into place so rigidly that nothing was going to bring it down. A warm gust of wind tried to force her away from the edge but she braced her legs and refused to move. If what had already happened to her today and now what she faced did not sway her, no mere wind was going to break her stance.
Her green eyes were dry but her throat was swollen shut with a lump of anger and unshed tears. A muscle in her jaw flexed and unflexed as she breathed deeply, trying to control her pounding heart.
Another gust of wind blew her tangled mass of honey blonde hair away from her back and, unbeknownst to Elizabeth, one last pearl disentangled itself and slid down the torn, dirty red silk of her dress. The finery she'd worn to her friend's wedding was now shredded beyond repair, her hair loose and flowing, her cheek smudged -- and her hands were crudely tied behind her back.
Elizabeth lifted her eyes toward heaven, unblinking at the bright daylight. All her life, she'd had her looks referred to as angelic and never had she looked so delicate, so serene, so much like a celestial being as she did now with her heavy hair swirling about her like some silken cloak, her ragged gown giving her the look of a Christian martyr.