Powerful and brave, he claimed her hand by royal decree.
Beautiful and defiant, she dared him to conquer her heart....
Few writers can match the sheer storytelling mastery of New York Times bestselling author Virginia Henley. Now, in this, the third novel in her Plantagenet trilogy, which began with The Falcon and the Flower and continued in The Dragon and the Jewel, Henley returns to medieval England and brings to life a love story so passionate, it will take your breath away....
Rosamond Marshal was only a child when she was betrothed to legendary warrior knight Rodger de Leyburn. But when Rodger beholds the fair Rosamond, now blossomed into a lovely young woman, he is determined to possess her, to win her love, to make her want him as he wants her.
Orphaned at a young age, Rosamond is the royal ward of Eleanor de Montfort, sister of King Henry III. Beautiful and proud, Rosamond is truly a marriage prize. But she is wary of love, fearful of fulfilling her betrothal to the dark and steely knight, unsettled by his powerful presence...until Sir Rodger takes her into his arms, slowly, gently, arousing passions Rosamond had never known before. And as civil war erupts around them, as Rodger is called to battle, Rosamond must face an impossible choice -- between the man who has stormed her reluctant heart, and the family who raised her as their own....
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
July 01, 2001
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Marriage Prize by Virginia Henley
Kenilworth Castle November 1258 A wave of stark terror swept over Rosamond Marshal, snatching her breath away. She began to run the moment she saw the dark horse and rider, knowing instinctively they would pursue her. Relentlessly! The rider was faceless. All she knew was that he was dark, but it was the horse she feared most. It was huge, black, and terrifying. An icy shiver slithered down her spine. Her pale golden hair tumbled wildly about her shoulders as she pulled her skirts high, baring long, slim legs, in a desperate attempt to escape being trampled by the cruel hooves. Her lungs felt as if they would burst as she gasped for just one more breath that would carry her to safety. Her pulse hammered inside her eardrums, deafening her as she turned to look over her shoulder. Rosamond's eyes widened in horror and a scream was torn from her throat as she saw the black forelegs rise above her, then helplessly she tumbled beneath the murderous hooves. Rosamond's eyes flew open. Slowly, she became aware of her surroundings. She was lying in her bed, her hair a wild tangle, her night rail twisted about her body so that her long legs were bared. Heaving a ragged sigh of relief, she sat up. “Whatever is amiss, Rosamond?” Demoiselle de Montfort asked, throwing back her covers and padding barefoot across the spacious bedchamber they shared at Kenilworth Castle. Rosamond tossed back her hair in a gesture of dismissal to reassure her young friend. “It was nothing, Demi.” “But you screamed,” the young, dark-haired girl insisted. “Was it the old nightmare come back to haunt you?” “No, of course not,” Rosamond said. She was seventeen, almost three years older than the Demoiselle, as everyone affectionately called young Eleanor de Montfort. The unusual nickname had been given to her by a French nursemaid because mother and daughter had the same name. Rosamond was determined not to alarm her friend. She laughed with bravado. “It would take more than a bad dream to frighten me.” “Could we have a light?” The Demoiselle had always been afraid of total darkness, which was why Rosamond shared her chamber, high in the Lady Tower. “I'm so sorry I disturbed you, Demi.” She lit the square, scented candle in its metal stand and tucked the Demoiselle back into bed. Back in her own bed, Rosamond offered a silent prayer of thanks that she was safe and secure at Kenilworth. Located in the midland county of Warwickshire, eighty miles from London, the castle was her haven, her refuge, where she felt protected from the harsh world. Rosamond watched the shadows flicker upon the wall. She hadn't had the trampling dream in a long time and had hoped she was free of it, but apparently she was not completely free. Though Rosamond knew what caused it, she never spoke of it anymore. Because her parents had both died while she and her brother Giles were children, they had become royal wards. Since Giles was the same age as Prince Edward Plantagenet, he had joined the prince's household, becoming one of a dozen noble youths who were Edward's companions. Rosamond, however, had joined the household of the king's sister, Eleanor de Montfort, Countess of Leicester, because Rosamond was the niece of the late William Marshal, who had been Princess Eleanor's first husband. The brother and sister had seen each other often because Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, was Prince Edward's godfather, and the young noblemen received their military training from the great warlord, reputed to be the ablest warrior in Christendom. By the time he was fifteen, Lord Edward, as the heir to the throne was called, had towered head and shoulders over the other men of the court. His companions were all high-spirited youths, guilty of excesses. Som