Emerald Knight

Emerald Knight

by Michelle M Pillow

 

 

                       

 

                 

 

SONY |Amazon Print| Createspace Print

 

 

Medieval Historical Romance

 

Since birth Lady Ginevra has been betrothed to Lord Wolfram, second son to the Count of Whetshire. There was never any question as to whom she would marry or who she would be. Life has been mapped out for her and she's going to live happily ever after as a Countess. However, there is one complication to her plans. Her rogue of a future husband isn't taking to their life together with open arms. In fact, he seems to enjoy finding reasons to put the nuptials off.

Rating: Contains graphic sexual content, adult language, and violence.

 

 

EXCERPT

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EMERALD KNIGHT

By

Michelle M. Pillow

 

Dedication:

To Luna Sloop, whose daughter Amelia loves her very much. Happy 91st Birthday!

To Amelia, a wonderful woman with a great heart.

To Pam, Jenny and Alma, whose kindness is very much appreciated.

 

 

Author Note

This novel spans the course of many years and many countries. The goal is to tell a story of two people, not to dwell upon the historical details or to make assumptions about such political and religious events like the Holy Crusades. I have made much of the historical details, such as costuming and dates, accurate but did take some liberties with fictional settings and historical figures. Though certain events surrounding the story are factual, the characters, circumstances, locations and the story itself are a complete work of fiction and are by no way intended to reflect the actual lives of historical figures. Nor is this novel a treatise or parody of modern or historical political and religious views.


 

For some, love comes swiftly at first glance, for those most stubborn it can take a lifetime...

 

Prologue

Whetshire Fortress, Wessex, 1171 A.D.

Baron Southaven raised his proud blue eyes from the sheepskin parchment. His quill dripped with ink as he set it aside. As he blew lightly over the bold flourish of his signature, a satisfied smile lined his mouth. Then, dripping wax onto the paper, he slipped his ring from his finger and pressed his seal onto the agreement. Next to him his wife, Lady Southaven, clapped happily. He placed the crest back onto his hand. It was done. The endless fortnights of negotiation since the birth of his daughter had finally ended to the satisfaction of both houses.

“It’s decided then,” the Earl of Whetshire announced with a solemn nod.

Wolfe’s head snapped up. In all his eight years he had never been so mortified. His father’s stern voice expressed neither anger nor pleasure at the decision. Though, by all indications, the man was pleased with the match. Turning to look down the floor of the main hall, the earl squinted in the dimmed torchlight. The hour was late and the fire had dwindled to a soft heat.

Wolfe stood dutifully with his two brothers awaiting his father’s command. Thomas, the oldest, held his head high and proud. Wolfe, standing next to him, swallowed nervously and kicked at the floor. William, the youngest, grinned sheepishly as if nothing concerned him. Their sister’s giggle broke the silence, as she sat on the lap of the baron’s only son. Robert’s gentle laugh followed hers.

The earl sighed as he watched his sons. Motioning to Wolfe, he commanded gruffly, “Wolfram, come kiss your betrothed’s lips and seal this match.”

Wrinkling his nose and stiffening his legs, his feet refused to move. His brothers chuckled mockingly behind the backs of their hands. Thomas knocked him forward with a swift punch to his back. Wolfe spun to his older brother with a fierce growl.

“I’ll get you fer that, Thomas!” Wolfe hissed, raising his fists in warning. “I’ll wallop you good!”

Thomas just laughed harder. Being the oldest and the heir, he wasn’t too concerned. Even though he was only two years older, he had grown well over Wolfe in size. He smiled confidently down from his impressive height. “Yea, Wolfe, go kiss your bride.”

“Wolfram?” Lady Isabella called when her son hadn’t moved. The countess’ voice was loud and booming compared to the stern tone of her husband. She pushed her flaming red hair back from her forehead as she watched her children expectantly.

“Yea, you’d better hope she don’t spit up on you!” William chimed in. He too was rewarded with a dark scowl.

Slowly, Wolfe stepped forward. His dark brown hair fell in front of his eyes as he looked solemnly up at his parents. Both they, the baron and baroness watched him expectantly from across the hall. Before having taken two steps, a foot jutted in front of him. He tumbled to the ground. Glancing up from the straw rushes in anger, he glared at his snickering older brother.

“I warned you, Thomas!” Wolfe hollered. He forgot his father’s command as he glared at his attacker. Jumping to his feet, he charged Thomas in the waist. He rammed his head into his brother’s chest and knocked him to the ground with the unexpected force. Thomas slid across the straw rushes that lined the hall floor, as Wolfe howled atop him.

Wolfe swung for his brother’s jaw, his fist glancing off Thomas’ cheek with a reverberating smack. William shouted in pleasure. Thomas fought back. He rolled Wolfe amidst flying fists that quickly found their mark. Wolfe grunted as Thomas clapped the side of his head and Thomas protested loudly when Wolfe tried to bite his finger off. The digit had strayed too close to his younger brother’s opened mouth.

The battle ended as fast as it begun. Wolfe grunted in protest as he was lifted off of Thomas. His feet kicked in the air only to land with a heavy thud on the stone floor. Neither boy was badly bruised, only disheveled from the fray. Guiltily, Wolfe wiped his bloodied mouth and looked at his father, his eyes pleading for parental mercy. It was not to be.

“Attend your duties, son.” The earl pointed to the head table where the adults waited patiently. Wolfe kicked the ground in anger, as he was made to kiss his future bride. Thomas and William laughed in delight as he was made to walk up to the platform. The earl ignored his snickering sons and followed closely behind Wolfe.

As he stepped up to the head dining table, Wolfe ignored the rolled parchment next to the small wooden bassinet. The paper served only as a reminder of things he couldn’t control. Frowning, he glanced at his sister Helena. She had crawled off Robert’s lap and played on the floor near his feet. She looked up at him and giggled in childish amusement. His frown deepened into a scowl.

“Go on,” Robert encouraged in a whisper. His young green eyes shone with understanding, as Wolfe leaned over the cradle to see his sister. It was obvious he didn’t think much of kissing Ginevra either. “Hurry, afore she wakes up and starts to bawl.”

The boys’ mothers shared modest smiles. Wolfe gulped. Leaning over, he studied his future wife--a round baby clad in soft yellow. She was only as long as his arm, with pudgy, pink cheeks that puffed out from her tiny nose. Her lips puckered to suck in dreamlike abandon. Grimacing, he shook his head in denial and took a defiant step back.

“Why do I have to marry ’er? Why can’t I give ’er to Thomas? He’s the oldest. He’s the one who’s goin’ to need a wife.” Wolfe glanced dejectedly to his mother, who only smiled and nodded her head for him to follow his father’s order. Already he knew the answer. Thomas wouldn’t be bound by such an agreement because he was the oldest. The earl wanted to be sure they left Thomas’ option open in case there was a shift of politics. And Wolfe, being the second oldest, was the most logical of choices to unite the manors of Whetshire and Southaven. It would strengthen the ties of the land and help to build a secure future for all those involved.

Understanding didn’t make it easier.

With a sigh, he glanced back down. Ginevra’s eyes opened. The round green orbs looked at him curiously from underneath silky black lashes. Quickly, he puckered his lips as he leaned over to kiss the baby’s soft cheek. The baroness flushed and laid her hand proudly over her heart. The men nodded in satisfaction as they clasped hands.

Ginevra gurgled and her lips twitched into a softened, toothless smile. Drool spilled over her lips and chin. Wolfe felt himself melt a little as he looked at her. But, then, he hardened as he heard the snickering laughter of his two brothers behind him. His face turned into a disgusted scowl.

“She smells!” he exclaimed loudly with an offended wrinkle to his nose. Ginevra began to cry, her tiny fists pounding her displeasure into the air. Her shrill voice rang over the hall, as her mother rushed forward to lift her into the protective enclosure of her arms. Wolfe ignored his bride and stalked from the table to once again pummel his brother.

© copyright November 2005, Michelle M. Pillow

This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.

  

 REVIEWS

"5 HEARTS! Ms. Pillow succeeded in bringing her words to life. This book breathes, screams, and compels you to finish it. This is a spectacular Epic story about love growing in spite of everything ­ a love separated by duty, age, time and the very natures of Wolfe and Gin. This story captures your attention until you can no longer remember that Gin and Wolfe are characters instead of living souls. Awesome, do not miss!" Sara Sawyer, TRS, January 28, 2006

"Pillow puts a lot of action in a small amount of space, but the ultimate result is a wonderful blend of conflict and love." Faith V. Smith RT BOOKreviews, July 2006

"4 1/2 Stars! ...a beautifully crafted story." Candy, Ecataromance June 2006

"4 Blue Ribbons! An entertaining read.  Once again, Ms. Pillow doesn't disappoint." Romance Junkies, Feb 2006

"4 HEARTS! Michelle M. Pillow knows how to write a truly exciting, flourishing and romantic historical." Valerie, Love Romances, Feb 2006

Additional Book Information

Amazon ASIN:B003WEAJ66

Electronic ISBN:978-1-4524-9726-6

PRINT ISBN-13: 978-1460962176
PRINT ISBN-10:1460962176

Release Date: July 2010

Word Count: 107,000

Heat Rating: 3/5

 

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historical romance, historical, passion, sweet, romance, history, fiction, michelle pillow, knight, horse, mandy roth, the raven books, raven happy hour, kindle, barnes and noble, nook, ebook, ereader, print, full story

 

Michelle M Pillow

Michelle M Pillow has always had an active imagination. Ever since she can remember, she's have had a strange fascination with anything supernatural—ghosts, magical powers, and oh…vampires. What could be more alluring than being immortal, all-powerful, and eternally beautiful?

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