Maiden and the Monster

Maiden and the Monster

by Michelle M Pillow

 

 

                       

 

                 

 

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Winner of the 2006 RT Reviewer's Choice Award!
Medieval Historical Romance


Vladamir of Kessen, Duke of Lakeshire Castle, is feared as a demon in the land of Wessex. The Kings have granted him a title of nobility in exchange for his part as a political prisoner. Discontent, he bides his time in his new home until war will once again rip through the land. But boredom soon turns to devious pleasure as the daughter of his most hated enemy is left for dead at his castle gate. Now the monster bides his time plotting revenge.

Lady Eden of Hawks' Nest doesn't know what to think of the man who saved her life, but she can't wrench her thoughts away. His words are those of a tyrant, true to his vicious reputation, but his touch is that of a man, stirring passion and lust when there should only be fear. It would seem the infamous monster is not as monstrous as he appears.

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

 

 

EXCERPT

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“Nay, don’t ask for your freedom again. It’s a useless plea. I won’t release you.” He watched her lips as she flicked her tongue over the edge. The scent of lilies came to him from her hair as she moved her head to the side. He wondered if Haldana had purposefully used the scent. It had been one of his favorites long ago. He breathed in the enticing perfume of her. For a moment, he was lost in her spell. “Tomorrow you’ll be given new quarters.”

“The tower? You wish to put me in a real prison? Or mayhap even the dungeon? I have sworn to you I won’t leave. At least give me a chance to prove my honor afore you doubt it. If I prove my honor false, then you shall imprison me with my blessing, for I won’t deny that then I’ll be most deserving of it.” 

“Nay, m’lady, not the tower and most definitely not the dungeon,” he answered softly, the sound a vast contrast to his usual hard tone. He wanted to laugh, for he didn’t have a tower save for the chamber she was already in. “Prove your honor.” 

“Then, you’re to make me your…?” Again she tried to pull from his arms. “I’m to be put in your chamber, m’lord? With you? Won’t your duchess be upset?”

 “There is no Duchess of Lakeshire.” Vladamir couldn’t draw his gaze from her delightfully full lips as they quivered enchantingly under his watchful eyes. He thought of chaining her to his bed, forcing her to be his bed slave until he took his fill of her. “M’lady’s prison shall be of gilded bars. You’ll be afforded full use of the castle. You’ll be fed. The servants will treat you with the respect due your station, unless you prove you deserve otherwise.”

 “Thank you.”

“But,” he warned, squeezing her shoulders once more and causing her to wince. “You won’t be permitted outside the bailey walls. I don’t care if the castle is burning to the ground. If you don’t have my permission, you shall stay and burn with it. If I find you trying to leave, I’ll lock you in the dungeon for all your days and I’ll besiege your father’s keep until all those who live within starve. I’ll burn his crops, slaughter his peasants and his cattle and leave them to rot where they fall. And you, m’lady, will know the full meaning of hell afore you die.”

“I understand,” she said softly. “I won’t try to escape. My only wish is that you’ll reconsider and let me go.”

 “I won’t do that,” he answered, his voice harsh. His chest heaved with rapid breaths, but his growling tone turned soft. “M’lady will do well to wish for other things for I’ll never let you go.”

 “Then I’ll stay here true to my word and I’ll only leave with your permission.” Eden conceded, taking a deep breath. “I will swear it on mine own blood, but only if I may have one demand. Methinks it fair.”

Anything.

 Vladamir nodded his head and then realized she couldn’t see him well enough through the darkness to make the gesture out. “What?”

 “Don’t harm my father’s people. They don’t deserve your wrath. I don’t know what plans you may have, but keep your quarrel with my father only. If it is he who has spurred your anger, then he shall have to face it.” She pulled away from him and he let her go. Her chin lifted proudly before him, even in her fear of him. “If you don’t harm them, I’ll stay here. But, if I find out that you hurt them in any way that wasn’t self-defense, I’ll break my vow and will do whatever is in my power to escape you. I’ll spend the rest of my days if needs be bringing you to justice and I won’t stop until ‘tis done. Do we have a deal?”

 “Yea, m’lady.” He smiled at her courage. It puzzled him that she showed no concern for her father’s safety, yet cared so openly for the lives of peasants. “I won’t harm your father’s people.”

 “Good.” She held out her hand, her fingers shaking, but she didn’t back down. “Hand me your dagger, m’lord, so that I may keep my word and pledge my honor with my blood. Let us seal the bargain so it shall be done.”

 “I won’t demand your blood just yet,” he said softly, denying her his dagger. Instead, Vladamir clasped her outstretched hand and pulled it to his chest over the beating of his heart. Not stopping to think of the consequences of his actions, he swung her into his arms. Shifting her off balance so she fell to the side, he encased her within his embrace. She was so small and fragile to him as she trembled in surprise. His body lurched, wanting this. He bent down and pressed his mouth against her parted lips, unable to resist her temptation a moment more. He needed to feel her heat, her soft lips.

 The duke ran the fingers of his free hand into her hair and pressed her to him. The sweet petals of her mouth parted as she sought her breath. She moaned lightly. His tongue daringly traced the line of her lips and her slender body molded into his as if it had been carved for him to hold.

 Vladamir had been a long time without the comforts of a woman’s embrace and was a man long used to taking what he wanted. Eden clutched his tunic as he held her to his chest, feeling her intimate heat along his thigh, burning him. He pushed his leg against her, eliciting a soft moan. Innocently, she backed her hips away from his searching. Unable to resist, he grew bolder, forcing his thigh between hers.

 REVIEWS

RT TOPPICK! "4 1/2 STARS! This is a perfect blend of history, emotion, tension, hot sex and fascinating and sympathetic characters, and the writing is superb. Pillow chooses magical details to set the scene, and they add to both the history and the emotion." April 2006 Romantic Times Magazine Issue

"5 Angels! Maiden and the Monster is one of the best medieval romances I have ever read." Fallen Angels

"I was so entranced by Maiden and the Monster I couldn’t put it down. It’s intense, and full of emotion... powerful and moving, ...Maiden and the Monster is a keeper!" Joyfully Reviewed

"4 1/2 Stars! Michelle M. Pillow did not re-write the story of Beauty and the Beast. This is the story of two people thrown together by others for their own purposes. No one expected them to find love. This story has action, adventure, and plot twists galore. The sex scenes are artfully woven into the story. Vladamir and Eden overcome great odds to find true love. This book is a classic love story. It is the kind of story a reader enjoys getting lost in." eCataRomance

"Maiden and the Monster is one of the best medieval romances I have ever read. It really showcases the author’s talent for historicals. The background history is deftly intertwined with the love story. Add to that some very hot encounters between our protagonists, and you’ve got a masterpiece! There’s a perfect balance of sex and story." Fallen Angel Reviews
 

Additional Book Information

Amazon ASIN: B0080B5UUG

Electronic ISBN:9781452447834

PRINT ISBN-13: 978-1477513538
PRINT ISBN-10: 1477513531

Release Date: May 2012

Word Count: 115,000

Heat Rating: 3/5

 

 

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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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