The fair Lady Faye has always played the role allotted her. Yet the marriage her
family wanted only brought her years of abuse and heartache. Now, finally free
of her tyrannical husband, she is able to live her own life for the first time.
But someone from the past has returned. Someone she has never been able to
pursue his own path: to serve God by becoming a monk. The only thing stopping
him is Faye. Gregory has loved Faye since the moment he saw her. But their love
was not meant to be. How can he serve God when his heart longs for her? He can
neither forsake God nor the woman he loves.
When Faye’s son is kidnapped, Gregory answers her family’s call for help, only to
find that even in the most dangerous of circumstances, neither can fight their
forbidden attraction. An attraction that now burns brighter than ever before.
And it is only a matter of time until it consumes them both.
Her mother and father were settled at table and Faye took the seat to her father’s left. As the first girl, born after Roger and William, she’d been accorded a special place in her father’s affection.
His craggy face split into a grin. “Beautiful Faye.” He kissed her cheek. “Tell me how you have been spending this day.”
She dreaded the question. He asked it every night and every night she burrowed deep for some interesting morsel that wouldn’t make her day seem as stale as old bread. “I am working on a new set of bed linens for Beatrice’s baby. As we do not know the sex of the child, I thought green was a good choice.”
“Marvelous.” Her father rubbed his hands together.
She loved him for the attempt, but honestly, the mighty Sir Arthur of Anglesea had as much interest in bedding as, well, she did.
Twined up in each other like a pair of clinging vines, Garrett and Beatrice entered the hall. Beatrice waddled under the weight of the child she carried. Garrett strutted and preened like the first man to ever conceive a child, hovering about Beatrice constantly. So in love, it made her wish for things she couldn’t have.
Nurse leant forward from beside Lady Mary. “She carries a boy, you mark my words.”
Faye itched to adjust her wimple. Nurse wore it so low and tight, it pressed her face inward and gave her the look of a spotted pudding.
“It is in the shape of the belly.” Nurse made a circle with her hands. “If it is round like that, it’s a boy. You were the same and your mother before you.”
Oh, spare her Nurse and her predictions. Both times Nurse had sworn up and down Faye bore a girl. She merely smiled at their resident oracle and accepted a goblet from a serving woman. At least the wine at Anglesea was always good.
Speaking of her confinements, Simon and Arthur should be back by now.
“Nurse, have you seen the boys?” She leant far forward to see past her father and mother. She had told Sir Arthur they should commission a curved table at Anglesea. It was one good thing she had taken from Calder Castle.
Nurse’s bodice dropped in her trencher as she replied. See there, a curved table would be a mercy to silk everywhere. “Nay.” Nurse frowned. “I thought they were with young Oliver.”
Oliver, the squire charged with watching the boys. There were so many around Anglesea, their names blurred into a crowd of eager young faces.
“Oliver missed weapons practice this evening.” William took the seat beside her.
Why he did it baffled her because Roger would only insist he move one down. Men. Oliver should not have missed practice. Everyone knew Sir Arthur ran a disciplined keep, and squires did not miss practice. Not unless there was a problem. A tendril of alarm curled in her belly.
“I saw them heading for the beech thicket.” Roger rumbled from behind. He clapped William on the shoulder, his knuckles whitening as he increased his grip.
“The beech thicket? Did you not stop them? They told me they would go to the stream at the bottom of the hill. They were to remain in sight of the keep guards.”
“I thought they had your permission.” Roger won the battle with William and wedged huge shoulders in beside her.
Roger was so thick sometimes, sitting there sipping his mead as if naught was amiss. She had told her boys right before him the thicket was not allowed, even accompanied. Her brother would be well served if she poured his mead over his thoughtless head. Roger should have stopped them. The beech thicket spread all the way to the village and the boys could be anywhere. Best she start looking. Already planning the stern word she would have with her oldest son when she found him, she got to her feet. Simon forever led the way into mischief with little Arthur at his heels. She should never have let them go this morning.
Sir Arthur rose. “Faye?”
“Forgive me.” She managed a tight smile for the table. “If you will excuse me, I will go and find my sons.”
Garrett stood. “I shall come with you.”
“I am sure there is no reason for concern.” She kept it light. Boys were boys and she did try not to coddle them, but for their bellies not to lead them to dinner was unusual.
“I will come.” Garrett motioned for Beatrice to stay. “Where would you like to begin?”
Beatrice had a treasure in her husband. Faye gave him a grateful smile as she led the way out of the hall.
A bench scraped and William called out. “Hang about, Faye, we can split up and cover more ground.”
Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.