Welcome back to Medieval Monday and the final week of our “First Encounter” theme. Without further ado, here’s the last snippet of my excerpt from the award-nominated Shadow of the Swan, the third of The Novels of Ravenwood:
Constance’s gaze darted to and fro. “I can travel without my belongings, but I’ll need a mount.”
Robert nodded. “Guy and I passed the horse market earlier. Mostly pack mules and nervous colts, but I did spot a palfrey among them. Have you means to buy it?”
“Not with me, but—”
“Say no more. I’ll take care of it.”
She bit her lip. “Someone should also notify the Mother Prioress.”
“I’ll take care of that too.”
Her smile rewarded him. “Sir, you are generosity itself.”
Grinning, he puffed out his chest. “I am, aren’t I?” Helping her felt good. Great, in fact. He turned to his squire. “Buy your cloth, Guy, and stay close to her ladyship. I’ll return anon.”
He hastened to the nunnery and easily gained an audience with the prioress in the courtyard.
She accepted his tidings with a furrowed brow but more civility than he’d expected. “How long will she be away?”
He shrugged. “Her ladyship didn’t say, but I wouldn’t anticipate a long absence.”
“And you make for Ravenwood immediately?”
“Aye, Your Reverence.” A sudden movement caught his eye, and he looked left.
Close enough to eavesdrop, Archdeacon Dominy peered out from behind a stone pillar. He stared hard at the knight, then sank back into the shadows of the cloister.
A warning seized the pit of Robert’s stomach. The archdeacon was trouble. What hold had he over Lady Constance? Her fear was not unfounded. Of that, he was certain.
“Thank you for informing me of her plans,” the prioress said, oblivious to the snake in her garden. “God go with her.”
Robert clenched his fists. I don’t know about God. But I’ll be there.
And there you have it! Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of Shadow of the Swan. I’ll announce the winner next Monday, May 6th.
A little more about the book:
Lady Constance de Bret was determined to be a nun, until shadows from the past eclipsed her present. Marriage is the safest option, but she insists on a spiritual union, in which physical intimacy is forbidden. Not so easy with a bridegroom who wields unparalleled charm! But a long-buried secret could taint his affection and cloak her in shadow forever.
Back from the Crusades, Sir Robert le Donjon craves a home of his own and children to inherit it. From the moment he meets Constance, he feels a mysterious bond between them. When she’s threatened, he vows to protect her and agrees to the spiritual marriage, with the hope of one day persuading her to enjoy a “real” one. She captivates him but opens old wounds and challenges everything he thought he believed.
Two souls in need of healing. Two hearts destined to beat as one.
See you next Monday, when I’ll announce the winner!