Sebastian nodded in all the appropriate places but paid little attention to the conversation going on in front of him.
He watched, captivated, as his new wife produced the most radiant smile in response to an apparent jest made by her brother. Something had changed between them and it had nothing to do with having Frey in his bed. Well, perhaps not nothing.
The significance of her coming to him was not lost on him. He knew Frey made an important decision last night. He did not believe she loved him; it was too early to make such a declaration, but it was a start.
What they had between them was very new and tender, like the spring shoots that would emerge from the ground in a few months’ time. Given warmth and nurturing, their marriage would flourish and strengthen like a mighty oak, but until then this sprouting tenderness needed special care.
Although unaware of being observed, Frey looked up and their eyes met. Her smile broadened as though including him in the joke.
A warmth flared in his chest more satisfying than the mead that filled the silver goblet in his hand. Sure, he must be grinning like a lunatic, but tonight, he didn’t care.
Something reckless overwhelmed him. The tight rein he kept on his emotions loosened. The analytical mind that always thought before acting had been sent on a sabbatical. That part of him that always remained subservient to his more rational self decided it would be a good idea to kiss his bride.
A shared secret from their past could destroy their future…
Northumbria, 1077. In the years following William the Conqueror’s harrying of the North, Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick returns to her family home after seven years in exile. But instead of returning victorious as her dead father had promised, she returns defeated by Baron Sebastian de la Croix, the Norman who rules her lands.
To save her gravely ill brother’s life, Alfreya offers herself hostage to her enemy. As Alfreya gets to know her new husband, she finds he’s not the monster she feared, and their marriage of convenience soon becomes a bond of passion. But Sebastian is a man with a secret—one that could destroy him.
As a series of brutal murders haunt their nights, the man who betrayed Alfreya’s father returns claiming to be her betrothed. He has learned Sebastian’s secret and will use it to further his own ambition—using Sebastian’s own family—which will destroy Sebastian and mark him a traitor, and plunge an unprepared England into war with the Scots…
The lovely Elizabeth who is working on her fourth novel lives in Australia with her husband and two cats. A former newspaper journalist, she ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years.