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Authors: Catherine Kean

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A Knight's Temptation (48 page)

BOOK: A Knight's Temptation
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Clothing rustled. Standing with his hand on the door handle, Brant’s mind shot back to the previous evening and the torment of listening to Lady Rivellaux undress. If he had to listen to that again this morn—

He pushed open the door, vaguely aware of the strumpets descending the stairs.

The fire had burned low, but there was still enough light to glance about the room. . . and see the lady’s bed was empty.

Brant whirled on his heel. The saddlebag lay beside the table. Open. In two lunged strides, he crossed to it, but he knew, before he looked inside, the gold cup was missing.

Fool! He had underestimated the lady. And now the chalice was gone.

A vision of Royce’s blue eyes, wide with pain and disbelief as the spark of life faded, stabbed through Brant’s mind. Shaking, a sickly sweat dampening his skin, he stared at his right hand. His fingers were curled as though he once again gripped the dagger that had plunged into Royce’s belly.

On the incoming breeze, Brant caught a metallic, bloody scent. He saw again Royce’s body sprawled on the tent floor, a crimson pool spreading around him, his hair sticky with blood. He remembered Royce’s last, whimpered words. “Brant. Oh, God . . . Help me, Brant . . . Help me . . .”

Bile filled Brant’s mouth. He swung to face the door. Sitting near the table, Val’s little ears quivered. He wiggled several steps backward.

“Come,” Brant snapped. “Find her.”

If she had gone to the kitchens with the strumpets, she had not gone far.

He thundered across the landing, ignoring the tavern owner’s wife’s startled expression, and tore down the stairs. He slammed open the kitchen door.

Standing by a pot bubbling over a fire, a group of wenches screamed.

“The lady,” he snarled. “Where is she?”

“L-lady?” a strumpet said with a nervous titter. “I can be yer lady, mil—”

“Three pieces of silver,” he ground out, “to whoever tells me where she is.”

Delighted squeals erupted. “What does she look like?” one cried.

“What’s she wearin’?” another yelled.

“Red hair. A gray mantle,” he said.

“The new girl!” another said, elbowing her way to the fore. “She went out the back door, ta fetch—”

The rest of her words faded on the roar filling Brant’s ears. Bolting to the door, he yanked it open. The small dirt yard beyond, that led out to the well and stables, was empty. A bucket rested on the well’s stone ledge.

Lady Rivellaux had fled.

Anger seared his gut. He would saddle his horse, hunt her down . . .

A triumphant smile tilted his mouth.

Let her run.

He did not need to chase her.

He knew exactly where to find her . . .

 

My Lady’s Treasure
by Catherine Kean. Available now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Kean

 

 

Award-winning author Catherine Kean has always loved tales of heroic knights and stubborn damsels. Her debut medieval historical romance,
Dance of Desire
, was the launch title of Medallion Press’s Sapphire Jewel Imprint.
Dance of Desire
won two Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Best Medieval in industry review magazine
Affaire de Coeur
’s 2006 Reader-Writers’ Poll, and finaled in four contests for published romance novelists.

Her other medieval romances have also garnered accolades. Among them,
My Lady’s Treasure
won the historical category of the 2008 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest and finaled in the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
A Knight’s Reward
was a 2008 National Readers’ Choice Awards finalist.

Catherine also writes contemporary romances under the pseudonym Cate Lord.

When not writing, Catherine enjoys cooking, baking, browsing antique shops, shopping trips with her daughter, and gardening. She lives in Florida with her husband, daughter, and two very spoiled cats. For the latest news on her books and author appearances, please visit her website:
www.catherinekean.com
.

 

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

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