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…
By the light of the fire she could see the abandoned chair. To see the second chair Frey must peer around the door.
It too was empty.
Frey frowned. Did she doze and Sebastian slipped past her unseen? She took a further step or two into the room and looked.
The bed was…
Before Frey could complete the thought, she was grabbed roughly from behind and held firmly against a man’s broad chest. A large hand covered her mouth and suppressed an involuntary scream.
The man recognised her and relaxed but did not remove his hand.
“You picked the wrong night to slit my throat while I slept, princess.”
Sebastian’s whispered voice filled her ear. He held her still for long moments before speaking.
“Are you recovered? You will not scream?”
Frey nodded and shook her head in answer to each question and she was released, her heart pumping furiously.
“Do you suggest I pick some other night then?” she said, wiping her mouth to rid the sensation of his hand.
Sebastian ignored her barb and poured a small measure of spiced wine into his goblet. He handed it to her and watched as she drank.
“Why do you assume the worst of me?” she asked.
“Habit,” he answered, arms folded across his chest. “Now tell me what you’re doing in my chambers while others sleep.”
“I have to speak to you.”
Sebastian’s eyebrows rose in surprise. It might have been scepticism, but Frey couldn’t be sure.
“And it couldn’t wait until morning?”
All of a sudden Frey’s courage left her and she wondered if her senses had taken leave of her too.
She was an unmarried woman, alone, late at night in the bed chamber of a man whose mere presence made her feel powerful sensations that she struggled to understand. What on earth was she doing?
She shook her head softly.
“This was a mistake.”
As she turned to leave, Sebastian grabbed her wrist.
“It’s a mistake to not finish what you start.”
A shared secret from their past could destroy their future…