The only man who’s tempted her…Now poses as her husband!
When an injured knight arrives on Brida O’Conaill’s doorstep, the village assumes he’s her long-lost husband. But her only previous connection to Sir Thomas Lovent was an intense shared moment at a tournament years ago. Brida maintains the pretence while she nurses him, yet once he’s back to full, virile health, she cannot reveal Thomas is not her husband—or that she’s unmarried!—when everyone is expecting them to act like husband and wife…
In this scene Brida arrives to her small abode in the village of Kinnerton, England, and finds a man whom she has not seen in three years lying on her bed…
As if sensing her question, the older woman spoke again. ‘He had been looking for Lord de Kinnerton, but once he realised that he was away with his lady, he asked for you, so I brought him here. He’s not looking too well, I’m afraid, mistress.’
‘I see.’ But, no, she did not. Not in any conceivable way did she comprehend any of this. Especially why this man, whom she had not seen for many years, was now here in Kinnerton. In her home. On her bed.
The older woman scratched her head. ‘I believe he might be injured and I have sent for the healer. I hope I have done as you would have wished?’
Brida nodded without taking her eyes off the man lying unconscious on her pallet bed. ‘Of course, and you have my thanks, Enid,’ she said, touching the old woman’s sleeve.
‘But is it not wonderful, Mistress Brida?’
‘Wonderful?’ she repeated in a daze, unable to take her eyes off the man who was lying on her bed, eyes closed and incongruous to the excitement he had caused all around him.
‘Yes.’ The old woman swatted her arm. ‘You have your husband, and might I add such a handsome, virile man, back home where he belongs, with you.’
Brida felt the rush of warmth flood her face.
‘Now mind you keep him and not let him fly away again.’
Thomas Lovent’s eyes fluttered open. ‘Mistress Brida?’ His voice was barely a whisper.
‘Yes, I am here,’ she muttered, still in shock about the odd turn of events this evening.
‘Thirsty…’ The man raised himself up on his elbow and swayed. ‘So very parched,’ he croaked as Brida moved to the wooden coffer and poured ale from a jug before returning and pressing it into his hands.
‘Here, take it.’
‘Thank you. Tell me something,’ Thomas Lovent mumbled softly between taking a sip.
‘Yes, what is it?’
‘Did you miss me?’ he whispered before closing his eyes and collapsing back on to her pallet bed.
Thank you, Melissa Oliver and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Melissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes historical romance novels. She lives with her lovely husband and three daughters, who share her passion for decrepit, old castles, grand palaces and all things historical. She is the winner of The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight. When she’s not writing she loves to travel, paint and visit museums & art galleries.
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