– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘A Defiant Maiden’s Knight’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Melissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes historical romance novels. She lives with her lovely husband and daughters, who share her passion for decrepit, old castles, palaces and all things historical.
Melissa is the WINNER of The Romantic Novelist Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight.
When she’s not writing she loves to travel for inspiration, paint, and visit museums & art galleries.
A tense, dramatic medieval love story.
A knight’s protection…
That she doesn’t want…or need?
Joan Lovent may be losing her sight but she refuses to lose her independence too. So when Sir Warin de Talmont tells her it’s too perilous to be out alone in the city, she doesn’t pay him any heed. But with threats surrounding them, she begins to value his protection and helps with his dangerous work in return. If only the powerful connection between them wasn’t so impossible to ignore!
Warin de Talmont and his friend, Nicholas d’Amberly encounter Joan Lovent once again on the streets after she had agreed that she would no longer come to that part of London alone.
‘Sir Warin de Talmont?’ The woman had the temerity to grimace at him. ‘It seems that once again you have somehow found yourself in this part of London that you have a great dislike for.’
He smiled. Joan Lovent certainly had a spark of humour laced with her obvious irritation in finding him here again. ‘Ah, but I only dislike it when I happen upon you here, Mistress Joan.’
‘You put me to the blush, sir, by singling me out with these attentions. Truly—you honour me.’
‘I very much doubt it,’ he said wryly. ‘May I introduce my friend, Sir Nicholas d’Amberly?’
‘Of course. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir.’
She turned her head around, but something in the manner in which she spoke must have raised D’Amberly’s curiosity in her. The man’s brows shot up as he darted a quick quizzical glance in Warin’s direction before returning his attentions to the woman. Ah, d’Amberly had not been aware of Joan Lovent’s impaired eyesight and he had forgotten to inform him. After all, for Warin it was neither an important nor a pertinent fact about her. The woman was vexing with or without her diminishing sight.
‘Enchanted, Mistress Joan.’ D’Amberly caught the woman’s dainty hand and lowered his head over it. ‘I have heard so much about you.’
‘Have you indeed, sir? I am surprised.’
‘I do not see why. For once my friend has not been excessive in any way when describing your lovely appearance.’
Her lips curved into a real smile—one that she had never bestowed on him. ‘I thank you but I’m sure Sir Warin has grossly exaggerated.’
Nicholas d’Amberly flashed his devastating smile. One that had usually amused Warin at the absurdity at the impact it had on women—but not this time. This time it irritated him in a wholly unexpected manner.
‘I assure you that he has not.’
‘Thank you, sir, but I think it might be prudent to release my hand from yours as it might raise a few suspicions about your attentions to just an unassuming page.’
D’Amberly let go of her hand and tilted his head. ‘You see, mistress, how your beauty and graciousness, even dressed as you are, make me forget myself. In truth, I have quite forgotten where I am.’
This time Joan Lovent actually giggled, making Warin grind his teeth together. And not because he had never managed to make her laugh. Not that he cared about such trifles—the woman was nothing to him. Even so, it was irksome that she was actually enjoying this discourse with Nicholas d’Amberly. But then most women did.
‘Then allow me enlighten you, sir, for I would hate for you to get lost.’ She grinned. ‘You are on the corner of Honey Street in a part of London considered so terrible, so very bad, that our friend here has resorted to following me in attempt to intimidate me into never returning back here again.’
‘That is very poor form.’ D’Amberly shook his head. ‘However, I can vouchsafe that he does mean well.’
‘I do.’ Warin was beginning to get more and more aggravated with the mild flirtation between his friend and this woman. ‘And by and by, there was never an intimidation, rather an agreement that was made, Mistress Joan. An agreement, I might add, which you have soundly broken with this little outing.’
She had the good grace to blush before tilting her head up defiantly. ‘I’m afraid to say that when I thought about it at length I came to the conclusion that my prior vow to the souls of All Hallows must prevail.’
Warin’s face was like thunder. ‘Is that so, mistress?’
‘I’m afraid it is. But you will be heartened to know that my visit here is not entirely unsanctioned, since I informed my sister by marriage of it. Indeed, Brida acquiesced to my little outing here.’
Warin’s patience was becoming raggedly thin.
He moved a little to shield the woman from a moving cart, before responding.
‘You might believe that these jaunts might meet Mistress Brida’s approval, but be assured that they would not meet her husband’s—your brother’s.’
Warin noticed a muscle flick in her jaw. ‘Then it is good thing that Thomas is none the wiser, sir, and can only hope that it would remain so. I bid you a good day. Sir Nicholas, it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance,’ she muttered, turning to leave.
‘Wait one moment, if you please.’ Warin reached out and caught her wrist, preventing her from moving away. ‘As I have maintained before, this is not some jest, Joan. Nor is it a game.’
‘Have I said that it was?’ she whispered, looking up, hurt filling those pretty blue eyes of hers.
He needed to make the woman understand the situation far better. He needed her to cease being so bloody obstinate.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds