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Historical -- Tracy Tappan

The Barons’ War Trilogy


Enjoy three fast-paced adventures of intrigue and treachery,
politics and passion, in 13th century England during the Barons’ War.

THE SHATTERED SHIELD -- Tracy Tappan

THE SHATTERED SHIELD

Book One in The Barons’ War Trilogy:

A single heroic act seals a woman’s fate….

Amidst the growing civil unrest of a troubled 13th century England, Reformist sympathizer Giselle le Corbet risks everything to bring a Royalist coup down in ruins. Her act against the crown, however, lands her in disaster; she’s sentenced to marry hated Royalist, Bran Morek, a knight who will likely serve more as her jailer than her husband. But the darkly handsome Cornishman ends up threatening more than her fiercely valued independence. He stirs passions in her that she cannot allow herself to feel, driving her to fight against his every effort to win her. One night, a stunning secret about his identity is revealed, and her fear of growing too close to him explodes into outright panic. Now she must do whatever it takes to rid herself of this man…even if that means drawing his blood.

Will the outbreak of war cost a man the woman he loves…?

Legendary swordsman Bran Morek, Lord of Trematon, falls almost instantly in love with the mysterious English beauty he accidentally crashes into one fateful night. Consumed with a passion unlike any he’s ever known, he vows to claim the fiery woman. He quickly discovers that shattering the shield around her heart is the most challenging task he’s ever undertaken, and just when he finally has all her defenses down, England erupts into civil war. Bran rides to the front, never suspecting that in his absence Giselle will fall victim to the ruthless maneuverings of her loathsome ex-betrothed. Then tragedy strikes on the battlefield, and Bran is imprisoned by the Reform. But neither steel bars nor an entire kingdom at war can keep him from fighting his way to Giselle’s rescue.

Read Excerpt

excerpt

Lord Trematon aimed the cold blast of his gaze at John. “What passes here, Comyn? You didn’t win time with the lady by right of arms, so now you must act like a scuttling little thief to claim her?”
    
John flushed a deep wine-red, the blush heightening the color of his bruises.
    
Trematon pointedly removed Giselle’s hand from John’s hold, his eyes freezing down another degree. 
    
John’s lip curled. “If ye be needin’ a further demonstration o’ ma skills, Cornishmon, I’d be more than happy tae give it tae ye.” He gripped the hilt of his sword. “Now if it pleases ye?”
    
“Then I’ll be taking my leave, sirs,” Giselle interjected hastily.      

Trematon moved to block her path.
    
This again! Nostrils flaring delicately, she narrowed her eyes at Trematon. “Think you to hold me hostage once more?” she seethed in an underbreath. “I warn you, sirrah, my patience here, as we stand here in this hall full of onlookers, will not hold as it did before.”
    
“I cry pax.”  Smiling, Trematon held up a hand. “I’m done with squabbling as well, truly. I’ve come only to claim my prize.” His eyes warmed and danced. “Some time well spent with you, was it not?” From a finger, he dangled a wine pitcher before her. “Shall we share some discourse over a cup of wine or two?”
    
She gave him a gimlet stare. “You made that infantile wager with Lord Comyn, sir, not with me. I’m under no obligation to award you”—she emphasized the next word—“anything.”
    
Trematon’s smile slanted off-center. “Not obliged, nay. Mayhap…favorably inclined?” His gaze drifted down to her mouth.
    
A jolt of heat lurched through her belly. Favorably? Why? Because she’d had a weak moment of inane curiosity and allowed him to kiss her neck? She stiffened her spine. “Did you take a blow to the head during the melee of which I’m unaware?” she snapped. “Because I can’t imagine anything but a serious injury of the mind would persuade you to continue pursuing a woman who’s made it perfectly clear she is not interested in you.”
    
“Well,” he murmured, “not perfectly.”
    
Her next breath jammed in her throat, outrage nearly choking her. 
    
He chuckled. “I’m sorry,” he said, moved to contrition, surely, by the look on her face. “I find myself unable to keep from sparring with you, my lady. You’re quite a worthy opponent.” His words were accompanied by a complimentary regard in his eyes.
    
It caught her off guard, and she scrambled for something to say. She couldn’t find anything—nothing pithy, at any rate. Gathering her skirts, she stepped around him. “Well, I, for one, am done with sparring.”
    
He didn’t step into her path this time, but called after her, “Share a cup of wine with me and I’ll return your headscarf to you.”     

She stopped so suddenly, her skirts surged against her calves.