by Shari Anton
$4.99 U.S. / $5.99 Can.
The promise of land and marriage to the beautiful Lady Claire, his liege lord's youngest daughter, had been reason enough to send Bernard Fitzgibbons to fight in the Crusades for four long years. Years that turned the callow youth into a man in full - a warrior who lived for the day he'd claim his rewards and settle down to a wife and family.
But the triumph of his return to England had turned to ashes, for not only did Lord Setton deny him his land, he had betrothed his Claire to another. Now Bernard had one more enemy to conquer, for deep in his heart, he knew he could never let her go . . .!
Bernard felt the stab of grief as if he'd been told she'd died. His temper flared beyond control. "You had no right to bargain away that which is mine!"
"You have no rights but those I grant you!" Lord Setton replied. "Either accept my decision or begone."
Bernard reined in hard on his anger. Butting heads with Setton was getting him nowhere. Claire was lost to him. He could make do without - he had no choice.
But he needed the land. Without the land, he'd given four years of his life for nothing.
Into the stillness of the hall, Bernard cleared his throat, preparing to come to some compromise with Setton.
"I will relinquish my claim to Claire -"
Bernard heard a soft gasp and turned to the sound.
A vision in emerald silk, her amber eyes wide with surprise. Older. More lushly curved. The woman whose body he'd dreamed of sinking into since the day her father promised -
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