Thursday, May 7, 2009

Eliza's Book of the Week Pick!

Okay, I really should call this Eliza's book of the every few months...but alas, I've caught up on a lot of work and am reading more! So here it is...




Kris Kennedy's debut novel, The Conquerer, released this week from Kensington! Isn't the cover melt in your mouth hot? On Kris's website it says she writes, "Hot, sweeping historical romance." And believe me, she does!




Wife, mom, psychotherapist and romance author, Kris Kennedy loves connecting with people. And she firmly believes every woman deserves a good book to help ‘take her away.’



She also believes that, if she ignores dirt, it will eventually go away. Which is good, because she definitely spends more time making messes than cleaning them up, playing with her young son.



Originally from Philadelphia, she now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, preschooler son, and their dog, with another stray kitty to come soon, we’re sure of it.



Her debut medieval romance, THE CONQUEROR, comes out May, 2009, from Kensington.



She loves hearing from her readers, so please visit her website at http://kriskennedy.net/, or write her at kris@kriskennedy.net.





THE CONQUEROR


England, 1152




After seventeen years of a civil war, things are about to change.
Reluctant hero Griffyn ‘Pagan’ Sauvage is single-minded in pursuit of his mission: overthrow England. He rejects anything related to a destiny, as he’s rejected everything connected to his brutal father.

He veers from his quest only once, to rescue a brave and beautiful woman from a midnight abduction.



Guinevere de l’Ami, countess of Everoot since her father died two weeks ago, is equally committed, with an earldom to protect, and old sins to repair.



One fateful night changes everything. A midnight rescue on the king’s highway results in a single night of unforgettable passion, making them risk everything for the despair-defying connection neither ever hoped to find.



Their explosive reunion, a year later, follows betrayal and a bloody invasion. Now cold vows of revenge, the lure of buried treasure, and the deadly enemy closing in threaten a love that could unite a kingdom, or bring it crashing to the ground.




Read the excerpt!




“But won’t you stay up for one more drink?” Hipping asked one more time.
Griffyn shook his head. “I’m weary, and have a long ride tomorrow.”



Fatigue was no mere pretext. He’d secured the allegiance of one of the most vital allies Henri fitzEmpress would ever need, and all he felt was tired. Weary with spying, with war, with all the machinations of the world. He needed another lost waif to lift his spirits, he decided, stifling a yawn, but they were hard to find.



Something crashed on the floor above them. He and Hipping jerked their heads backward and stared at the ceiling. It sounded like something heavy hit the floor hard, perhaps a washing pot. Hipping looked over with a convivial smile.



“My betrothed.”



“Ahh.”



“Just arrived.”


“Ahh. Congratulations.”



Hipping paused. “She’s still adjusting.”



“Mmm. Your wash pot may not.”



Hipping laughed out of proportion to the inane jest. “Aye. I shan’t bother her with my attentions again tonight. The priest has been sent for. Tomorrow shall be soon enough.”



Griffyn felt a strange ripple of unease. Not required, he told himself. None of my business. Leave it be.



He was shown to his room by a washed-out looking servant. The room was plain, small, and smelled of rot and mold. Which was not the problem. Small cracks in the wooden walls allowed wind to inch in, making it quite cold despite the brazier burning. But that was not the problem either.


It was looking for a chamberpot that ruined everything.



* * *



Finding none in his room, and knowing the full tankard of the infamous Hippletun brew he’d imbibed would soon be needing release, he went in search of a chamberpot, a privy, or a servant to direct him towards either.



What he came across was a violent pounding coming from a chamber door at the far end of the corridor.



He stopped and stared. The wind?



Another spurt of wild hammering, then silence. No. That was not the wind.
‘Tis neither any of your business, he cautioned himself. Enough time and energy had already been expended tonight on things that were none of his business.
He backtracked to the stairwell and found a servant who directed him to the guest privy outside. The rising winds almost blew the door off the privy.



He manhandled it closed a few times, then, admitting defeat, let it bang maddeningly open and shut, thudding against the wall on each crest of wind as he completed his business.



He tromped back inside, rubbing his eyes. Sleep. All he needed was a few hours sleep.



He reached the upper landing.




It was dark despite a torch slung in an iron ring hanging on the wall. Instead of turning left to his room, though, he paused and looked to his right.



Silence. Only the muted moaning of the winds. No cries for help, no frantic hammering. He stomped down the corridor anyway, uncertain why.
“Because I’m a fool,” he muttered out loud.



He stopped in front of the doorway. Oddly, there was a key resting in its lock. He put his hand on it, paused, then turned, feeling the fool.



More silence. Nothing to be seen or heard.



“Of course not,” he said to the emptiness. “Because there’s nothing here.”
The door crashed open and Guinevere fell into his arms.



* * *



They fell into a clump against the far wall, Griffyn propelled backwards by her headlong rush. He struggled to his knees and clamped his hand over her mouth, which she’d opened to scream.



“I cannot believe it,” he announced, removing his hand when he saw she was not going to loose the shriek.



“Oh, thank the Lord,” she cried in a whisper. “Pagan! How came you here? No, no, not now. I cannot believe you came, but we must get out of here-”



“We? What are you doing here?”



“-for I’ve only a little while until he comes for me.”



“Comes for you?” he shouted back in a whisper. “What are you talking about? I left you with Clid, a safe refuge, and now you’re here?” He stared at her a moment. Realisation dawned. “His betrothed.”



“I am not!”



He rubbed the heel of his hand across his forehead, muttering, “I can’t believe it. How incredibly unlikely. Abducted, twice in one night.”



She scowled. “Astonishing. I can barely bestill my wonder. I left the village-”



“Why? It was warm and dry-”



“Yes, yes.” She brushed off his kept promises with an urgent whisper. “But not safe.”



“Aye, well. I can see how being here suits you so much the better.”



She touched his arm lightly, but the subtle contact felt more forceful than that, a flash of feminine verve.



“You were mad to leave me there,” she whispered. “But there is no time for that now. I came because I had to. I know of Hipping’s reputation, of course, and the trouble he’s caused my lord king. But I did not know he was a . . . a brigand.”




Her lips twisted, and Griffyn wondered if Hipping’s lips had touched hers. The thought, against all reason, brought a flood of anger surging through his blood.




“He is holding me against my will.”



“For what?” he asked suspiciously.



She paused for half a heartbeat. “It doesn’t matter. Politics.”



The evasion seemed unnecessary, and would have caught his attention if he hadn’t had his attention captured by so many other things, such as the bewildering verity that he was kneeling on the floor of a minor nobleman’s corridor with a woman he’d already rescued once tonight and left miles from here not three hours ago. And she needed more rescuing yet.



Then again, abductions were commonplace enough. Kidnappings, forced betrothals. An unprotected woman on the road was fair game.



And all of a sudden, Griffyn’s largest concern was not expanding Henri fitzEmpress’s frontiers, it was the raven-haired, flushing-cheeked demoiselle in front of him. Her tousled hair and wild eyes made him worry, but it was her incredible, indomitable spirit that turned his tides.



“I hate to be a burden yet again . . .”



He grabbed her arm. “Let’s go.”




1 comment:

  1. Great book and pick! I know I will have to pick this up to read!

    ReplyDelete