Love (Darius of Faucon)
Harlequin Historical ~ July 2005
© by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
A NOBLE KNIGHT ON A CHALLENGING MISSION...
Darius of Faucon has been sent on a king's mission--to thwart the local smugglers and protect the widow of Thornson Keep until a husband can be found for her. A seemingly simple task for such a noble knight--until he sets eyes on Marguerite, his childhood love...and Lady of Thornson!
Though Marguerite was forced to wed another, she never let go of the passion she once shared with Darius--nor forgot the gift he unknowingly bestowed upon her. Now she must send Darius away before he discovers the truth...
Falcon's Love ~ Excerpt:
From Chapter One:
He slid beneath the furs on the narrow cot, then gathered her close. She came to him willingly, pressing the length of her body against his.
Her head rested just below his shoulder, her shaking breath blew hot against his chest. Stray curls from hair as bright as the summer sun, tickled at his neck.
Her skin was so soft and smooth, like the fluffy softness of a rabbit. He stroked her slender naked limbs, reveling in the knowledge that she was his. She trembled beneath his touch, her nervousness making him feel bold and protective at the same time.
The thought humbled him and he silently swore to protect her always. Had he not recently vowed to keep her safe, to honor her, to love her for all time?
This night they would learn of passion and desire together. They would bind the vows they'd shared with love.
"You would think a Faucon would know not to let down his guard."
Darius of Faucon jolted out of his dream at the statement. He'd fallen asleep while fishing and had not heard the men approach. His first instinct was to grab the weapon lying at his side. But the tip of a sword steadily pressed to his neck kept him in place against the tree he'd leaned against earlier this day.
He squinted against the blazing sun and counted eight blades pointed at his chest. He glanced toward the next tree and saw Sir Osbert in the same predicament. Darius felt a measure of relief knowing that the aging captain of his guard had come to no harm.
From the tenseness of the man's stout body and the bushing of his near-white eyebrows, Darius doubted if Sir Osbert shared that relief. One thing was certain, had these armed men wanted either of them dead, they'd already be conversing with those in the afterlife.
Darius stared at the man leaning closest to him and asked, "Who are you? What do you want?"
The man stood, sheathing his blade as he did so. "King Stephen and Queen Maud wish a favor."
Though Darius was thankful to have been awoken from a dream that had haunted him nightly for nearly six years, he asked, "They could not simply send a missive?"
"They did. No one responded."
Obviously the request had been sent to Faucon Keep. He'd not been on his brother's property for a fortnight now. Instead, he'd taken up residence at the smaller and more secluded holding of Falcongate. Situated along a lazy river, it suited his needs for the moment.
Darius informed the man, "Comte Faucon is recently married and has not yet arrived home. The king knows this."
"Aye, and your other brother is encumbered elsewhere. That is why Queen Maud sent us directly to you. She thought you might be here instead of at the main keep."
"Obviously, she was correct." Darius rose, silently cursing the queen for remembering this holding. "What do they want?"
The humor evident in the man's voice gave Darius pause. "Exchange of what?"
"A favor for your traitorous life."
The man shrugged. "It seems proof has been given to place you in league with Empress Matilda."
The possible repercussions of that statement brought Darius's heart to a near standstill.
"Who makes this wild accusation?"
The man's smirk widened. "Queen Maud."
Darius gritted his teeth to capture a shout of frustration. This false accusation was nothing but a game. A game the king and queen would play to ensure his immediate cooperation. A game where his life would likely be the only prize.
A game he obviously had no choice but to play. "And what...favor causes King Stephen and Queen Maud to employ such extreme measures to gain my assistance?"
The man nodded. "Good. You seem to understand the importance of this request." He waited until Darius was joined by his captain before continuing, "It is a simple task."
Sir Osbert snorted in disbelief. Darius shared his man's opinion. Simple would likely translate to a mission requiring much gold, men and risk. He motioned for the man to explain. "Define what this simple task entails."
"Lord Thornson has died. He leaves behind a widow."
Likely a widow requiring a new husband. Darius swallowed before asking, "And they wish me to do what?"
"You are to take and hold Thornson Keep until the king and queen can find a man suitable to be a husband for the lady and a master for the keep."
Darius's exhale of relief escaped in a rush at the knowledge that he was not this suitable man. Then he realized that Thornson Keep was near the border of Scotland. It would put him not only weeks away from Falcongate, but on the edge of the enemy's territory. "A simple task to be sure."
Falcon's Love ~ Reviews:
What a great Medieval novel!...Ms. Lynn gives such wonderful descriptions in this book...I found Falcon’s Love to be an enjoyable read...I was reluctant to put it down...I hope you will enjoy Falcon’s Love as much as I did. Medieval is my favorite genre and I sometimes critique these books a little harder because I am so familiar with the settings and the time period. I was happy to find out that Ms. Lynn did not disappoint me in her portrayal of Medieval England. She is a master storyteller and I look forward to reading more books written by Ms. Lynn. ~ Robyn, Once Upon A Romance
Denise Lynn can always be counted on to deliver a well-told story with a delicious hero, a feisty heroine, a load of sexual tension and a nifty suspense...This Harlequin Historical has a more than delicious hero, Darius Faucon. The story not only oozes sexual tension, but boasts an exciting suspense angle. This well-written story is also fast-paced and often humorous...Ms. Lynn knows how to grab a reader's attention and hold on. I was pretty well hooked on FALCON'S LOVE from the get-go. ~ Debbie Jett, Romance Reader At Heart
Denise Lynn entertains with this classic tale of good verses evil. With a fortune at stake and deception at hand, this novel leaves the reader routing for Darius, Marguerite and their quest to preserve true love. Darius is portrayed as a strong yet passionate and sensitive man, keeping family and honor top on his list of priorities. Marguerite's character grows as the story progresses, changing from unwavering and hard to loving and sincere. The setting and plot add to the drama and story - and to the hope that justice will prevail.
I found Falcon's Love to be a satisfying read with just enough action and drama to hold the reader's interest. A steady start that slowly turns into an action-packed adventure, the story will surely please Falcon fans. Denise Lynn's other titles include Falcon's Desire and Falcon's Honor - predecessors to Falcon's Love. I'm looking forward to discovering the rest of this series. ~ Maria, Castle Historical Romance Society
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