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They are what makes the book worth reading. Meet the
characters of HER ONE DESIRE...

THE HERO & HEROINE:
LORD BRODERICK MAXWELL & LADY LIZBETH IVES
The wench dug her nails into his forearm. The action, at the very least, should have felt like thistle pricks, but like the rest of his flesh, he only registered a dull pressure. Broc leaned close to her ear. “If ye call out, I’ll snap your wee neck. Do ye understand?”

She nodded beneath his hand.

“Do the guards have knowledge of this tunnel?”

Her head moved side to side against his chest and released a foreign scent that attacked his nose. Heady. Exotic. Unmistakably female. No doubt, she was the seraph the prisoners buzzed about. The one they called “the Angel of Fire”. He’d thought them wowf. Mayhap plagued by fever as a result of torture. He wouldn’t have given pause to the existence of such a creature until he’d witnessed the firelight dance in her golden eyes. He doubted they would weep for her if they knew their angel was Lady Ives, kin to the Lord High Executioner.

THE LORD HIGH EXECUTIONER: LORD OSBORN IVES
The prisoner reared up from the floor, all flesh and rigid muscles. With his fingers clasped into a giant fist, he drove the iron cuffs into Father’s temple, knocking him sideways into a trestle table. Wood splintered like miniature arrows. Metal instruments clanked onto the floor. Father faltered but retained his footing.

“Nay!” She vaulted across the chamber and clung to the prisoner’s forearm as his powerful fist caught Father in the nose. Osborn Ives was a big man indeed, but the force behind that blow knocked him off his feet and into the wall.

The impact sent a jolt through her breast.

Father staggered. The black whip slipped from his gloved hand and coiled into a ring like a dead serpent. The lump sliding down her throat mimicked her father’s body withering to the floor along with her hope for protection.

VILLIAN: LORD HOLLISTER
Six of Gloucester’s men appeared all around Lizzy and pinned her to the ground, two men on each of her legs and one on each arm. Her eyes fixed on a bright gold thread outlining a cloud. That thread was broken when the darkest demon of her past emerged above her—Lord Hollister.

The evil look in his dark eyes sent a shudder of dread up her spine. Her limbs shook within their binds. She turned away, not wanting to see the tilt of his jaw or the lift of his arrogant smile. Broc’s attempts to make her brave failed, for fear froze her.

Lord Hollister traced the tip of his sword from her chin, down her throat, between her breasts, and stopped at the apex of her ribcage. The sharp point punctured her tunic and threatened to pierce her skin. “You always liked to count, Lizbeth. How many men do you think I had to kill to find you?”

FRIEND OR FOE? DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
“Where is this proof?” Gloucester demanded in a harsh tone.

“In the labyrinth.” She prayed Broc would be armed with his usual arsenal of blades. “But I will only provide you the document if you agree to my terms.”

He leaned in, eyes narrowed. “I have been charged by His Majesty to protect his sons and the realm of England. Your terms do not benefit my obligation to fulfill that duty. As a servant to England, you are bound by the same loyalties as I. If you choose not to deliver this document, your decision will be seen as a treasonous act against your king and country. As the daughter of the Lord High Executioner, I do not feel it necessary to tell you the punishment for such a grievance.” The upward movement of his eyes brought the guard at her back. “Take Lady Ives into the labyrinth and
bring me this document.”

VILLAIN: DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
Buckingham dismounted in regal fashion, brushing the lint from full black velvet sleeves woven with silver threads. “Do ye think her husband will give us the document in exchange for her corpse?” he asked Lord Hollister, who stood at her feet in a crop of tall grass with his head bowed. Oddly, his all-powerful countenance withered into what reminded Lizzy of a whipped dog.

“Nay,” Lord Hollister answered, his pitch eyes fixed on her, oozing with contempt and evil.

“Then curb your wicked lusts and find your rest. We ride for Northampton at dawn.” Buckingham bent to one knee and cleared the hair from her face.

She jerked back, not expecting his gentleness. He set her on the back of his mare, then mounted in front of her and nudged his steed into a trot.
Shivering, she fell against the warmth of his dry velvet surcoat, wishing he were Broc. Regardless of who he was, she felt a gratitude toward him. “Thank you.”

“I am neither your friend, nor your savior, Lady Ives. You should prepare your soul, for I’ve every intention of returning you to Lord Hollister once I
have possession of that document.”

MOTHER FIGURE: EDLYNN
She jumped. “Merciful Moses! Ye brought me a man. Oh, bless ye, Lizzy.” Edlynn raised her chin to him and smiled. Surprisingly, the auld woman still carried all her teeth. Her white hair cloaked her shoulders and the lines at her temples bespoke of a woman who often found laughter.

The woman’s hands were suddenly everywhere; over his shoulders, his arms, his stomach. “Built like a bred stallion, is he? Where did ye find him?”

“Beneath Father’s whip. He is a Scot,” Lady Ives commented nonchalantly while searching the contents of a wooden bowl.

“No? A Scot in London?”

“From the West Marches on the border,” Broc provided, feeling a bit uncomfortable with her inspection.

The woman’s fingers ran south and curved over his groin. Her empty gray eyes widened.

Heat blazed through his face when his cock responded to the gesture. “God’s hooks, matron!”

“’Tis good your father allowed him to keep his pillicock. He’s hung like an Englishman.”

THE MATCHMAKER: CELESTE
“Celeste, yer lookin’ healthy as ever. I’d like ye to meet my wife,” Lord Maxwell slurred, playing the role of a wastrel with expertise.

“Your wife?” the woman gasped, her dark eyes rounded in a sea of white.
Lizzy smiled sweetly while grinding her opinion between her teeth. The woman looked shocked, appalled, mayhap even disappointed. Lizzy hardly considered herself past her years. Why was it so impossible to believe she might be the man’s wife?

“When did ye go an’ get yerself a wife?” The woman planted her fists on full hips, raised a thin eyebrow—which was the only thing thin about her—and continued her inspection of Lizzy’s attire.

BROC'S SUPPORTERS: JOHN & SMITT

“Good den, ladies.” Smitt offered a casual greeting as he walked past.

Lizzy choked on a mouthful of mead. Mercy Mary! He was completely naked. Next to Lord Maxwell, Smitt had the finest backside she’d ever seen. He flaunted flexing cheeks with every stride toward the water. She gawked. What woman wouldn’t?

He stepped up on a flat rock, peeked over his shoulder to see if they were watching—which they were—and then dove gracefully into the water.

“Mayhap one or two Scots have been spared such foul wretchedness.” Lizzy turned toward Celeste, her eyes eventually followed the movement.
Celeste licked her lips.
“A woman wouldn’t need a spoon to feast on that one.”

Nodding agreement, Lizzy thought of one other Scot whose lips tasted of sin and spice.

A caterwaul sounded before she managed to gain her wits. John sprinted from behind them—naked—and jumped high off the rock, wrapping his arms around his knees. Water sprayed high and soaked the stockings hanging from the tree branch.

MEAN AULD WOMAN: GRANDMUM
She was easily the oldest woman Lizzy had ever seen. Wrinkles covered every bit of exposed skin, and her hair, white as a full moon, only added to her eerie countenance. She wore a crossbarred wool tunic and shuffled with the aid of a walking stick through the floor rushes. On closer inspection, Lizzy realized her walking stick was actually a sword.

“’Tis Broderick.” With an arm bent behind his back, he pulled Lizzy closer.

“I used to ’ave a grandson by that name, but the liver-bellied jack quit visitin’ long ago.” The woman reached out a crooked finger and poked him in the breastbone.

“Ow!” He rubbed his chest and then bent to kiss her cheek. “Forgive me, I’ve been in London.”

“Aye, I thought I smelled English on ye.”

LIZZY'S CHICKEN: BEATRICE
When she reappeared with a speckled chicken in a small cage, he rolled his head on his shoulders and prayed for endurance. “Lady Ives, ye test my patience.”

She tied the bird on as well, then finally mounted in front of him. “Do not even think of telling me I cannot bring her.”

“I’ve not eaten in days. The bird is most welcome.”

Lady Ives gasped as he might have suspected. “She is not food; her name is Beatrice. And if you so much as pluck a single one of her feathers, I promise you, I will—”

“Ye will what, Lady Ives?” He leaned in close to her ear to intimidate her. “Torture me? Beat me? Poison me? Think ye there is a threat you can hang over my head?”

“Cool your temper, Scotsman.” Lady Ives clucked her tongue, which set the steed into motion.

Of course, there are many more characters;

KAMDEN—Lizzy's Brother
EMMA—Lord Hollister's Wife
ELI AND MARTIN—You'll have to read to see...
AIDEN—Broc's Oldest Brother
IAN—Broc's Youngest Brother
MAGNUS MAXWELL—Broc's Father
LADY JULIANA SCOTT—Broc's Betrothed
LADY MUIRA MAXWELL—Broc's Mother
UNCLE OGILVEY—Makes whisky
AUNT JEAN—Broc's Aunt
AUNT RADELLA—Broc's Aunt
LUCY—Aunt Radella's Granddaughter
MILO—Boy at the Tippling House
JOAN—the Duchess’ Maid
MANFRED—Homosexual Guard at Northampton
GODFREY—Gatekeeper

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