are what makes the book worth reading. Meet the
HERO & HEROINE:
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.
LORD HIGH EXECUTIONER: LORD
“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.
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?”
OR FOE? DUKE
“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
“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.
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.
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
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.”
wife?” the woman gasped, her dark eyes rounded in a sea of white.
“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.
one or two Scots have been spared such foul wretchedness.” Lizzy
turned toward Celeste,
her eyes eventually followed the movement.
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.
AULD WOMAN: GRANDMUM
“’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.”
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;