The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.
Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother’s massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.
As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.
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Book Trailer Link
Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan – http://youtu.be/0yLAD5dcySg
Even before I lifted my head, I recognized Elsa’s voice. But nothing prepared me for the vision that I beheld. Her dark hair coiled around her shoulders in a waterfall of waves, curls, and silvery gray ribbon. Her kirtle was simple wool, but the deep blue complemented her complexion perfectly. I noted the heightened color in her cheeks and her widened eyes before realizing I was probably the cause.
I returned to studying the craftsmanship of the goblet between my hands. “I am hardly fit company for a lady at the moment.”
“You are not alone. Lord Irvaine looks positively livid.”
I lifted my head long enough to glance at Tomas and Brielle locked in intense conversation across the room. Brielle shot me a stormy glare. This evening’s meeting would not be pleasant.
Elsa shifted. “I don’t think I have ever seen him so angry before. What did you say to him?” Then she blushed even deeper. “No. Don’t tell me. It is none of my concern.”
It dawned on me that I needed to know more about the child that I was about to take into my care. The woman overseeing his care, even temporarily, would be an excellent resource. “Actually, you could help me.”
She studied my face. “I will do nothing to harm that family.”
I smiled. “An admirable resolution. By helping me, you will be helping them.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Come sit.” I rose.
She backed away from me. I could see she contemplated running. Where had the fearless warrior of that morning gone?
I pulled out the chair next to mine and offered it to her.
We stood close enough that I could hear the air hiss softly between her teeth as she took a deep breath.
I tried to smile warmly, but the movement pulled at my face strangely. “I won’t bite.”
She glanced at my face, disbelief raw in her gaze. But, she accepted my offering and sat.
I reclaimed my own place, occupying my hands with my goblet once again.
Avoiding looking her way lest I spook her, I traced the design in the metal with my thumb. “I need to know more about Lander.”
“I am to be his foster guardian.” I risked a peek her way. Her brows were gathered in thought. Her slender fingers traced the weave of the cloth on the table.
“Then the rumors were true.” She straightened. “Will Darnay be fostering with you as well?”
I hadn’t thought of that. “Possibly.”
“What do you need to know?”
“His habits, likes, and dislikes. I know little about caring for children.”
“Surely your staff will see to those things.”
“I have made no arrangements.” I glanced her way. Lips pursed in thought, she now leaned forward slightly. I had snagged her interest. I floundered for a way to keep her engaged. “I have never fostered a lad before.”
“Then why are you taking on such a task now?”
I frowned. “My house is the safest of the choices.”
Forgetting herself for a moment, she openly frowned at me. “If this isn’t Lord Irvaine’s choice and you are only taking on the fostering because your care is the safest, why is Lander being removed from Irvaine’s household in the first place? From all I have seen, he is thriving and happy at Kyrenton.”
“The king’s decisions rarely take the happiness of his pawns into account.”
Her eyes widened in understanding. Sitting back in her chair, she lapsed into silence.
I set down the goblet without drinking the contents. “So, what can you tell me about the lad?”
She pressed her lips together for a moment. “You shouldn’t take him away from the Irvaine household.”
“I have no choice.”
“There is always a choice.”
“When it comes to a directive from the king, there is no contest between obedience and defiance for an honorable man, my lady.”
“You consider yourself an honorable man?” Her challenge so innocently issued cut me to the quick.
“I take it from your tone that you don’t consider me so.”
She weighed her words before speaking which made them all the more devastating. “No, sir, I don’t. A man who acts as a thug for a man of few morals is not a man of honor.” She grew pale, perhaps realizing that she had just impugned the king’s honor and insulted me in the same breath. “Pardon me, my lord, I seem to have lost my appetite.” She rose and walked off the dais before I could gain my feet.
Even after she was gone, I found myself at a loss for words.
“Where is she going in such a hurry?” Sir Rathenridge asked as he rounded the end of the table. “The meal is about to appear.”
“She said she lost her appetite.”
Rathenridge frowned. “Seems to be catching. Tomas and Brielle will not be joining us either.” He eyed me. “Why do I feel as though I should throw you out of my home?”
Rathenridge’s wife, Moriah, appeared just then and distracted him from pursuing an answer to that question.
I resumed my contemplations, relieved. Light conversation was difficult at the best of times. Considering my isolation at the end of the high table, this wasn’t my best moment.
Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.
Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong love of reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page.