#MedievalMonday2016 from The Angel and the Prince by Laurel O’Donnell
Excerpt: The sun was hot on Bryce’s bare shoulders. His arms were bound before him and his feet were tied from ankle to ankle, the rope running beneath the horse he rode. None of this bothered him, even though they had been riding all morning. His mind was absorbed with his captor. He could not stop staring at her riding so primly at the head of the army. Rage consumed him. He could feel the ropes around his wrists digging into his flesh as he clenched and unclenched his hands. The disgrace of being captured by a woman! Even as he thought this, his mind raced, trying to figure out a way to escape. Still, he could not tear his eyes from her.
If the Wolf Pack ever saw him now, how they would laugh! The great Prince of Darkness captured by a woman! The thought of those men mocking him made Bryce clench his teeth. Damn, he thought. What was I thinking? Every sense in my body was shouting a warning! But I ignored my instincts. She was so quiet, so deceitful. How did she ever over power my sentries? He gritted his teeth in frustration. Enough of this, Bryce thought. It is over and done. I must not dwell on it. There is nothing to do but wait until an opportunity presents itself. And it will. I will be ready for it.
She brought the army to a halt and dismounted. His eyes followed her every movement as she stopped and spoke with one of her men, a man who towered well over her. How can they allow themselves to be led by a woman, Bryce wondered. He saw her pause and he swore that she glanced at him before disappearing into a small glade.
Suddenly, there was a tugging at the rope around his feet. He glanced down to see two of her men undoing the rope. His gaze assessed them quickly. They were fully armored, except for their helmets. He could outrun them, but he could never outfight them, especially with his hands bound.
He allowed them to pull him from his horse and he fell to the ground with a thud. They hauled him to his feet and shoved him forward. His legs ached from being immobile for so long, and he almost stumbled. He quickly righted himself when he heard a chuckle from one of her men behind him. He briefly wondered where they were taking him, but another shove answered his silent question. They were heading toward the glade. As he walked past the army, he noticed that many heads turned to regard him. There was resentment and anger in their eyes, and Bryce had a moment of satisfaction. They should hate me, he thought. As I hate them.
He was led through a small glade until he saw her standing near a tall tree. He stopped, frozen by the thought that she had summoned him. What does she want of me, he wondered. More torture?
The knights shoved Bryce to the ground at her feet. Dirt and dust filled his mouth, making him gag. He spat it out, easing himself to his knees, rubbing the dirt from his eyes with his bound hands.
The knights behind him placed a rope around his neck and handed the other end to her. For a moment he wondered if he was going to be hanged, but then he saw her tie the end of the rope around the base of a tree. Did she intend to keep him leashed like some sort of pet? When she finished, she ordered the knights away.
Bryce turned to watch them depart, then swung his head back toward her, his eyes scanning the clearing curiously.
They were alone.
She was either very brave, or very, very foolish. She had cursed his thoughts from the moment he had seen her stepping from the mists like an angel coming down out of the clouds.
She turned away from him and Bryce felt a surge of frustration – how could he tell what she intended if he could not see her face?
He stood. Taking a large step, he came up behind her, chuckling softly. “You think tying me to this tree will save you, Angel?”
Blurb: In this exciting medieval romance, the French lady knight known as the Angel of Death wages a battle of wills and desires against her dreaded enemy — the English warrior known as the Prince of Darkness. Those who whisper her name in fear and awe call her the Angel of Death.
She is a French warrior, dedicated to fighting the English. In place of glittering ball gowns, she wears shining armor. Instead of practicing the gentler arts, she wields a killing sword.
He is an English lord known as the dreaded Prince of Darkness. He is sent by his king to find and destroy their most hated adversary — the French warrior known as the Angel of Death. Little does he know that his hated enemy is no man at all, but a beautiful woman who will challenge his heart and honor at every turn.
Forced to choose between love and honor, The Angel and the Prince wage a battle of wills that challenges everything they have ever believed in.