AT HER SERVICE is my first erotica in medieval period of 1207, England. Historicals offer an author such a range of issues that aren’t available to a writer in contemporary settings. So I am thrilled to introduce in this book, Simon de la Poer, Knight to King Richard of England and now to his younger irascible brother, King John.
A man renowned for his skill fighting the infidel in the Holy Land with Richard, Simon has also served as a mercenary to the Knights Templar and the Knights of St. John.
Now he is home in England and sent by his sovereign to save a lovely young countess from her childless predicament.
Countess of Atherton, Elise Dumond is married to an old and dying man. The earl cannot give her a child and therefore, cannot save the extensive lands of Atherton from ravenous neighbors. King John approves a risqué plan by the old feeble Earl of Atherton to hire Simon to sire a child with Elise.
Torn by her vows to a man who has not been a sweet or loving husband, Elise fears she will lose not only her soul but also her heart to the man she once knew as a boy and the one she loved above all others.
Needy as both Elise and Simon are to culminate years of longing for each other, they must also contend with those in the castle who would tear them apart with lies…and murder.
Here is a taste of AT HER SERVICE!
Winter, 1207. Cumbria, The Marches, England.
The smoke from the tapers made her guests’ eyes water, and though she brushed a finger under her lashes to rid herself of one tear, Elise Dumond could still see Simon de la Poer at the back of the great hall. God preserve her, she would see him if her eyes were closed. If she were blind. Indeed, if she were dead, she would see him in hell. And, oh, would it not be sweet succour to die and know she would remain in his company forever and end this torture of being parted from him for all these endless years?
She fiddled with the stem of her goblet and drank back more red wine. Then drank again, unnerved by the sight of the man who had taken her in his arms as a youth and put his firm, hot lips to her own with sweet promises of a lifetime of love.
Who had he delighted like that these past twelve years?
Ha! She took another draught.
Who had he not ravished in his bed? In Londontown, the fabled knight Simon de la Poer was reputed to have bedded any woman of noble birth desirous of spreading her legs for him and paying him her weight in gold to compensate him for his services. Elise caught back a sob of jealousy for all those women he’d touched, for all those he had kissed and to whom he’d whispered pretty words of devotion as once he had to her.
She put forth her cup for the maid to refill. The girl scurried over, understanding her mistress was in the mood to drink. Drink myself to distraction. Drink myself to oblivion. Unbidden, her eyes drifted towards the back of the hall, past the tiny man and the tall, dark Oriental who were Simon’s odd companions. Her gaze locked on the man she wished she did not see.
Christ in His Glory, this man was unmistakably the warrior they called Knight Divine. Simon de la Poer, who had earned his moniker attacking the Infidel in Jerusalem with his lord King Richard of England, possessed all the imposing aspects of a man with whom any woman would desire a night in heaven. He had matured to a massive build. Tall as the sconces, broad in the chest as two men, muscular in his black velvet tunic, his grey hose hugging his bulging calves, he seemed Herculean.
She wished she could tear herself away from eating him up with her eyes. Wished she could ignore his quicksilver stare that met her own. Wished she could refuse her husband’s order to offer up her immortal soul to keep what was hers here on earth. Yet she had no choice but to obey her husband and strip herself bare then lie down with her noble lord in their marriage bed tonight—and invite Simon de la Poer to join them.
(copyright 2009, Cerise DeLand)
Available at www.total-e-bound.com November 30!