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Desperate Knight - print

Knights of Kilbourne, 2

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No time… No options... No plan… No one said saving the world would be easy.

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    Morgan McRobbie and Lady Marissa duBerry swing back into swashbuckling action, facing old enemies, new threats, and a diabolical conspiracy—not to mention a more personal battle, one with hearts and pride at stake.

    As the pair escorts Prince Robert to the dwarf king’s court, a scheme intended to hurl men and dwarves into a devastating war is unfolding. Morgan ends up sidetracked by a kidnapped dwarf and a centuries-old feud, while a mysterious wizard’s revelations shake Marissa to her core, throwing into question everything she thought she knew about her past and future. And the advent of a rival for Marissa’s affections threatens any hope of a happy ending—if they survive.

    Once again, the desperate knight and indomitable damsel must hazard everything on a single throw of the dice, gambling on untested allies and unimagined weapons to save their world. 

    The odds have never been worse.

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    Desperate Knight - print

    Desperate Knight - print

    No time… No options... No plan… No one said saving the world would be easy.

    EXCERPT

     

    “Us?”

    “Yes, blast it. Us!”

    Unable to keep still, Morgan stood and paced, clasping his hands behind his back. He glanced down to where she sat regarding him as a mouse might a cat, not happy at the prospect of a conversation with him.

    Perhaps I should forget the whole thing. Except he couldn’t. He had to tell her. He took a deep breath and began.

    “Marissa, I-I’ve been trying for days to get a moment alone with you. But every time I do, something happens. Friends show up of nowhere to monopolize you. Fights break out. Wizards appear. Dwarves arrive. I just…” He halted, not daring to go on.

    She gazed up at him. An agonized mixture of doubt and worry clouded her eyes. “You just?”

    “I just need to tell you how I feel. How I think I feel, anyway.” He heaved a sigh and ran a hand through his hair.

    “You’re not sure?” Her voice suddenly sounded as tight as the string of a cocked crossbow.

    “We’ve been through a lot together these past few weeks. Dragons, assassins, spies, turncoats, wizards. This little jaunt here to deliver Robbie, which I know you weren’t expecting to intrude on your visit to your parents. It’s all been a bit—well, crazy, actually. Through it all, I’ve come to realize there’s no one like you.”

    He took another calming breath and ran his hand through his hair again. “From the first time we met, I saw how marvelous you were. So different from all the other girls at court. Fearless and fierce and witty and smart. Feisty and opinionated and aggravating and lovely. I knew you were the girl for me.” He gazed into her deep brown eyes, with their subtle golden flecks, and it almost felt as if he were falling. “Marissa, I…”

    He never saw it coming. Her hand moved in a blur, and the sound of the slap resounded through the little room. His head rocked back even as he realized she’d managed, once again, to land it right on the spot where she kissed him the first night they’d met. Her aim hadn’t lessened with time.

    Senses reeling, he still saw the next blow coming from the other side and managed to catch her arm before she could strike him again. He held her hand for a moment, instinctively savoring the softness of it. She glared at him, panting as if she’d run a race.

    Shaking his head in befuddlement, he released her hand. She pulled back, still glowering ferociously, but it didn’t appear she was going to launch another attack, at least not immediately. He eyed her warily, though. With Marissa, you simply never knew.

    “What in the name of heaven did I do to deserve that? I mean, I could understand if I was telling you I didn’t care. But when I’m trying to tell you how much I do?”

    She held up a hand to forestall whatever he’d been about to say, choking back a wild laugh. “For waiting so long. Much too long, in fact. I hoped you might get around to declaring yourself earlier, but I’m afraid a girl can’t wait forever. You’re too late, Morgan.”

    “Late? Wh-what do you mean?” The blood coursing through his veins was replaced by the water of a dozen icy mountain streams. His heart pounded like the hooves of a hundred chargers on the field of battle. His breath came fast and shallow.

    “I mean Henry has asked me to marry him.”

    Morgan stared. Well, Quimpan had warned him, hadn’t he?

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