The Red Lion
The Highland Warriors of Munro #1
by Kathryn Le Veque
Release Date: October 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Genre: Medieval Romance
1288 A.D. - Sir Jamison Munro is a Highland warrior known as The Red Lion. Big and burly, with a crown of wavy red hair, as the son of the chief of Clan Munro, Jamison's path in life was more unconventional than those of his clansmen. His father is a progressive thinker, knowing that in order to survive his clan must become allied with the English. When Jamison is involved in an offense against a neighboring clan, George Munro has no choice but to send his greatest son south into England to protect him.
Jamison finds himself serving the House of de Lohr, old allies of his father. When the call goes out to defend a de Lohr garrison against a Welsh attack, Jamison rides to the siege and finds himself caught up in a nasty battle. With the gatehouse breached, he charges in to defend the occupants only to be attacked by one occupant in particular. What he first believes to be a small and slender knight, he soon finds out differently. He is met with ferocity by a skilled lady warrior.
Lady Havilland de Llion is the daughter of the lord of Four Crosses Castle. Part-Welsh, her family is nonetheless loyal to the English and to de Lohr. When she sees the big Scotsman, she assumes he is siding with the Welsh and goes after him with a vengeance. Even upon discovering his loyalties, she doesn't believe him and their fight goes on long after the battle itself is finished. But soon enough, the contention between them turns to something else.
Politics, battles, loyalties, and roaring passions play out in a story of high emotion and high adventure. To the big Scots knight known as The Red Lion, nearly everything in his life has come at a price, but in the battle for Havilland's affections, there is no price too high that he will not pay.
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The portcullises began to grind open, chains groaning under the substantial weight. Jamison was in the process of calling his men back to the walls when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. By the time he turned around, he caught the glint of a blade and something moving very quickly down near the ground. It took him a moment to realize the woman had slid underneath the lifting portcullises and was very close to him with a sword in her hand. He barely had a chance to jump back as she took a very swift strike at his head.
Jamison couldn’t believe it. She’d actually come quite close to his face with the swing of that blade and he instantly unsheathed his broadsword, a weapon that was far bigger than hers. But she was fast, this one, and she was angry, which made her both determined and slightly reckless. As the de Lohr troops watched with some amusement and, truthfully, some horror, the woman charged Jamison with her small but well-made sword. When he lifted his weapon to fend off her attack, she fell to her knees, sliding in the mud with her momentum, and brought her sword up underneath him. Only Jamison’s lightning-fast reflexes prevented her from making contact with his ankles.
It was actually an impressive tactic; she had been aiming for his Achilles’ heel. When Jamison realized that she was genuinely trying to hurt him, he took the offensive. He had little choice unless he was prepared to willingly submit to her aggression. The woman was just regaining her feet as he came down upon her, hard, in a broadsword stroke that would have been difficult for a strong man to handle much less a woman. She lifted her sword, preventing he blow from cutting through her midsection, but the power behind the strike was much more forceful than anything she had ever experienced. The blow sent her onto her back and she had to roll out of the way, quick as a flash, to prevent him from seriously injuring her when he brought down a second strike.
Unfortunately for the woman, Jamison didn’t give her time to recover. If she was going to try to hurt him, then he was going to disable her before she had the chance. So he went after her in full battle mode, preventing her from gaining her footing, watching her as she rolled and crawled through the mud, now struggling to avoid his blade.
But avoid she did, at least for a few minutes as he clearly tried to kill her, but that grace period soon ended. At one point, the woman’s hair became untangled from her mail and as she tried to get away from Jamison, her braid dragged in the mud. Jamison seized on the opportunity and stepped on her hair, bringing her to an instant halt as she screamed in pain. Reaching down a massive hand, he grabbed her by the hair on her scalp, yanking her head back as he brought the sword down, aiming it right for her neck. He stopped short of cutting her head off, however, as the blade rested on her pale, dirty skin.
The fight was over as swiftly as it had begun. Jamison stared down into her face, seeing that her eyes were a deep shade of green, with long dark lashes all around. Her beauty was without compare but he refused to think such thoughts of this woman who had tried to hurt him. He glared at her, his jaw flexing furiously.
“Now,” he growled, “ye attacked me and failed. Tell me why I shouldna end yer life right now.”
The woman was breathing heavily but, to her credit, there was no fear in her eyes. She gazed back at him with defiance. “I cannot give you a reason,” she said, her voice hoarse because he had her head pulled back so far and there was a strain on her neck. “Do as you must.”
Jamison didn’t want to kill her; he really didn’t. He was just trying to scare her because she had been bold and reckless. But he was coming to think that she couldn’t be scared. He could see it in her expression, in everything about her. She was brave, this one. A seedling of respect grew.
“Do ye want tae die, then?” he asked.
Something in her eyes flickered, a whisper of fear, perhaps. “Of course not,” she said. “But I lost the fight. It is your right to do to me as you will.”
His red eyebrows drew together; he couldn’t help it. “How would ye know about the rules of engagement?” he asked. “Moreover, why do ye dress as a warrior? Does yer husband allow such things?”
She swallowed, hard. “I am not married.”
“Then yer father allows this?”
She didn’t respond right away, trying to lower her gaze but unable to for the way he was holding her. “My father has no say in what I do,” she said. “This is my home. I defend it as necessary, any way I deem necessary.”
Jamison was feeling some exasperation. “I told ye I am with de Lohr,” he said. “I am here tae help ye. Do ye not understand that, lass?”
Something in her eyes flared as she looked at him. “Do not call me a lass!”
“I would call ye by yer name but I dunna know it.”
“And I’ll not tell you.”
He cocked his head. “Ye have an unruly mouth in the face of a man holding a sword tae yer neck,” he said. “Are ye truly so foolish? For certain, that is all I have seen from ye since the beginning.”
She sighed, the frown returning to her features. “If you are going to kill me, then get on with it.”
Jamison stared at her a moment longer. Then, he swiftly removed his sword and dropped it to the earth. Before the woman could utter a word of protest, he went down on one knee and, still holding on to her hair, put her straight across his thigh. Letting go of her hair, he held her down with that arm across her back as the other arm extended and, without hesitation, proceeded to spank her. His big hand against her backside resounded off of the stone walls. The woman began to howl.
“Beast!” she screamed, fighting and twisting. “How dare you take a hand to me! You will be punished for this – ouch!”
Jamison whaled on her buttocks, through the mail coat and through the breeches she was wearing. It probably hurt his hand more than it hurt her backside, but that wasn’t the point. She was terribly mannered and it was clear no one had ever disciplined her. He was, therefore, pleased to be the first. It gave him a fiendish satisfaction to do so. He whacked her a few more times before pushing her off his knee, straight into the mud.
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KATHRYN LE VEQUE is a USA TODAY Bestselling author, an Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES and on USA TODAY's HEA blog. In March 2015, Kathryn was the featured cover story for the March issue of InD'Tale Magazine, the premier Indie author magazine. She is also quintuple nominee (a record!) for the prestigious RONE awards for 2016.
Kathryn's Medieval Romance novels have been called 'detailed', 'highly romantic', and 'character-rich'. She crafts great adventures of love, battles, passion, and romance in the High Middle Ages. More than that, she writes for both women AND men - an unusual crossover for a romance author - and Kathryn has many male readers who enjoy her stories because of the male perspective, the action, and the adventure.
On October 29, 2015, Amazon launched Kathryn's Kindle Worlds Fan Fiction site WORLD OF DE WOLFE PACK. Please visit Kindle Worlds for Kathryn Le Veque's World of de Wolfe Pack and find many action-packed adventures written by some of the top authors in their genre using Kathryn's characters from the de Wolfe Pack series. As Kindle World's FIRST Historical Romance fan fiction world, Kathryn Le Veque's World of de Wolfe Pack will contain all of the great story-telling you have come to expect.
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