The same rebellion that left Clarence of Summerbourne dead also left his castle and his daughter, Claire, forfeit to the king's champion. Renald de Lisle arrives at the castle gates as a warrior, takes possession of Claire like a conqueror, and sets her heart racing as her lover. Amid moonlight and velvet, she becomes his bride; atop tangled bedclothes she discovers passion. Then she learns Renald's terrible secret-and vows revenge against this man she had wed, this man she loves with all her heart.
Shorn of her golden hair, dressed in drab, and smeared with ashes, Claire Summerbourne defiantly prepares to meet the monster who has usurped her late father's holdingsand is claiming her as his bride. But the strong, virile king's champion, Renald de Lisle, is also perceptive and compassionate and proves to be more than a match for the clever Claire in their wary, passionate journey to wedded bliss. Noted for her fast-paced, wonderfully inventive stories, excellent use of humor and language, and vividly rendered characters and situations, Beverley has created another gem that will not disappoint. One of the most popular writers in the field, Beverley (Something Wicked, Topaz, 1997) is a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame and lives in Mattoon, IL.