Herald’s Heart Blurb
Royal herald, Sir Talon Quereste imagined that one day he would settle on a quiet little estate, marry a gently bred damsel, and raise a flock of children. The wife of his daydreams is a woman who could enhance his standing with his peers. She is certainly not an overly adventurous, impulsive, argumentative woman of dubious background who threatens everything he values then endangers his heart.
When her family is murdered, Lady Larkin Rosham lost more than everyone she loved—she lost her name, her identity and her voice. She’s finally recovered her ability to speak, but no one believes her claim to be Lady Larkin. She is determined to regain her name and her heritage. However, but Sir Talon Quereste guards the way to the proof she needs. She must discover how to get past him without risking her heart.
Herald’s Heart Excerpt
Larkin climbed the stairs to the second floor. She was weary to the bone, but at least she no longer smelled like a midden. She looked longingly at the solar. The bed there was soft and warm, and she dearly wished to sleep in comfort. But Sir Talon the singer occupied that bed. He might welcome her, but she would not welcome the consequences of joining him. Especially not if it involved meetings and greetings like those he’d sung about. That cursed song had tortured her thoughts all afternoon. She’d tried every trick she knew to escape the bawdy verses and met with failure at each attempt.
She shook her head and told herself firmly to get about finding a place to sleep undisturbed when a shout of laughter from the solar stopped her. There was a small chamber, directly across from the solar that was not too filthy. It held a cot with ticking, and she’d gotten linens and blankets from the laundress. Tomorrow she would scour the room from top to bottom. For tonight ‘twas enough to have clean linens, a warm blanket, and privacy. No skin-tingling, toe-curling, off-key voice would disturb her rest. She’d not allow it.
“Arrh, you’ve no need to be sharp with me. I am beset with feminine invasions of my chamber. First that red-haired nymph steals into my bath. Now you, Cat, steal into my bed.”
Anger carried Larkin through the solar door before she had time to think things through. “You wretched man. You knew I was here.”
He dropped his jaw, as if her words made no sense. “I beg pardon?”
“All the time you sang that horrid song, you knew I listened.”
His lips turned up. He stepped between her and her view of the bed’s occupant then pulled the bed curtain closed.
She wanted to strike the grin from his face. “And then you stood up, while I watched. You knew I watched. Did you enjoy it? Did it please you to flaunt your nakedness like any bawd?”
“I think it more to the point to ask if you enjoyed it?”
“Y. . . You . . . you . . . know I could not.”
“You could have left,” he said blandly.
“With you to see me, and all the world to know I was in the room when you bathed?”
“If you shout any louder ‘twill be known all the same.”
“You wished to insult me.” She reined in her voice.
“Nay, I do not insult women.” His tone became hard. “’Tis not uncommon for serving women to assist nobles when bathing.”
“It is if they are . . .” aware she was about to reveal that she too had been naked, Larkin stopped.
“Yes? If they are what?” he invited her to finish.
Larkin opened her mouth to speak, then shut it. What could she say? If they are naked in the same room with you, as I was. She couldn’t, wouldn’t say that.
Herald’s Heart Links
Rue Allyn Bio
Historical romance author Rue Allyn lives in southeast Michigan with the love of her life and one tyrannical cat, where she works daily on making Happy Ever After come true.