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Secrets of the Knight

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ISBN: 978-0-06-143296-5

Secrets  of the Knight

by Julia Latham (Gayle Callen)

Book 3 of the "League of the Blade" series
(The books do not have to be read in order.)

When young Diana Winslow arrived at Castle Bannaster, her beauty and bravery disguised beneath a servant's dress, she had no idea her life would change forever. But now the cruel and lecherous Viscount Bannaster lies dead--and the novice Bladeswoman cannot escape her guilt. Nothing, not even fighting for the Crown, can erase her fears...especially when she comes face to face with Thomas, the viscount's startlingly seductive brother.

Desperate to keep him from discovering the truth, Diana attempts a daring abduction. But all her skills as a knight are no defense against the powerful, irresistible nobleman who has just become her prisoner. A man with a mystery of his own. A man who eyes her so hungrily, so wantonly, that he could tempt her to give up all her secrets for one wicked night in his arms...

"An amazing talent."

Kinley MacGregor
NY Times bestselling author

"Ms. Latham continues her League of Bladesmen series with a tale of a remarkable woman
who choses her own path regardless of the consequences. Taking the villain from her previous story and presenting his motivation and redemption makes a dazling good read."

"Julia Latham has swiftly moved to the top of my auto buy list for medieval romances."

Romance Novel TV

"Readers will see, feel, hear and smell the era as well as be captivated by the tried-and-true captive plotline. It's enhanced by a colorful historical backdrop and touches of humor."

Romantic Times Magazine


(The following is the property of the author and Avon Books, and cannot be copied or reprinted without permission.)

Chapter 1

(The plot to this point: Diana has held Thomas prisoner for days, afraid he knows that she killed his brother and allowed him to take the blame.  Thomas is ready to turn the tables on Diana and figure out what she's up to.)

          “I will escort you to your bedchamber, Lord Bannaster,” Diana said. “I, too, am retiring early.” She ignored her sister’s shocked fury, which wasn’t well concealed. Cicely would think Diana was only doing this to have the viscount’s undivided attention. And Diana was, but not for the reasons Cicely would assume.

          Bannaster gave her a polite smile. “You have my thanks, Mistress Diana. I am so tired that I might wander about and lose my way.”

          “You seem to be good at that,” she murmured, then held her breath, wondering what he would do to her for her insolence.

          He only grinned.

          She turned away, knowing he was behind her, following too close, watching her. How obvious was he being, before all the castle residents? But of course, he had just told them all he would be looking her over, like a prized horse to be bought. Every maidservant and valet was grinning at her, thrilled that a viscount was noticing her—even if he was only looking at her backside. Diana’s anger and fear subsided in the face of her people’s concern for her. She had come here as almost a stranger a few years ago, and they had become like family to her. If only she could feel safe here, but she knew she was at Kirkby Keep only on her brother’s whim, and he could change his mind whenever he wanted.

          And now another man controlled her fate.

          She ascended the main stairs, then walked down the torch-lit corridor, past several servants, to the circular stairs going up to the next floor. She had earlier won a battle over Cicely, who had absurdly wanted the viscount to have a bedchamber near theirs.

          On the next floor, Diana gestured to a closed door.

          “Should you not open it for me out of courtesy?” he asked, still wearing that perpetual smile.

          Shaking her head, she did so. Someone had come up the moment he had arrived at Kirkby Keep, for candles were lit, and a cheerful fire already eased the castle’s chilly dampness.

          The door slammed behind her. Bannaster grabbed her about the waist and shoved her up against the wall. Stunned, she hadn’t imagined he would punish her physically. He pinioned her hips with his, spread her hands wide when she would have hit him—and then covered her mouth with his.

          Her vaunted ability for self-defense fled, her mind went blank, and she forgot everything that had gone between them, except the pull of awareness. There were only his lips exploring hers, his tongue teasing and winning entrance to her mouth. He tilted his head and deepened the kiss, pressing his body the entire length of hers. And though he was still almost cold to the touch, she burned where his hard flesh met hers. Her breasts ached where they were flattened against his chest; a feeling of hot need pooled low in her belly.

          He pressed his thigh between hers, sending a searing wave of desire pulsing through her, and she moaned her defeat into his mouth. ~~ Home
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