eBook Details

The Snow White Bride

Series: The Jewels of Kinfairlie , Book 3.0
By: Claire Delacroix | Other books by Claire Delacroix
Published By: Deborah A. Cooke
Published: Oct 23, 2011
ISBN # 9781927477212
Word Count: 108,000
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Available in: Epub, Mobipocket (.mobi)
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Categories: Romance>Scottish/Highlander Romance>Historical Medieval Historical Fiction

Description
The Laird of Kinfairlie has helped his sisters, each a gem in her own right, to find husbands. Now the laird himself seeks to wed, and pins his hopes on The Snow White Bride.

Lady Eleanor knows better than to dream of romance and love. Married twice to secure her father’s alliances, she has learned that she is desirable only for her fortune. When the Laird of Kinfairlie’s sisters ask her to wed their brother, Alexander, Eleanor agrees, expecting only to save herself from danger. But Alexander is like no man she’s known before, a man more interested in courting her smile than her obedience, a man who values her counsel as much as her newly awakened passion...and a man unaware that Eleanor is the key to a fortune that could ensure the future of everything he holds dear.

Now, ruthless enemies will stop at nothing to secure Eleanor’s capture. Will she dare to trust her new husband before it’s too late for her, for Alexander, and for Kinfairlie?

“Delacroix provides an excellent end to a terrifically captivating series.”
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Excerpt:
The snow was falling fast and thick, the starless sky was darker than indigo, and it was well past midnight when Eleanor knew that she could flee no further. The small village that rose before her seemed heaven-sent: it was devoid of tall walls and barred gates. She did not believe that it truly could be this peaceful anywhere in Christendom, but the town’s tranquility was seductive all the same.

She did not know its name and she did not care. She spied the church and decided immediately that this sleeping town, with its quiet surety that the world was good, would be the place she chose to rest.

The night would not last much longer, for darkness already gave way to dawn’s light. Eleanor did not know where she would go from here, but knew she could make no decision when she was so exhausted.

The church portal was unlocked, and Eleanor sighed with relief as one last fear was proven groundless. She stepped into its embracing shadows and let the door close heavily behind her. She waited, half-expecting the illusion of tranquility to be shattered, but only silence reached her ears. She stood on the threshold and inhaled deeply of the scent of beeswax candles, the air of prayer and devotion, the aura of a holy place.

Sanctuary.

There was a single small glass pane over the altar, and the light cast by the snow illuminated it and the chapel’s bare interior. It was a humble church, to be sure, for she could see its emptiness even in the shadows. The altar was devoid of chalice and monstrance, evidence that even this community believed that treasures should be locked away.

Eleanor spied the bench near the altar, perhaps one used by the priest, and eased herself onto it. She sat down and stopped running for the first time in what seemed an eternity.

Then she listened, fearing the worst.

There was no sound at all beyond the pounding of her heart. No hoof beats echoed in pursuit. No hounds bayed as they found her scent. No men shouted that they had spied her footprints.

The rapidly falling snow might prove a blessing, for it would quickly hide her path and disguise her scent. She sat, intending to wait the necessary interval until she knew that she was safe.

Eleanor felt every ache in her exhausted body, and she realized only now how cold she had become. She could not feel her fingertips, so she crossed her arms and pressed her hands into her underarms. She supposed that her belly must be empty, but she was too numb to be certain. She had a keen thirst, to be sure.

Had it only been three days and nights since everything had changed, and changed irrevocably? She shied away from considering what would happen to her now, was too tired to speculate beyond the nigh impossible goal of escape.

Instead, she sat and marveled that she could hear only the faint roll of the sea. It was a gentle sound, its effect not unlike a lullaby. Was it possible that Ewen’s kin had abandoned the hunt for her?

Eleanor could not believe as much. She sat vigilant and she listened, but slowly, she began to feel warmer. That warmth betrayed her, undermined her resolve to remain awake, coaxed her to succumb to exhaustion. She fought against slumber, but she had endured too much of late. It was not long before she gathered her booted feet beneath her, wrapped her ermine-lined cloak more tightly about herself, and dared to consider sleeping for the first time since Ewen had died.

Although she murmured a prayer, Eleanor did not pray for her husband’s recently departed soul. She knew that Ewen was lost beyond redemption, she knew that he roasted in hell.

Worst of all, Eleanor knew that, deep in her heart, she was glad. She was also sufficiently wicked to believe that he deserved no less.

With the dawn, she would begin to atone for her sins of thought and deed. In this moment, she managed only to draw her hood over her hair before her eyes closed and she welcomed the bliss of sleep.

The Snow White Bride

By: Claire Delacroix
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