Forced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her nephews survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for so many deaths. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves. But will Laila really let Aymon die once she learns the truth?
A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?
Laila heard them long before she saw them. Their angry, frenzied shouts and thunderous roars filled her ears. With her hands tied securely behind her, she was dragged up the lane toward Tyburn Gallows, where she was to be hanged for a crime she did not commit. The mob sounded blood thirsty. Large. Frightening.
There was no sign of Aymon. Or Hugh. Had they left her alone to die?
Her chin trembled and her nails dug into her palms.
She suddenly fell to her knees and screamed until she tasted blood at the back of her throat. She kicked out and tried to crawl free as her hair was almost torn from the roots as she was pulled up and shoved along the lane.
Her eyes burned with her tears.
“I am innocent!” Laila screamed.
They came around a corner, and that’s when she saw them. There must have been a least two thousand men, women, and children, hungry for her blood. And when they saw her, they erupted into a wild fever of roars and cries for a slow and painful death. Their thirst had been piqued, and now it must be sated.
Laila was shoved into the center of the clearing.
She glanced wildly around in a desperate search for Aymon’s towering, bulky frame. She could not see him.
But what she could see was the Tyburn Tree. The gallows she was to be hanged from. The executioner, hooded, stood beside the tree as he waited patiently for her. Laila’s mouth suddenly went dry.
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Louise grew up in Australia before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia. In 2013 Louise won first prize in the Crested Butte Sandy Writing Contest – Historical Romance Category –for her story, The Promise, which has since been retitled as, Of Love & Vengeance. When not writing, she can be found crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!