Her father's promise
A portrait, purposefully drawn to misrepresent, and another, truthful one, presented to the King. Guile and treachery, obsession, passion and love, not to mention a siege and secret passageways, and defended honours of dead ladies, all in Her Father's Promise. More
Lady Elizabeth's father is forced to promise her to a man he despises, and to bring up his daughter according to the man's tastes. When he dies, Elizabeth goes to her betrothed, Lord Richard, only to discover he had wed his pregnant mistress, instead. Elizabeth is convinced that it happened because she is plain, she has seen her portrait, she well knows. Her betrothed is now her guardian.
When her guardian's lady dies at childbed, her brother, Sir Edward, struck with grief, comes to stay, and to avenge what he percieves as her ruination by Richard. He plans to do so by seducing or marrying Elizabeth, to spite Richard, who is obviously lusting after her. But Elizabeth had promised her father's former knight and councillor, Sir Gavin, now made Baron, that she would wed him in two seasons' time. He now comes with the King's decree to wed her, but Elizabeth is loath to accept him. To avoid it, she will even conspire with her guardian's adversary, Edward. Richard tries to warn her, but cannot divulge why, for fear of his dead lady's honour. However, he agrees to dissolve her betrothal to Gavin
Gavin comes back to claim his bride joined by the King's army. To save Elizabeth from both men, Richard has a plan, but he needs to gain Elizabeth's trust. Can he do it, though he craves her most ardently? Can Elizabeth overcome her mistrust of him, her fear of her own desire, and her lack of self assurance, so she may keep her father's promise, and hers to him?
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