William de Bronwyn ? Est-ce donc là l'époux que lui destine la reine ? Après tant d'années de loyauté, après avoir mis sa réputation et sa beauté au service d'Aliénor d'Aquitaine, voilà Sarah de Rémy fiancée à... un ancien esclave ! Comme si elle ne méritait pas un véritable seigneur, au lieu de ce hobereau de campagne ! Certes, il a de l'allure, il est même très bel homme. Mais à l'idée d'épouser cet arrogant qui n'est ni noble ni riche, la fière courtisane qu'elle ne décolère pas. D'autant que son futur époux ne semble pas plus satisfait qu'elle, et ose la prendre de haut...
Les Chevaliers de la Couronne, Tome 3 : La courtisane d'Aliénor
** Extrait offert par Denise Lynn **
She bit back a tart comment about following him like a loyal dog and fell silently in step behind him. When they returned to the camp, Hugh and Adrienna were already curled together beneath a cover on the far side of the fire.
Suddenly terrified of what lie ahead, she stood rooted to the ground watching William. He cleared sticks and stones from the earth, before unrolling covers for their makeshift bed.
He sat on the log to unlace, then remove his boots before he moved to the bed and stretched out on his side. He stared up at her and extended his arm, inviting her to willingly come to him, giving her the choice.
Sarah wanted to run away from William's outstretched hand. She wanted to fall into his arms. She wanted to hide--not just from him, but also from herself and everything she’d become--and everything she’d never be.
In that one heartbeat of indecision, it all crashed in on her. She was a liar, a spy, the Queen’s whore--over and over every rumour that had ever been bandied about reverberated loud in her ears. Never would she be able to escape who, or what, she was.
Unshed tears blurred her vision. A cry lodged in her throat, nearly choking her as she turned away. William cursed softly. Before she could move, he sat up and took away her opportunity to choose by pulling her down next to him.
She rolled onto her side, facing away from him. With one arm wrapped firmly about her waist, he held her fast. 'This day has been too long. I will bedevil you no further, Sarah. Go to sleep.'
Thankful that this would not be the night for more questions, she closed her eyes. But sleep would not come. It was held at bay by the solid length of his body behind hers, and by the strong beat of his heart against her back.
Every passing heartbeat fed her guilt. And each moment that he held her close, offering protection instead of ravishment, made her worry that she'd not be able to see this plan of Eleanor's through to the end.
Dear Lord above, what would she do if that proved true? If she betrayed Queen Eleanor, she could likely lose her life. Yet, if she betrayed William, he would lose his. Unless, she could somehow talk the Queen out of seeing him dead. Thus far, she'd never been able to change the Queen's mind on anything, so Sarah held little hope for doing so in the future.
The pounding inside her head was nearly unbearable. And the tightness in her throat, from holding back tears, threatened to strangle her.
William loosened his hold from around her waist, reached up and brushed a thumb across her cheek, wiping away a tear she hadn't realised had fallen. 'Rest easy, Sarah, I am not going to hurt you.'
She sniffed, then said, 'I know that.' The second the words were out of her mouth she wanted to quickly push them back inside.
He raised up on his elbow and leaned over her. 'Then what are you crying about?'
'Crying? What are you talking about? I am not crying. What would I have to cry about? There's no reason for me to cry. Everything is fine. Go to sleep.' She spoke so fast that she knew he'd realise she was lying--a witless fool would know.
With his lips against her ear, he whispered, 'Surely you know that blithering only exposes your lie.'
Since he hadn't posed a direct question, she said nothing.
William feathered kisses on the sensitive flesh of her neck. His gentle touch sent her heart racing anew, and her mind spinning.
Before she had a chance to calm her flitting senses, he moved back to her ear. 'I would have thought...that you...would be much better...at fabricating the truth.'
Between words, his lips against her neck, then her ear, chased thrills the length of her spine. Without thought, she answered, 'So did I.'
At his chuckle, Sarah's groan of dismay changed quickly to a gasp. The lout had done that on purpose. She pushed at his forearm, hoping he would release her from his embrace.
But instead of releasing her, he tugged her onto her back. 'Ah, Sarah, how were you ever successful spying for the Queen?'
That was a question she'd like to know the answer to herself. The few men who managed to get her alone long enough to play these games of seduction had never made her mind go numb. Her heart hadn't pounded like it did now.
In the dim light of the fire she could see only the outline of his form. Still propped up on his elbow, William leaned down towards her. 'You are such a fraud.'
He brushed her hair from her face, before tracing a finger down the side of her cheek and then across her lips. His touch left a fiery trail on her skin.
William leaned closer and kissed the corner of her mouth. 'I wonder how much truth there is to the rumours about you.'
C’était sympa mais sans plus !
Comme le dit ArabellaDarcy, William est un peu chiant je trouve… Il se prend beaucoup la tête, ne sait pas ce qu’il veut… Mais pour une fois que ce n’est pas l’héroïne, ça fait du bien !
Sarah était sympa, mais je trouve qu’elle passe un peu trop de temps à pleurer (non mais sérieux, elle chialait toutes les 10 pages !) et je trouve que pour une jeune femme sensée être espionne depuis un bon moment et avec son passé, elle est quand même peu douée pour cacher ses sentiments, mentir et se protéger…
Bon et puis en commençant ma lecture, je me suis dit : "Super ! Une héroïne qui connaît les choses de l'amour, pas vierge (pour une fois) et qui saura séduire le personnage principal masculin"... Bonjour la tromperie sur la marchandise !
Le début de l’histoire était un peu brouillon, je m’y perdais… mais heureusement, après ça s’améliore assez rapidement… Il y a quand même beaucoup de protagonistes, dont certains un peu inutiles…
Ce que j’ai le plus apprécié : leurs joutes verbales et le fait que Sarah ne se laisse pas faire et critique sa condition de femme (car il faut bien l’avouer, être une femme à cette époque-là, ce n'était pas vraiment génial…)
Spoiler(cliquez pour révéler)Par contre, je n’ai pas aimé le début de leur relation car je n’aimais pas les libertés physiques que prenait William avec Sarah ! Encore une fois, on a un héros qui se permet de tripoter, embrasser, déshabiller et j’en passe l’héroïne, alors qu’elle n’est pas d’accord et essaie de le repousser ! Je n'en peux plus de cette manie des auteurs à placer ce genre de choses, surtout dans les historiques !
En bref, un moment divertissant mais il ne m’a pas marqué plus que ça…
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