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The Marriage Bed(2001)
(The second book in the Medieval Knights series)
A novel by Claudia Dain
Sexual tension and chivalry make a compelling combination with daring exploits and devout prayer in Claudia Dain's delightful medieval romance. As an orphaned heiress of marriageable age, Isabel of Dornei knew that safety lay in a swift wedding. But, instead of seeking out the man to whom she'd been promised, upon her father's death she rode to the nearby abbey in search of Richard, the one man she trusted above all others -- handsome, chivalrous Richard who sought his own redemption in the monastery, even as rebellious Isabel prayed to be free of her betrothal to a man she did not love. Richard had been the most promising squire at the estate where she'd been fostered. And though she was his brother's promised bride, they'd soon become inseparable friends. Before she'd left for home, they'd shared a single, forbidden kiss that had ever since fueled all of Isabel's hopes and prayers. Surely a man capable of such a kiss, who was also renowned for his skill at arms, was not truly meant to be a monk. On this, it seemed, both heavenly and temporal powers agreed, for Isabel's arrival at the abbey was quickly followed by the news that both of Richard's brothers were dead -- and Richard had been commanded to fulfill the pact between their families and make Isabel his wife. The wedding was quickly arranged -- but it would take more than prayers, and soul searching, and passionate memories to forge a true marriage between this beautiful maiden and her unwilling lord.
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September 2002 : USA Mass Market Paperback
April 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition