You have a secret, and I know what it is. Come on, confess! You can’t get enough romance, the steamier the better. You have a to-be-read pile a mile high—and it doesn’t stop you from buying more! But don’t worry: I won’t tell anyone. It’s a guilty pleasure I freely confess I share.
In my case, I’m particularly partial to historical romance set in the medieval and Renaissance periods, played out against a rich tapestry of historical detail, deception, passion and political intrigue. That’s how I came to write BY ROYAL COMMAND (July 2012), an epic medieval romance about a daughter of royalty set on the turbulent shores of Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest.
Lady Katrin of Courtenay is an aetheling, kin to the King of England, and valiant protector of her northern lands. But the Vikings are surging south from the Danelaw, piercing deep into the realm with their punishing raids. To defeat the Vikings and save the English throne, Katrin must marry the baron of Belmaine: a mysterious, foreign-reared nobleman with powerful connections, once destined for the priesthood, whom she’s never met. But Rafael le Senay is no sandal-clad scholar with his head in the clouds, easily managed by a clever wife, as Katrin hopefully imagines. He’s a brilliant and darkly beautiful young gallant with lethal fighting prowess who rides into battle disguised as the sinister Black Fox.
In truth, Katrin and Rafael are a perfect match. But they’ll have to slay a few dragons before this unlikely hero wins his damsel. Here, then, are the five fearsome beasts they must slay:
1. FEAR. When the story opens, Katrin’s first husband is dead, and she doesn’t mourn him. He was cruel and controlling, and she’s determined never to remarry—and risk being bound to another monster like the last. Proud and courageous, she vows she doesn’t need a husband to hold her northern lands.
2. AMBITION. The monastery-raised Rafael is a would-be bishop who harbors ambitions for the papal throne. When a kinsman’s untimely death calls him home to an embattled England that once renounced him to make a political marriage, Rafael is the most reluctant bridegroom.
3. FORBIDDEN LOVE. Meanwhile, Katrin has fallen in love with a most unsuitable suitor, the common-born Viking warrior of incorruptible honor whom the King commands to escort her to this arranged marriage she vehemently resists. Their passion sparks a scandal that ignites the court and the very kingdom. Only blackmail—the vengeful King’s vow to have her lover killed—persuades Katrin to make the Devil’s bargain, for the sake of love and her duty to England.
4. LUST. When Katrin arrives at the fairytale court of Argent to seal her reluctant marriage, she attracts the interest of Rafael’s brother, the charismatic earl of Argent—a cordial and charming bear of a man twisted by secret envy of the elegant Rafael. Increasingly obsessed by the one woman he cannot have, the earl vows to win Katrin, swearing she’ll be confessing him to her priest within a month.
5. WAR. On her wedding night, Katrin goes to Rafael’s bed determined to remain faithful in her heart to her former lover. But unexpected passion explodes between them, and an alliance of political expediency becomes the desperate union of two solitary souls. Then Viking raiders menace the land, and Rafael is summoned to battle—leaving uneasy Katrin alone with her husband’s powerful brother and his dangerous plans.
The passion that flares between Katrin and Rafael pits desire against loyalty, love against honor, and brother against brother: giving birth to the five dragons these lovers must slay to win their happily-ever-after.
Have I piqued your interest? I’d love to hear your thoughts on BY ROYAL COMMAND, my debut book for Carina Press. By commenting, you can also enter my contest!
I’m giving away one $25 gift card to either Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble to one randomly drawn commenter from my virtual book tour. Please leave a comment along with your broken up email addy. The contest is open the duration of the tour from June 18 – July 2, 2012. The more you follow and comment on the tour, the greater your chances of winning.
MY VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE
MORE ABOUT ME
In my other life, I’m a diplomat who’s lived in Russia and works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In the line of duty, I’ve been trapped in an elevator in a nuclear power plant and have stalked the corridors of facilities churning out nerve agent and other apocalyptic weapons. In this capacity, I meet many of the world’s most dangerous men.
Inspired by the sinister realities of her real life, I write dark medieval and Renaissance romance spiked with political intrigue. A member of Romance Writers of America and a 2009 Golden Heart finalist, I have an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine and an M.A. in National Security Policy from The George Washington University. Currently living in Seattle, I divide my time between my writing career and other adventures for U.S. government clients.
BY ROYAL COMMAND (July 2012) is my Carina debut, and my third published novel.
Website, excerpts, and other goodies: www.LauraNavarre.com
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