Seven years later, Gemma still harbors a broken heart, and retreats into a life in which she will not be foolish enough to fall in love again. Mysterious deaths and accidents begin to plague those living within the walls of Blackstone Castle, and her father falls ill. She has no choice but to seek the assistance of King Henry.
Help arrives in the form of her childhood love, the handsome and imposing Nicholas, who is now a fierce and loyal knight bent on revenge. The pain and anguish he feels over the fate of his family casts Gemma as his enemy. To him, she represents all the misfortune in his life as he tries to keep her at arm’s length and far away from his heart.
Their journey towards truth is riddled with treachery and danger from an unlikely source. Will they find their way back to each other, or will his need for revenge outweigh the love he feels in her arms?
"I see you have charmed my sister," Gemma said.
"Would you rather I abuse her and make her scared of me?" he asked.
"Of course not."
"Then thank goodness for small favors and quit trying to make me out to be the enemy here. I am here to protect everyone, and you would do well to remember that," he snapped as he took a sip of his wine and slammed his goblet down on the table before him.
She squirmed in her seat. "I was worried you would be cruel to all. You have been so angry since you arrived."
"My anger is toward you, Gemma, as you had a hand in what happened to my parents. I was never good enough for your family. Someone must pay for what happened, but until I know who that person is, I will not alienate those who would serve me."
Anger rose and then ebbed quickly as she tried to contain herself. She tried desperately to be thankful for what he had just said, even though he had implied she herself might suffer. So be it. He was deluded about the past, and she would show him the truth no matter how long it took or what she had to do.
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