A Summer Siege
by Samantha Holt
Historical Romance (Action)
Published on July 1, 2012
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 48,000
Tristan is thrilled when the girl that he has loved, and missed, for five years returns to him, but the time apart has changed Madeline and she feels herself incapable of depending upon another. Can Tristan convince her otherwise?
As the French close in upon them, Madeline has to summon the courage to fight for her home, her country and for a love lost. Will she succeed or will their love and lives become another casualty of the rebellion?
Tristan thrust a hand into Madeline’s hair and pressed a determined kiss to her mouth. Seizing her helm, he rammed it onto her head.
“Stay safe, wife.”
“And you, husband.” She grinned at her words, partly from joy and partly to cover the trepidation that descended upon her as she was greeted by the sights and sounds of impending battle.
A soldier handed him his shield and, with a last anxious look at her, he nodded and threaded his way through the men steadily filling the space behind the wall.
Making her way to the wall, she noted the smoke thickening. The hiss of arrows startled her as they emerged from the fiery grey cloud and she ducked instinctively as they rained over the wall and into the bailey. Screams sounded out as the arrows hit home but most of the soldiers were ready with their shields above their heads, more used to the noises of war than she. Madeline desperately searched out Tristan and was relieved to see him unharmed.
Stones arced over the wall, landing with a smash and kicking up debris. Leaning over the battlements, she could see the French assembling, awaiting the moment they could storm the inevitable breach. To her eyes, it seemed as though there were enemy soldiers as far as the eye could see and she wondered how on Earth they could hold the keep against such odds.
Taking her cue from the crossbowmen either side of her, she began to fire into the mob. Aware she had a limited number of arrows; she took her time lining up each shot. The crossbows were deadly and accurate but their reload time was slow while she could be quick if needs be. However, while they had a stockpile of bolts, she had only what she could carry.
She successfully felled many a foe, the sharp tips of her arrows embedding themselves into necks and chests, and managed to avoid being struck herself. Most returning arrows went wide, plunging down into the bailey. A rock smashed into the wall, not two paces from her, and it skimmed across the top, taking a crossbowmen and a chunk of wall with it, coating her in dust.
As she coughed and rubbed at her grit filled eyes, she became aware of a shudder beneath her feet. The trembling increased and, glancing wildly around, she noticed a fissure forming in the eastern tower of the gate. With a sudden rumble the base of the tower fell away and the entire thing crumbled before Madeline’s disbelieving eyes. The tower disintegrated, taking men with it and crushing anyone unfortunate enough to be close by. A huge cloud of powdered stone kicked up, obscuring the vision of the waiting armies and covering everyone in a cloying film of dirt.
About the Author:
Samantha Holt resides in Warwickshire, England, with her twin girls, having followed her soldier husband around the UK for nearly 10 years. Growing up in Hampshire, she was inspired by the authors Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell, both of which lived and wrote only miles from her home town.
Samantha loves the romance genre and has been devouring romantic literature for as long as she can remember. History is another passion of hers and she loves to combine her love for history and romance in exciting and passionate tales.
Her books include the bestselling novel, The Crimson Castle and The Angel’s Assassin.
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Note from Victoria:
I love historical romances though I cannot write them to save my life. I do know my French Canadian heritage and why we left Normandy though back in 1607. And what’s cool about the French side is you can track even further back because they kept records of it. So I would read this one, for history and a sense of adventure. And I will also add, I love good youtube commercials for books. Good ones make me want to read, and that trailer was something that I didn’t roll my eyes at. Great choice!