Beguiled

Deborah A. Cooke
Free sample

Tales of fantasy, romance and forbidden love…
Six magical short works of fantasy, romance and forbidden love from New York Times’ Bestselling Author Claire Delacroix (also writing as Deborah Cooke) gathered into a single volume for the first time. Included are An Elegy for Melusine, Amor Vincit Omnia, The Leaves, The Kiss of the Snow Queen, Coven of Mercy and The Ballad of Rosamunde.
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About the author

Bestselling and award-winning author Deborah Cooke has published over seventy novels and novellas, including historical romances, fantasy romances, fantasy novels with romantic elements, paranormal romances, contemporary romances, urban fantasy romances, time travel romances and paranormal young adult novels. She writes as herself, Deborah Cooke, as Claire Delacroix, and has written as Claire Cross. She is nationally bestselling, #1 Kindle Bestselling, KOBO Bestselling, as well as a USA Today and New York Times’ Bestselling Author. Her Claire Delacroix medieval romance, The Beauty, was her first book to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books.

Deborah was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time TPL hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and she was honored to receive the Romance Writers of America PRO Mentor of the Year Award in 2012. She lives in Canada with her family.

 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Deborah A. Cooke
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Published on
Jan 15, 2019
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9781927477427
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
Fiction / Romance / Fantasy
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Medieval
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 All three books of the Children of Avalon series in one! Follow the adventures of Scai, Dylan and Bridget straight on through to the end.

Air: Merlin’s Chalice

In one day Scai has gone from being considered unusual by the people of her little Welsh village to an outcast fleeing for her life. Left on the church steps as a baby, she knows nothing of her history—or her abilities. Did she really stop the rain just by wishing it to stop? But she is determined to learn all she can. Travelling alone to find her family seems to be the only way she’s going to find the answers she seeks.

Her journey leads her to the comical old knight Sir Dagonet, who tells her that she is one of a magical people called the Vallen. Together they continue on, joined by the handsome Dylan and the fiery Bridget on a new quest—to find the fabled Merlin’s Chalice, said to hold all the power of the entrapped wizard. Together, Scai, Dylan and Bridget discover that they are the long awaited Children of Avalon, destined to save the world from power-hungry Lady Nimuë—unless she kills them first. 

Along the way, Scai finds magic—both in the wind and air that she can control at will, and in the sweet ache of a first love that she cannot. 

Water: Excalibur’s Return

Dylan has never been good enough. Neither his foster-brother nor his father have ever thought so. But now, finally, Dylan has a chance to demonstrate what he can do in the most difficult of situations. Dylan is the only descendant of the great Merlin and a member of a magical race known as the Vallen. One of the Children of Avalon, he knows he is strong enough to defeat Lady Nimuë. But when Dylan thinks he can take her on on his own, he is quickly shown otherwise.

When not even the love of a beautiful and powerful woman is enough, what will it take for Dylan to prove that he is worthy of taking on the greatest threat Britain has ever faced?

Fire: Nimuë’s Destiny

Bridget isn’t sure she has what it takes to be a leader, but she’s about to find out. The witch hunts are getting worse by the day. But when Lady Nimuë kidnaps Bridget’s own family things get personal. Only Bridget, the brilliant Scai and powerful Dylan—the prophesied Children of Avalon—have the power to defeat Lady Nimuë. The question is, does Bridget have the strength of will to lead them through to the end?

When Scai’s childhood friend, Aron the blacksmith, joins their group, Bridget is suddenly faced with a new challenge—this one from her heart. Will her love for Aron get in the way of defeating Nimuë, or will it give her the confidence she’ll need?

The Laird of Kinfairlie has helped his sisters, each a gem in her own right, to find husbands. Now the laird himself seeks to wed, and pins his hopes on The Snow White Bride.

Lady Eleanor knows better than to dream of romance and love. Married twice to secure her father's alliances, she has learned that she is desirable only for her fortune. When the Laird of Kinfairlie's sisters ask her to wed their brother, Alexander, Eleanor agrees, expecting only to save herself from danger. But Alexander is like no man she's known before, a man more interested in courting her smile than her obedience, a man who values her counsel as much as her newly awakened passion…and a man unaware that Eleanor is the key to a fortune that could ensure the future of everything he holds dear.

Now, ruthless enemies will stop at nothing to secure Eleanor's capture. Will she dare to trust her new husband before it's too late for her, for Alexander, and for Kinfairlie?

*****

I’ve written many series set in my fictional medieval Scottish world of Ravensmuir, Kinfairlie and Inverfyre. This is the order in which the stories take place, although you can start with any series. I recommend you read each series in order.

 

There’s a tab on my website for ALL books in this world:

http://delacroix.net/ravensmuir/

 

I. The Rogues of Ravensmuir

This is the first series to take place in this world. These three books are a bit more gothic in tone and less tightly linked to each other than the books in subsequent series.

 

1. The Rogue

Merlyn and Ysabella’s story is a second chance romance with a bit of intrigue and suspense. Their relationship is a class war - he’s the laird and she’s a village girl - but there’s an immediate attraction between them. Can Merlyn trust in love at first sight? Can Ysabella trust her rogue of a husband when he returns five years after their parting to ask for her help? This is the first book featuring Ravensmuir and in it, we learn the story of its sister holding, Kinfairlie.

 

2. The Scoundrel

Can a notorious bad boy like Merlyn’s brother Gawain be redeemed by love? In this story, Gawain meets his match, the enticing Eglantine, who is not just as adept a thief as he is but is prepared to seduce him to regain the prize she desires. This is cat-and-mouse story of action, adventure and intrigue takes us from York to the highlands of Scotland, to Eglantine’s home at Inverfyre.

 

3. The Warrior

At the end of The Scoundrel, Inverfyre is lost to the notorious MacLaren clan, but years later, Eglantine and Gawain’s son Michael - the Hawk of Inverfyre - returns to reclaim his legacy. He has need of an heir so he abducts Aileen to be his bride, never guessing that these two have shared a great passion in their past lives. At Inverfyre, Aileen is plagued by visions and fears she is going mad, while the Hawk is uncertain whether his beguiling new bride can be trusted—or whether she has let the MacLarens in the gate. This medieval Scottish romance has some fantasy elements as it’s a reincarnation story.

 

II. The Jewels of Kinfairlie

At the end of The Warrior, there is a family gathering at Inverfyre. We briefly meet Merlyn and Ysabella’s son Roland, his wife Catherine, and their eight children. This series begins several years later, after Roland and Catherine’s tragic death, when their oldest son Alexander suddenly becomes laird. The treasury is empty. The harvest will be poor. Alexander needs to see his sisters married as quickly as possible, but they wish to wed for love.

 

1. The Beauty Bride

Alexander arranges an auction for the hand of his defiant sister, intending to manage the list of bidders - but a notorious mercenary, Rhys fitzHenry, pays the highest price. This arranged marriage doesn’t begin well, as Madeline is a runaway bride, but Rhys pursues her, saves her, and tries to court her. I love that Rhys tells Madeline stories to win her heart, and that she quickly figures out that each choice of story reveals one of her husband’s secrets.

 

2. The Rose Red Bride

Alexander thinks he’s learned his lesson and is thrilled when Vivienne’s former suitor, Nicholas Sinclair, wants to claim her hand. It’s a little uncommon that Nicholas wants to abduct his bride, but Alexander is sure that Vivienne will think that a romantic gesture, and when the wedding is held in the morning, all will be well. But the highlander seeking Alexander’s agreement isn’t Nicholas - it’s his brother Erik in disguise, a man who needs a wife only because he needs a son to claim his legacy. He’s not counting on Vivienne stealing his heart, too.

 

3. The Snow White Bride

It’s Christmas at Kinfairlie and a mysterious noblewoman seeks refuge in the chapel. When the sisters learn that she’s a widow in need of protection, they decide to play a trick on Alexander and arrange his marriage. Eleanor thinks husbands are all the same, so is agreeable, although she isn’t counting on Alexander’s youth, charm, and desire to claim her heart. When her past catches up to her and Kinfairlie is at risk, how much will Eleanor sacrifice to see her new husband safe? What price will Alexander pay to defend his bride?

 

4. The Ballad of Rosamunde

Rosamunde, the pirate queen and aunt of the siblings at Kinfairlie, was adopted by Gawain in The Scoundrel and trapped in the realm of the Fae in The Rose Red Bride. In this short story, a friends-to-lovers story, Padraig rescues Rosamunde, his valor making her realize that she loves him, too.

 

III. The True Love Brides

At the end of The Snow White Bride, Alexander decrees that his remaining sisters will marry for love. The portal to the realm of the Fae has been opened, though, and the Fae king Finvarra desires Elizabeth. Finvarra agrees that he will abandon his suit if four of the siblings marry their true loves, although Elizabeth knows that the portal to the Fae realm has to be closed as well.

 

1. The Renegade’s Heart

Isabella is smitten with a rogue knight, come to Kinfairlie to demand the return of his family’s stolen treasure. She takes Murdoch’s cause against that of her brother, then learns that Murdoch has been claimed by the Fae queen - who holds his heart still. Can a mortal maiden defeat an immortal queen by winning Murdoch’s love for her own?

 

2. The Highlander’s Curse

Garrett is cursed to hear the thoughts of others as clearly as his own, a spell intended to make him an outcast so his legacy could be stolen. He finds solace in the company and the touch of gentle Annelise. Can Annelise’s love heal him so he can recover his stolen legacy and give her the home - and the husband - she deserves?

 

3. The Frost Maiden’s Kiss

Malcolm returns to Ravensmuir after years as a mercenary with a hoard large enough to finance the rebuilding of his legacy and his soul due to the Fae. When pregnant Catriona arrives at Ravensmuir, Malcolm knows he can give her a future with a marriage of convenience that makes her child heir to Ravensmuir. Catriona expects nothing of men, but Malcolm’s kindness and strength earns her love - and makes her determined to save his soul, regardless of the price.

 

4. The Warrior’s Prize

The mercenary Rafael thinks his companion’s sister, Elizabeth, could be an angel come to earth, and one who will hold him accountable for his sins. Challenged by her and enticed by her, Rafael offers himself instead of his comrade Malcolm and begins to change his life with his choices. Can he save Elizabeth from Finvarra? He’s determined to try, no matter what the risk to himself - and Elizabeth cannot resist a man who chooses nobly, just for her.

 

IV. The Brides of Inverfyre

There is one sibling left unmarried (Ross) and we follow him to Inverfyre, where the children of the Hawk and Aileen also need to be married.

 

1. The Mercenary’s Bride

This Scottish medieval romance is a Christmas novella, the story of a knight returning to Inverfyre to keep his promise to the laird’s daughter. Having been attacked and left for dead, Quentin is no longer the man he was and he blames the Hawk for the change in his fortunes. But his bitterness melts before the admiration of Mhairi, for the maiden he admired has become a beauty he would die to serve.

 

2. The Runaway Bride

Even though Aiofe is a beauty and an heiress, she wants to marry for love. Her marriage is arranged to the oldest son of the Hawk of Inverfyre, but she chooses to flee instead, hoping that his cousin, Ross, will be sent after her. Aiofe intends to claim Ross’s heart, no matter the price, for she knows with one glimpse that he’s the man for her. Ross is caught between his duty and his heart - and the wicked MacLarens who would use Aiofe as a pawn in their own plan to possess Inverfyre.

 

There will be more stories in this series, too.

 

There are Family Trees for Inverfyre, Ravensmuir and Kinfairlie available as free downloads in my online store. The links are on my website, right here:

http://delacroix.net/ravensmuir/family-trees/

*****

  medieval romance, Scottish romance, historical romance, widow, arranged marriage, marriage of convenience, romantic suspense, secrets, hidden identity, heiress, Christmas romance

Four magical medieval romances from the “Queen of Medieval Romance”, Claire Delacroix. Meet the siblings in the mischievous and loving family at Kinfairlie and follow their adventures in pursuit of true love.

In The Beauty Bride, Madeline is appalled by her older brother’s determination to see her wed against her will. When he auctions her hand to an outlawed mercenary, she flees them both, certain that her fate cannot be worse. But Rhys FitzHenry is not a man to abandon what he holds dear, and Madeline’s proud beauty has captured his heart. Can a rough knight enchant her with stories and convince her to be his wife in truth, or will his enemies have their vengeance first?

In The Rose Red Bride, Vivienne is convinced that only destiny could bring such a wondrous secret lover to her chamber, but with morning’s light, her lover abducts her. Erik knows that justice can only be gained from the Lammergeier with force, especially as the fate of his young daughters hangs in the balance. Can Vivienne help this wounded highlander to regain his legacy, and win his heart for her own?

In The Snow White Bride, Eleanor seeks sanctuary at Kinfairlie on Christmas Eve. The Laird of Kinfairlie’s sisters decide that the beautiful widow will be the perfect match for their brother. Alexander’s heart is quickly lost, but as Eleanor’s secrets are revealed, he fears he has trusted too much too soon. Will Eleanor’s past jeopardize the future of this knight who has claimed her heart, or can she save him from the peril that follows her?

This digital boxed set includes all three medieval romances in the Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy – The Beauty Bride, The Rose Red Bride, The Snow White Bride – as well as the linked short story, The Ballad of Rosamunde.

*****

I’ve written many series set in my fictional medieval Scottish world of Ravensmuir, Kinfairlie and Inverfyre. This is the order in which the stories take place, although you can start with any series. I recommend you read each series in order.

 

There’s a tab on my website for ALL books in this world:

http://delacroix.net/ravensmuir/

 

I. The Rogues of Ravensmuir

This is the first series to take place in this world. These three books are a bit more gothic in tone and less tightly linked to each other than the books in subsequent series.

 

1. The Rogue

Merlyn and Ysabella’s story is a second chance romance with a bit of intrigue and suspense. Their relationship is a class war - he’s the laird and she’s a village girl - but there’s an immediate attraction between them. Can Merlyn trust in love at first sight? Can Ysabella trust her rogue of a husband when he returns five years after their parting to ask for her help? This is the first book featuring Ravensmuir and in it, we learn the story of its sister holding, Kinfairlie.

 

2. The Scoundrel

Can a notorious bad boy like Merlyn’s brother Gawain be redeemed by love? In this story, Gawain meets his match, the enticing Eglantine, who is not just as adept a thief as he is but is prepared to seduce him to regain the prize she desires. This is cat-and-mouse story of action, adventure and intrigue takes us from York to the highlands of Scotland, to Eglantine’s home at Inverfyre.

 

3. The Warrior

At the end of The Scoundrel, Inverfyre is lost to the notorious MacLaren clan, but years later, Eglantine and Gawain’s son Michael - the Hawk of Inverfyre - returns to reclaim his legacy. He has need of an heir so he abducts Aileen to be his bride, never guessing that these two have shared a great passion in their past lives. At Inverfyre, Aileen is plagued by visions and fears she is going mad, while the Hawk is uncertain whether his beguiling new bride can be trusted—or whether she has let the MacLarens in the gate. This medieval Scottish romance has some fantasy elements as it’s a reincarnation story.

 

II. The Jewels of Kinfairlie

At the end of The Warrior, there is a family gathering at Inverfyre. We briefly meet Merlyn and Ysabella’s son Roland, his wife Catherine, and their eight children. This series begins several years later, after Roland and Catherine’s tragic death, when their oldest son Alexander suddenly becomes laird. The treasury is empty. The harvest will be poor. Alexander needs to see his sisters married as quickly as possible, but they wish to wed for love.

 

1. The Beauty Bride

Alexander arranges an auction for the hand of his defiant sister, intending to manage the list of bidders - but a notorious mercenary, Rhys fitzHenry, pays the highest price. This arranged marriage doesn’t begin well, as Madeline is a runaway bride, but Rhys pursues her, saves her, and tries to court her. I love that Rhys tells Madeline stories to win her heart, and that she quickly figures out that each choice of story reveals one of her husband’s secrets.

 

2. The Rose Red Bride

Alexander thinks he’s learned his lesson and is thrilled when Vivienne’s former suitor, Nicholas Sinclair, wants to claim her hand. It’s a little uncommon that Nicholas wants to abduct his bride, but Alexander is sure that Vivienne will think that a romantic gesture, and when the wedding is held in the morning, all will be well. But the highlander seeking Alexander’s agreement isn’t Nicholas - it’s his brother Erik in disguise, a man who needs a wife only because he needs a son to claim his legacy. He’s not counting on Vivienne stealing his heart, too.

 

3. The Snow White Bride

It’s Christmas at Kinfairlie and a mysterious noblewoman seeks refuge in the chapel. When the sisters learn that she’s a widow in need of protection, they decide to play a trick on Alexander and arrange his marriage. Eleanor thinks husbands are all the same, so is agreeable, although she isn’t counting on Alexander’s youth, charm, and desire to claim her heart. When her past catches up to her and Kinfairlie is at risk, how much will Eleanor sacrifice to see her new husband safe? What price will Alexander pay to defend his bride?

 

4. The Ballad of Rosamunde

Rosamunde, the pirate queen and aunt of the siblings at Kinfairlie, was adopted by Gawain in The Scoundrel and trapped in the realm of the Fae in The Rose Red Bride. In this short story, a friends-to-lovers story, Padraig rescues Rosamunde, his valor making her realize that she loves him, too.

 

III. The True Love Brides

At the end of The Snow White Bride, Alexander decrees that his remaining sisters will marry for love. The portal to the realm of the Fae has been opened, though, and the Fae king Finvarra desires Elizabeth. Finvarra agrees that he will abandon his suit if four of the siblings marry their true loves, although Elizabeth knows that the portal to the Fae realm has to be closed as well.

 

1. The Renegade’s Heart

Isabella is smitten with a rogue knight, come to Kinfairlie to demand the return of his family’s stolen treasure. She takes Murdoch’s cause against that of her brother, then learns that Murdoch has been claimed by the Fae queen - who holds his heart still. Can a mortal maiden defeat an immortal queen by winning Murdoch’s love for her own?

 

2. The Highlander’s Curse

Garrett is cursed to hear the thoughts of others as clearly as his own, a spell intended to make him an outcast so his legacy could be stolen. He finds solace in the company and the touch of gentle Annelise. Can Annelise’s love heal him so he can recover his stolen legacy and give her the home - and the husband - she deserves?

 

3. The Frost Maiden’s Kiss

Malcolm returns to Ravensmuir after years as a mercenary with a hoard large enough to finance the rebuilding of his legacy and his soul due to the Fae. When pregnant Catriona arrives at Ravensmuir, Malcolm knows he can give her a future with a marriage of convenience that makes her child heir to Ravensmuir. Catriona expects nothing of men, but Malcolm’s kindness and strength earns her love - and makes her determined to save his soul, regardless of the price.

 

4. The Warrior’s Prize

The mercenary Rafael thinks his companion’s sister, Elizabeth, could be an angel come to earth, and one who will hold him accountable for his sins. Challenged by her and enticed by her, Rafael offers himself instead of his comrade Malcolm and begins to change his life with his choices. Can he save Elizabeth from Finvarra? He’s determined to try, no matter what the risk to himself - and Elizabeth cannot resist a man who chooses nobly, just for her.

 

IV. The Brides of Inverfyre

There is one sibling left unmarried (Ross) and we follow him to Inverfyre, where the children of the Hawk and Aileen also need to be married.

 

1. The Mercenary’s Bride

This Scottish medieval romance is a Christmas novella, the story of a knight returning to Inverfyre to keep his promise to the laird’s daughter. Having been attacked and left for dead, Quentin is no longer the man he was and he blames the Hawk for the change in his fortunes. But his bitterness melts before the admiration of Mhairi, for the maiden he admired has become a beauty he would die to serve.

 

2. The Runaway Bride

Even though Aiofe is a beauty and an heiress, she wants to marry for love. Her marriage is arranged to the oldest son of the Hawk of Inverfyre, but she chooses to flee instead, hoping that his cousin, Ross, will be sent after her. Aiofe intends to claim Ross’s heart, no matter the price, for she knows with one glimpse that he’s the man for her. Ross is caught between his duty and his heart - and the wicked MacLarens who would use Aiofe as a pawn in their own plan to possess Inverfyre.

 

There will be more stories in this series, too.

 

There are Family Trees for Inverfyre, Ravensmuir and Kinfairlie available as free downloads in my online store. The links are on my website, right here:

http://delacroix.net/ravensmuir/family-trees/

*****
scottish romance, medieval romance, historical romance, highlander, runaway bride, arranged marriage, marriage of convenience, abduction, widow, hidden heir, suspense, intrigue, Christmas, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, Fae, fairy tales, beauty and the beast, outlaw 

 

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