Once Upon a Kiss

Deborah A. Cooke
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For over a thousand years—so legend has it—the brambles have grown wild over the ruins of Dunhelm Castle. Many believed that the thorns were a sign that the castle was cursed, so none dared to trespass, and the secrets that they protected and concealed have remained hidden—until now…

Armed with a pair of gardening shears, Baird Beauforte is determined to clear away the brambles that hinder the development of his resort, and he won't let local superstition deter him. Dunhelm Castle is supposed to be the latest jewel in the Beauforte Resort chain, but the renovations can't be finished if the workmen are frightened of a so-called curse. To dispel any lingering fears, Baird decides to vanquish the briars himself. What he never expects is to find a mysterious slumbering beauty…

Aurelia is like no one he has ever met before. Upon awakening, she demands to know his identity and why he is in her father's castle! Bemused by her claim of being a king's daughter, he is certain he has never met this "princess" before, although something about her rouses a haunting sense of familiarity. Soon, dreams plague this by-the-book businessman…dreams that feel more like memories. And Baird begins to wonder if he can claim his heart's princess—now and forever—with a kiss.
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About the author

Deborah Cooke sold her first book in 1992, a medieval romance called The Romance of the Rose published under her pseudonym Claire Delacroix. Since then, she has published over fifty novels in a wide variety of sub-genres, including historical romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, time-travel romance, women’s fiction, paranormal young adult and fantasy with romantic elements. She has published under the names Claire Delacroix, Claire Cross and Deborah Cooke. The Beauty, part of her successful Bride Quest series of historical romances, was her first title to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books. Her books routinely appear on other bestseller lists and have won numerous awards. In 2009, she was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library, the first time the library has hosted a residency focused on the romance genre. In 2012, she was honored to receive the Romance Writers of America’s Mentor of the Year Award.

Currently, she writes the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances and the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances under the name Deborah Cooke. She also is writing the Brides of Inverfyre series of medieval romances as Claire Delacroix, which continues the story of the family introduced in her popular title The Beauty Bride. Deborah lives in Canada with her husband and family, as well as far too many unfinished knitting projects.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Deborah A. Cooke
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Published on
Feb 12, 2013
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Pages
318
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ISBN
9781927477069
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Romance / Fantasy
Fiction / Romance / General
Fiction / Romance / Paranormal
Fiction / Romance / Time Travel
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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A company of Templar knights, chosen by the Grand Master of the Temple in Jerusalem to deliver a sealed trunk to the Temple in Paris. A group of pilgrims seeking the protection of the Templars to return home as the Muslims prepare to besiege the city. A mysterious treasure that someone will even kill to possess...

Gaston battled for duty and honor—until his new wife tempted him to fight for her love.

Gaston has had his fill of war and the Latin Kingdoms when he learns that he has inherited his father’s estate in France. He accepts one last quest for the Templars, the order he has served for fifteen years, and agrees to deliver a package to Paris on his way home. A practical man, Gaston knows he now has need of a wife and an heir, so when a lovely widowed noblewoman on pilgrimage catches his eye, he believes he can see matters solved to their mutual convenience.

But Ysmaine is more than a pilgrim enduring bad luck. She has buried two husbands in rapid succession, both of whom died on her nuptial night, and believes herself cursed. Accepting the offer of this gruff knight seems doomed to result in his demise, but Gaston is dismissive of her warnings and Ysmaine finds herself quickly wed again—this time to a man who is not only vital, but determined to remain alive.

Neither of them realize that Gaston’s errand is one of peril, for the package contains the treasure of the Templars—and some soul, either in their party or pursuing it, is intent upon claiming the prize for his or her own, regardless of the cost. In a company of strangers with secrets, do they dare to trust each other and the love that dawns between them? 

marriage of convenience, medieval romance, knight, Templar, action adventure, romantic suspense, second chance at love, widow

A group of knights with nothing to lose joined the First Crusade and rode to Outremer. Six years later, they return home in search of a future—richer and more daring than they were before. Each has a mysterious gift to open upon his homecoming, a gift that is said to have the power to make that knight’s dream come true…

Cursed to take the form of the wolf by day, Rolfe de Viandin is skeptical that love can save him. All he wants is to return home from crusade by the Yule and even the pleasures of a magical palace cannot console him…until a beautiful and bold maiden arrives at his gates, seeking sanctuary, and Rolfe’s hope is restored.

Hunted in the forest, Annelise de Sayerne has to surrender her desire to wed for love, as the price of entering the only refuge is marriage to its enigmatic lord. She fears he must be a monster, but once she experiences his kindness, Annelise resolves to find love with her new husband—if she can just claim his heart.

Even as Rolfe is beguiled by his bride and Annelise unravels his secrets, a spurned suitor pursues Annelise, determined to claim her legacy at any price. If Rolfe’s curse is not broken, how can he defend his beloved wife from the villain? Will their future be lost before it is truly won—or will Rolfe be convinced of the power of love in time?

An earlier version of this story was published under the title Enchanted.

***
Keywords:
crusades, marriage of convenience, disguise, cursed hero, shapeshifter, wolf shifter, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, medieval romance, romantic comedy, action adventure, first in series, wolf shifter, shape shifter romance

A company of Templar knights, chosen by the Grand Master of the Temple in Jerusalem to deliver a sealed trunk to the Temple in Paris. A group of pilgrims seeking the protection of the Templars to return home as the Muslims prepare to besiege the city. A mysterious treasure that someone will even kill to possess...

Gaston battled for duty and honor—until his new wife tempted him to fight for her love.

Gaston has had his fill of war and the Latin Kingdoms when he learns that he has inherited his father’s estate in France. He accepts one last quest for the Templars, the order he has served for fifteen years, and agrees to deliver a package to Paris on his way home. A practical man, Gaston knows he now has need of a wife and an heir, so when a lovely widowed noblewoman on pilgrimage catches his eye, he believes he can see matters solved to their mutual convenience.

But Ysmaine is more than a pilgrim enduring bad luck. She has buried two husbands in rapid succession, both of whom died on her nuptial night, and believes herself cursed. Accepting the offer of this gruff knight seems doomed to result in his demise, but Gaston is dismissive of her warnings and Ysmaine finds herself quickly wed again—this time to a man who is not only vital, but determined to remain alive.

Neither of them realize that Gaston’s errand is one of peril, for the package contains the treasure of the Templars—and some soul, either in their party or pursuing it, is intent upon claiming the prize for his or her own, regardless of the cost. In a company of strangers with secrets, do they dare to trust each other and the love that dawns between them? 

marriage of convenience, medieval romance, knight, Templar, action adventure, romantic suspense, second chance at love, widow

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