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England, 1501 ~ The romance of Lady Melisande Dupree and Sir Devin Blackburn.
With her time of mourning long since past, Lady Melisande Dupree remains quite happily ensconced in her stronghold, away from the outside world. Owing to the many narratives of battles and bloodshed by her deceased husband, she has an abhorrence for violence in any form. When she receives a request to share her talents of voice and instrument with friends of the late Sir Marcus, she accepts without considering what may come—and now it is time to pay the price.
Sir Devin Blackburn is cherished as a member of the Bergavny family. At the opening of the games he first sees the golden-haired lady-bard, and is simply enchanted. However, he recognizes her alarm during the mock skirmishes, and it is clear to Devin that if he wants to win her, he will have to proceed with caution about his knighthood. Finally, moments after he tenderly introduces her to his profession, he gets word that his ally’s holdings are being invaded by loyal Yorkist enthusiasts.
Ashamed of herself for the wanton way in which she behaved with the knight, Melisande accepts an extended summons through the Bergavnys from King Henry VII.
Corin Sinclair is nephew to the Queen and is a consummate seducer. He works his magic on Melisande, all the while knowing that if he wins her, he wins castle Dupree as well, bringing him one step closer to the throne.
An early inspiration for Joust:
Joust of Hearts is a story I wrote having cut my teeth on the great historical romances I read in the early 90’s from such wonderful authors as Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsay and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.
Lady Melisande Dupree stands out from my other heroines for the above and two other reasons. Her flaxen hair (due to her heritage) and the fact that women in her time period (at least in England) weren’t considered much of anything unless they were married. Therefore, she is a true damsel in distress.
I hope you enjoy Joust