A Memory of Love by Bertrice SmallA Memory of Love by Bertrice Small

A Memory of Love

byBertrice Small

Mass Market Paperback | November 26, 2002

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A tale of stunning passion, reckless danger, and the fierce will of a remarkable woman who can wield a sword as powerfully as any man–and who dares to fight for her most uninhibited desires. . . .

Spirited, iron-willed Rhonwyn is the bastard child of the Prince of Wales, raised more boy than girl, able to ride and fight with the best. Against her wishes, she is married off to an English lord, Edward de Beaumont, who is stunned to discover that his lovely gilt-haired bride is a fiery wildcat with a mind of her own. Slowly, he wins her trust and her heart, and she accompanies him on the Crusades to North Africa. But when Edward falls ill, Rhonwyn boldly leads his troops, only to become a captive of the sensual Emir of Cinnebar, a man who will teach her the ways of erotic love–passions that will be put to the test when she returns to England to battle once more . . . this time for the man who rules her heart.
Bertrice Small lives on the North Fork of the eastern end of Long Island, where she writes her novels in a light-filled studio surrounded by her cover paintings and many mementos of the romance genre. Married for more than three decades to her husband, George, she is the mother of Thomas, mother-in-law of Megan, and grandmother of Chan...
Title:A Memory of LoveFormat:Mass Market PaperbackPublished:November 26, 2002Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345435184

ISBN - 13:9780345435187


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The late spring rain was heavy and chill. Some of it was seeping throughthe roof where the thatch was worn. The fire had gone out the day before,and the two children did not know how to restart it. They huddled togetherto keep warm. Their mother's body lay on the bed amid a pool of blood thatwas now congealed and blackening. The stench in the cottage had alreadynumbed their nostrils, even as the cold had numbed their fingers and toes.The wind suddenly howled in mournful fashion, and the smaller of the twochildren whimpered, pressing himself closer to his elder sister.Rhonwyn uerch Llywelyn focused her brain again as she had these past twodays. How was she to save Glynn and herself from certain death? Their mamawas dead, birthing the prince's latest child. Their cottage was isolatedfrom any village, for decent women would not tolerate the prince's whoreand his bastards. The old crone who had helped Vala in her two previousbirths had not been there this time, because this time the child had cometoo soon. Much too soon.They needed to be warm, Rhonwyn thought sleepily. How did one start afire? If only it would cease raining. Perhaps they could walk and findanother cottage or village--but whatever a village was for she didn'treally know, having never left the hill on which she had lived her wholefive years. Rhonwyn hugged her three-year-old brother tighter against herwhen he whimpered again."Hungry," he complained to her."There is nothing left, Glynn," she repeated for the tenth time. "When therain stops we will go and find food. If we leave the cottage now, we willsurely die." They were apt to die in any event, Rhonwyn thought irritably.If she could only start a fire to warm them, the gnawing in their belliesmight not seem so fierce. She hadn't meant for the fire to go out, butwhen her mam began screaming with her pain, Rhonwyn had taken her brotherfrom their cottage so he would not be frightened. They had gone out on thehillside to pick flowers for the new baby. But when they had returnedtheir mother was dead, and the fire was out. Not even a lingering coalremained that Rhonwyn might coax into a warm flame as she had often seenher mother do. Then the rain had begun. It had rained all night and into this day, which was al-most over.Suddenly Rhonwyn's ears pricked up at the sound of dogs baying in thedistance. The noise grew closer and closer until it was directly outside.The door to the cottage was slammed open, and Llywelyn ap Gruffydd wasoutlined in the fading light of day. He stepped quickly inside, his eyessweeping about the room. Seeing his children huddled together on theirpallet, he asked them, "What has happened here?""Mam's dead," Rhonwyn answered her father. "The new baby came too soon.""Why wasn't the midwife here?" he demanded."Who was to send for her? And where is she? Mam was screaming andscreaming. I took Glynn and went outside. When we returned Mam was dead.There was no fire. No food. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whereto go, or I would have gone. Our mam is dead, and you and your ruttinghave killed her! She would not have died but that you put another baby inher belly."Startled at the venom in the child's voice, he looked down at her, seeinghis daughter for the first time. It was like looking into a glass but forher coloring, which was Vala's. She didn't like him, he knew. Her greeneyes glared angrily into his. He would have laughed but for theseriousness of the situation. Rhonwyn was certainly his get and every bitas intense with her anger as he was."I'll make a fire," he replied. "Go outside and look in my saddlebag.There is food in it. Do not mind the dogs." He turned away from her andbegan to prepare a new fire. Seeing his small son staring at him, halffearful, half curious, he said, "Come here, lad, and I will show you howto make a fire so you will never be cold again."The little boy crept from the pallet and came to stand by his father,watching fascinated as ap Gruffydd gathered a bit of kindling together anddrew a flint from his purse. Using the blade of his knife, the princestroked the flint until it sparked, and the kindling caught light. Glynn'seyes were wide with amazement, and the prince smiled, reaching out toruffle the boy's dark hair. Ap Gruffydd added wood to the fire until itwas blazing merrily, and the chill began to dissipate.The man stood and handed the flint to his son. " 'Tis yours, Glynn apLlywelyn. Now you know how to make a fire, but only in the fireplace fornow, eh, lad?""Aye, Tad" came the reply, and the prince smiled again. It was the firsttime the child had called him father."So, you know I am your sire," he said."Mam said," the child answered simply."She did not lie, God assoil her sweet soul." Now the prince's attentionwas drawn back to his dead lover. She must be buried, although no priestwould say the proper words over her. It didn't matter. God would have Valauerch Huw because she was a good woman. He would not condemn her to afiery hell because she had been Llywelyn ap Gruffydd's leman. He wishednow he had married her, even though she had had neither wealth norpowerful family ties to recommend her. At least his children would havebeen legitimate. Well, he would formally acknowledge them. That wouldplease Vala. He should begin to consider marriage, he thought. He was wellpast thirty and had nought but his two wee bastards to carry on his name.Rhonwyn had reentered the cottage. She took bread and cheese, making smallpieces for her little brother. Seeing the flint, she said, "What's that?"She picked it up and rolled the quartz in her hand gently."Give it back!" Glynn shouted at her. "Our tad gave it to me. It makesfire."Rhonwyn shrugged and handed him back his prize."Was the baby born?" ap Gruffydd asked his daughter.She shrugged. "I don't know," she replied, shoving bread and cheese intoher mouth. "I didn't look."He nodded, understanding. He would have to look. "Has the rain stoppedyet, Rhonwyn?""Aye.""I'll go and dig a grave for yer mam," he said."Put it where she can see the sunset," the little girl said. "Mam alwaysliked to watch the sunset."He nodded and went outside. Taking the shovel from the side of the cottagenearest Vala's garden, he sought for a westerly direction. The storm hadgone, and the skies were clearing now. Finding the right spot, he began todig. What was he to do with his children? he considered as he worked.While there was a truce between him and the English for now, there wasstill no place he really called home. Besides, it would be far better ifas few people as possible knew of these two little ones. Even bastards hadtheir relevance. They could be exploited by his enemies or used to cementtreaties. Particularly as he had no other children. He had been faithfulto Vala, for he had little time for his own amusement. Besides, there hadnever been a woman who pleased him like this descendant of the Fair Folkhad.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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