From Publishers Weekly
For the final volume of her Templar trilogy (after Sinful Pleasures
), McCall trots out an unlikely hero: the valor-deficient Sir Alexander de Ashby, a disgraced Templar Knight sentenced to death for trying to sell Templar treasure. Though he's "rarely capable of living up to his word," Alex is offered a chance at freedom if he agrees to impersonate the earl of Marston, a Scottish laird who recently died in prison, and who bore an uncanny resemblance to Alex. His mission is to infiltrate a border castle as a spy for the English. After intense coaching, Alex is ready to assume his role—but will his act convince the earl's fiery wife, Lady Elizabeth? Immediately smitten, Alex's passionate lovemaking and subsequent guilt almost give him away. As his love deepens, he comes to realize how his imminent betrayal and abandonment will hurt Elizabeth, but he also knows that his best friend John, still held by the English, will be killed if his mission is compromised. As Alex discovers his hidden heroism, he begins to form a plan that will protect Elizabeth and restore his reputation among the Templar. McCall's unconventional but engaging hero, strong heroine and fresh plot twists make this another winning historical. (June)
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From the Inside Flap
"I want to clarify. Until I tell you I wish it, we will not...that is, we won't actually--"
"Consummate our reunion?" He relished the abashed expression his bluntness called forth on her beautiful face, finding some kind of perverse pleasure in being outspoken about the act he wanted to enjoy with her desperately right now, but that he had decided to resist for both their sakes. By all the saints in heaven, he must be mad.
But then she surprised him again by echoing, "Aye. Consummate our reunion." She lifted her brow, her hesitancy seeming to dissipate in favor of that other, more defiant air of hers. That almost insolent look that bade him `come hither' like nothing else he'd ever known. "You give your oath that you will wait and not attempt to resume our relations fully, no matter how great the temptation, until I bid you take the liberty?"
He felt the right corner of his mouth quirk as it always did when he was thrown a challenge, even as the blood began to beat hotter in his veins. "Aye, lady; that is my offer and my oath. But I think it only fair to warn you about something."
"What is it?"
"You will have one week of grace--but after that it is not I who will have the most difficult part of this bargain."