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The Templar's Seduction (Templar Knights) Mass Market Paperback – May 29, 2007
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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."
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Captured by a powerful English lord and sentenced to hang for murder, errant Templar Knight Sir Alexander de Ashby thinks he has little to lose until he finds he holds a friend's fate in his hands. When offered a chance to save his friend because he looks like the twin of the Scottish Earl of Marston who died while in English custody, he chooses to impersonate the man and infiltrate the Scottish stronghold, giving secret information to the English who plan to capture the castle.
Alex doesn't count on Lady Elizabeth, as smart as she is beautiful, who was the real earl's wife.She knows immediately that he is an impostor, but Alex woos her and passion convinces her she is wrong.
Alex and Elizabeth discover a love that is real, but the truth threatens everything that he wants that he never dreamed he could have. In a time, when Honor meant everything to a man yet women were considered without Honor, Alex clings to that newly-discovered ideal while Elizabeth is prepared to cast it in the very faces of those who will determine their fate.
Honor and redemption or dishonor and death?
I'll be honest. I bought this book based on the title. I'm a sucker for anything about the Knights Templar, and I don't care if it's nonfiction, historical romance, or contemporary thriller.
This was the first historical romance I've read in a long time -- other than books by friends who write historical. Back in the heyday of historical romance, I read about 3 of these babies each week, and the books were a lot bigger then than now. I cut my teeth on Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Catherine Coulter, and Jude Deveraux. After a few years of that, I guess I was burned out.
This book's title hooked me, and the story drew me in. If you love historical, get this book. You won't be disappointed.