Heart of Vengeance
(Book Five of the "Jewels of the Morrow" series)
Early Medieval -- Late 12th Century, during the reign of Richard the Lionhearted.
Stephen was once King Richard's greatest friend and companion on the Third Crusade, but he is in disgrace now. Shunned by the barons as a political hot potato, he lives out his empty days in England while Richard fights Philip, the King of France, in Normandy. Then Stephen meets the woman who goes by the name of Isobel, daughter of a Britanny count, yet speaks perfect English, steals food for servants and serfs, and knows how to live off the bounty of the great forests of England -- a woman whose strange blue eyes betray that she cannot be the Norman noblewoman she pretends to be. Helena, who Stephen renames Ellen ("'elena") in the Norman fashion, brings passion and desperate purpose to Stephen's life, and their relationship leads Helena, Stephen, the King, and England itself, to the brink of a war with France that none of them will survive if Stephen and Helena fail to prevent it.
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