JUDE DEVERAUX VELVET PROMISE PDF

At the flower-bedecked altar, the first touch of their hands ignited an all-consuming passion. Gavin Montgomery looked deep into her golden eyes and burned with desire for her Humiliated and alone in a strange castle, Judith resolved to hate this husband who took her body, but rejected her love But destiny held another fate for Judith

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By Jude Deveraux. All of England rejoiced on her wedding day. But Judith vowed that her husband would get only what he took from her! At the flower-bedecked altar, the first touch of their hands ignited an all-consuming passion.

Gavin Montgomery looked deep into her golden eyes and burned with desire for her … but his heart had been pledged to another. Humiliated and alone in a strange castle, Judith resolved to hate this husband who took her body, but rejected her love … never admitting her fear of losing him.

But destiny held another fate for Judith … a fate that would keep at last … The Velvet Promise. Her mother, Helen, was beside her.

His eyes were red with deep circles beneath them. She knew his ravaged face was due to his grief at the loss of his beloved sons; two ignorant, cruel men who were exact replicas of their father.

Judith studied Robert Revedoune with a vague sense of curiosity. He had no use for women since his first wife died and his second, a frightened woman, had merely given him a girl. What do you want? Judith asked calmly. Robert looked at his daughter as if seeing her for the first time.

Actually, the girl had been kept hidden most of her life, buried with her mother in their own apartments amid their books and ledgers. He noticed with satisfaction that she looked like Helen had at that age. Judith had those odd golden eyes that some men raved about, but which he found unsettling.

Her hair was a rich auburn. Her forehead broad and strong, as was her chin, her nose straight, her mouth generous. Yes, she would do, he thought. He could use her beauty to his advantage. You will marry and give me grandsons. Judith stared at him in shock. All her life she had been trained by Helen for life in a nunnery. Not a pious education of prayers and chanting, but one of high practicality, leading to the only career open to a noblewoman. She could become a prioress before she turned thirty.

A prioress was as different from the average woman as a king from a serf. A prioress ruled lands, estates, villages, knights; she bought and sold according to her own judgment; she was sought by men and women alike for her wisdom. A prioress ruled and was ruled by no one. Judith could keep books for a large estate, could make fair judgments in disputes, and knew how much wheat to grow to feed how many people. She could read and write, manage a reception for a king, run a hospital; everything she would need to know had been taught her.

I will not. For a moment, Robert Revedoune was bewildered. No female had ever defied him with such a firm look before. When he recovered from his shock, he hit Judith, knocking her halfway across the little room. Even as she lay there, a trickle of blood running from the corner of her mouth, she stared up at him with absolutely no fear in her eyes, merely disgust and a touch of hatred. His breath caught for a moment at what he saw. In a way, the girl almost frightened him.

Helen was over her daughter in minutes and, as she crouched there, she drew her eating dagger from her side. His wife was a woman he could understand. For all her outward look of an angry animal, he saw weakness deep in her eyes. In seconds he grabbed her arm, the knife flying across the room. Robert looked back at his daughter where she still lay, not yet able to comprehend his brutality. Now what is your answer, girl? Do you marry or not? The tower had been built two hundred years before this wet April night in Now was a time of peace, a time when stone fortresses were no longer needed; but this was not the home of an industrious man.

His great-grandfather had lived in the tower when such fortifications were needed, and Nicolas Valence thought, if he sobered long enough to think, that the tower was good enough for him and future generations. A massive gatehouse looked over the disintegrating walls and the old tower. Here one lone guard slept, his arm curled around a half-empty skin of wine.

Inside the tower, the ground floor was littered with sleeping dogs and knights. Their armor was piled against the walls in a jumbled, rusty heap, tangled with the dirty rushes that covered the oak plank floor. This was the Valence estate; a poor, disreputable, old-fashioned castle that was the butt of jokes throughout England. It was said that if the fortifications were as strong as the wine, Nicolas Valence could hold off all of England.

But no one attacked. There was no reason to attack. All that remained was the ancient tower, which everyone agreed should have been torn down, and a few outlying farms that supported the Valence family. There was a light in the window of the top floor. Inside, the room was cold and damp—a dampness that never left the walls even in the driest summer weather. Moss grew between the cracks of the stone, and little crawling things constantly scurried across the floor. But in this room, all the wealth of the castle sat before a mirror.

Alice Valence leaned toward the mirror and applied a darkener to her short, pale lashes. The cosmetic was imported from France. Alice leaned back and studied herself critically. She was objective about her looks and knew what she had and how to use it to its best advantage. She saw a small oval face with delicate features, a little rosebud mouth, a slim, straight nose.

Her long almond eyes of a brilliant blue were her best feature. Her hair was blonde, which she constantly rinsed in lemon juice and vinegar. The hood was of a heavy brocade, trimmed in a wide cuff of orange velvet.

Alice opened her little mouth to once again look at her teeth. They were her worst feature, crooked and a bit protruding. Over the years she had learned to keep them hidden, to smile with her lips closed, to speak softly, her head slightly lowered.

This mannerism was an advantage, for it intrigued men. It gave them the idea that she did not know how beautiful she was.

They imagined awakening this shy flower to all the delights of the world. Alice stood and smoothed her gown over her slim body. There were few curves to it. Her small breasts rested on a straight frame with no hips, no indentation to her waist. She liked her body. Her clothes were lush, seeming out of place in the dingy room. Close to her body she wore a linen chemise, so fine it was almost gauze. Over this was a luscious gown of the same heavy brocade as the hood.

It had a deep, square neck, the bodice fitting very tightly to her thin frame. The skirt was a gentle, graceful bell. The blue brocade was trimmed with white rabbit fur; a deep border along the hem, and wide cuffs around the hanging sleeves.

About her waist was a belt of blue leather set with large garnets, emeralds and rubies. To marry another? Alice asked as she fastened the heavy cloak about her shoulders. She turned to gaze at herself, pleased with the result. The orange and blue was striking. She would not go unnoticed in such an outfit. And what has my marriage to do with what I do now? Alice gave a short laugh as she adjusted the folds of the heavy mantle.

Do you want me to ride out to meet my intended? Dear Edmund? Before Ela could reply she continued. I know the way and, for what Gavin and I do, we need no one else. Ela had been with Alice for too long to be shocked.

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Velvet Promise

By Jude Deveraux. All of England rejoiced on her wedding day. But Judith vowed that her husband would get only what he took from her! At the flower-bedecked altar, the first touch of their hands ignited an all-consuming passion.

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The Velvet Promise

All of England rejoiced on her wedding day. But Judith vowed that her husband would get only what he took from her! At the flower-bedecked altar, the first touch of their hands ignited an all-consuming passion. Gavin Montgomery looked deep into her golden eyes and burned with desire for her Humiliated and alone in a strange castle, Judith resolved to hate this husband who took her body, but rejected her love

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