Sunday, November 4, 2012

And to wrap up...introducing Hugh from The Princes Knighted

And now we've made it to Hugh, the hero of The Princes Knighted, the third book in Robin Danner's new Princes series. Hugh first appears as a young recruit in book one. Now he is all grown up and has become a knight for the kingdom of Noventia.

Hugh is quite easily my favorite character of any I've written so far. He is a strong fighter, but possesses a sweet nature that makes Sara, the sister of the Noventian princess, fall in love with him. The daughter of a cruel man, Sara has been fiercely protected by her older sister, Rowena. When Sara arrives at Noventia, she is quickly befriended by Hugh, who - as a recruit - is assigned as one of her guards. Their story picks up three years after The Princes Determined (book 2).

Now here's a little more about The Princes Knighted, coming Jan 7, 2013 to www.lsbooks.com.


Sir Hugh d’Arcy returns from the battlefield to escort Sara, the princess of Noventia’s sister, to wed another. The mission is his duty, and his personal agony. Sara has never forgotten her love for the boy Hugh once was. When captured, a shocking revelation brings their love to life again.
 
Excerpt from The Princes Knighted by Robin Danner:
 
Once again, Sara cursed her luck. Why, of all the knights and soldiers in the kingdom, did the prince choose Hugh to be her escort?
It was true they had been friends, but she had longed for so much more. He’d gone off to fight the rebels before she’d had a chance to tell him how she felt. Days passed, then weeks, and finally years without a word from him. She’d put Hugh’s memory aside and moved on. Now he was back, just as handsome as ever, but only to accompany her to the home of her betrothed. She wanted to scream in frustration.
Since Rowena had gone to nap, and she would be on her own for a few hours, Sara gathered her sewing and headed to the gardens. It was lovely weather, and the light was perfect in the late afternoon. Bees buzzed, and birds chirped, forming a cacophony of sound both familiar and comforting.
She chose her usual spot near the rose bushes and set to work. Sara threaded her needle with red string and formed the outline of a perfect rose on the hem of a christening gown. She could not be sure, but she suspected Rowena carried a girl. The gown would be Sara’s gift to her.
Sara blinked to clear her eyes of sudden moisture. She would miss N’ior when she left. She had only been here for three years, but it had been a wonderful home. Her life at Bevelaire had been cloaked in misery. Her father had not been a nice man, and she and Rowena were glad to be rid of him.
A shadow fell across her, and she looked up, right into the face of Hugh. He smiled, but she detected no trace of the easy amusement that used to light up his eyes.
She put down the needle and folded her hands in her lap. “Hello, Hugh.”
Rowena was right. There was something different about Hugh. Three years ago, he had been a cheerful, friendly lad. Now shadows lurked in his eyes, and he carried with him the sense of danger.
What happened to make him this way? What had he seen in battle to chase away the boy she’d loved so desperately?
She ached to touch him, to stroke his cheek and offer to ease his pain. But she didn’t. She couldn’t. She belonged to another.
“Sara.”
It was there in the one word Hugh spoke, a familiar lilt as he pronounced her name. He stood in front of her, holding himself stiffly as if he were unsure of her welcome.
She slid over on the bench and patted the stone surface. “Please sit.” He was so tall it hurt Sara’s neck to look up at him.
Hugh hesitated, but he then sat. He was also much larger than he had been before. There was barely enough room on the bench for the both of them. So many times they had sat in this exact spot, yet he seemed foreign to her now. The man at her side was so different from the Hugh of her memories.
He stared straight ahead, and she stole the opportunity to look at him, to really look. His hair was the same, still the glossy golden brown curls that had a tendency to fall across his brow. Dark brows slashed over equally dark eyes. His mouth held her attention the longest. How could it look so stern, yet appear so soft?
“I missed you.” The words popped out before she realized it. She clamped her lips tightly together and silently cursed.
There was a trace of the old Hugh as he turned to her and lifted a brow. “I missed you too.”
Once she would not have hesitated to cover his hand with hers, but she resolutely kept her hands in her lap. She feared if she touched him she would lose the small bit of determination she still had to actually marry another when she was quite certain her heart would always belong to Hugh.
Rowena had once teased her that her feelings were an infatuation because she viewed Hugh as her savior, but they were so much more. She’d only been fifteen, it was true, but Sara was sure of one thing. She loved Hugh with every fiber of her being. It hurt so much to know once he delivered her to Aronia—it would be the last she would see of him.
She cried herself to sleep for nearly a month the first time he’d left. She would not let herself be that devastated again. His life was as a knight. What she wanted could never be, not unless she joined the Noventian army as she had once teased him many years ago.
Her gaze dropped from his. “Why did you come back?”
“The prince asked me to.” The deep rumble of his voice sent shivers down her spine.
“Is that the only reason?” Try as she may, she was unable to keep the pain out of her voice.
“No.”
She waited for him to elaborate, but he didn’t. She lifted her eyes and stilled at the expression on his face. His gaze was on her, both wistful and cautious at the same moment. Time seemed to stop as they stared at each other. Even the bees moved on to another rose bush as if they knew to give the two people in the garden this time alone.
His hand lifted as if to touch her, but he lowered it without doing so. “Sara, I…”
She held up a hand to stop him. She did not know what he was about to say, but she didn’t dare risk it. This had to end now before Sara did something she would regret. “I am glad you came, but you should’ve written to me.”
His dark eyes were impossibly deep. “I tried, but I … I couldn’t. There was nothing good to say.”
She couldn’t begin to guess at the horrors he had seen. A part of her softened, and she lifted her hand to his cheek. “Oh, Hugh, always trying to protect me.”
The skin under her fingertips was prickly with stubble. She traced his lean jaw and strong chin before she realized what she was doing and jerked her hand away. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
 
Find out more about Robin Danner and her books at http://robindanner.webs.com
 

  

2 comments:

Debby said...

I have enjoyed reading about this series. It sounds like a wonderful series.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Robin Danner said...

Thanks so much, Debby!