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By Terry Spear

Countess Anice vows to escape the amorous advances of King Henry I, and go back to her domestic within the Highlands, the place she hopes to discover a laird to wed. Highlander Laird Malcolm MacNeill, looking an English bride, turns into entangled with the Scottish lass whereas looking for out why her employees has vanished.

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Cannot he be satisfied? ” As by rights of succession he should have been. But Henry acted as fair handed as kings go, and she’d only heard ill tidings about Robert, who was not liked by many of the Norman nobles. His being away fighting in the Crusades at the time of William’s untimely death left the throne free to Henry, the youngest son of William I. Though many hadn’t thought he’d have a chance at the throne and was educated instead, mayhap to become a bishop. Being one of the first literate kings, who also spoke English, Henry’s training was sure to have pleased Matilda.

Anice’s heart fluttered. ” Though she had already met him, way too intimately. But perhaps he would agree to return her home, if she could obtain the king’s permission. Matilda shook her head quickly. “He is not for you, cousin. From what I have heard, he had some difficulty with a couple of Scottish families and marriage alliances. ” Anice’s blood heated like a blade of steel grew white hot over an open flame. To think he would prefer an Englishwoman to a bonnie Scottish lass. ” “Watch what you say, Anice.

Did the man not stock enough fillies in his stable already? She blew out her breath. “’Tis naught, Your Grace. ” She knew Matilda wanted to return to Westminster where she mainly held court, though like now, she often accompanied Henry on his travels across England, but she hoped her cousin would understand her need to return home. Wordlessly, Matilda studied her, and Anice wondered if her cousin knew the truth of her distress. Taking a deep, exasperated breath, Anice considered her dilemma. She wished no part of any Norman laird the king wanted her to marry either, who would wed her for her properties and not care one whit about a woman whose Scottish heritage they scorned.

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