When I sat down to write ENTHRALLED, I struggled to capture the complexities of the hero, William of Ravenglas.
Typically, I write larger-than-life heroes who don’t fall from the straight and narrow path, but jump from it. But William was different. His path to perdition is much more subtle. He falls one inch at a time.
When we meet him, William is a deeply flawed man—proud, ambitious and fiercely protective. He’s in danger from the sins of his past, and driven by a need to do “the right thing.” He strives to live with honor and integrity in a world where he sees little of either.
In short, he is how I imagine the high ideals of chivalry collide with human failings.
Even more tragic than his fall from grace is his honest belief that forcing the woman he loves to marry her betrothed is the right and honorable course. With that marriage, Ami will be safe and secure, if unhappy. To William, the former are more important than the latter.
Here’s an excerpt that encapsulates William’s yearning for the heroine, Ami, and what keeps him from claiming her:
Quiet noises whispered up the stairs, the rustle of fabric, the rattle of knives. Slowing his steps, he edged toward the landing and peered into the large, welcoming room.
In the golden light cast from the hearth, she glowed as if dusted with fire ground into powder. Her magic lent a soft gloaming to her skin that invited him closer. His body tightened, urged him forward. He braced against the doorjamb and held his place.
Unaware of him—or unwilling to acknowledge his presence—she sliced a slab of bread from the remainders of the feast, humming a tune best left in the alehouses.
Behind her, a fire danced brightly in the room, larger than necessary, but she was a creature of light and heat. She gravitated toward the sun like a morning glory and followed slivers of light across rooms. Even in winter, she bundled against the cold to stand outside, eyes closed, face lifted to the weak light. His thoughts turned to the times he’d joined her in the cold and wrapped them both in his mantle, his hands, hidden from others, holding her closer than right.
The word moved unbidden and unchallenged through his heart. Heat thundered through his blood like a chevalier’s charge, and it took all his will power to stand against it. However much she felt like his, she wasn’t. Would never be unless he walked away from family, wealth and security, and then dragged her with him.
And, as Papa pointed out on a long-ago summer night, without wealth and security he had nothing to give her but hunger and misery.
Keena Kincaid is the author of four romance novels set in 12th century England. Her books are available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble online as well as anywhere ebooks are sold. You can fan or friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and visit her blog, Typos and All.
To buy a copy:
Great excerpt, Keena! If you have any questions or comments for Keena, she'd love to answer them. If you have a moment, visit Keena's website at www.keenakincaid.com. I am so impressed by your education, wow!