To open up a novel by Bertrice Small is to surrender to the deepest longings of the heart. In her sensational bestsellers, she sweeps us to the far corners of the globe and into the most sensual places of desire. Now in The Innocent, she takes us to the wild Welsh borderlands of England, where a young beauty ready to embrace her religious vows becomes the pawn of desperate men. . . .
Deceptively fragile-looking, Eleanore of Ashlin had promised her life to God . . . until fate intervened. With her brother's untimely death, Eleanore--known as Elf to those who love her--becomes the heiress of an estate vital to England's defenses. She is ordered by royal command to wed one of the king's knights rather than take her final vows. With resistant heart, but ever obedient to King Stephen's will, she complies.
Ranulf de Glandeville is all too aware that his innocent bride wants no man; yet his patience, gentle hand, and growing love for his spirited young wife soon awaken Eleanore to passions she never knew, or desired . . . until now.
But their love is not secure from the wicked schemes of an evil woman who hates Eleanore with all her black heart--and she will seek to destroy the innocent in a depraved plot that will put Eleanore's life in jeopardy and her faith in love to its greatest test. . . .
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Innocent|
|Release Date: 03-04-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Innocent|
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The Novice England 1152
St. Frideswide’s Convent sat atop a hillock with a fine view of the surrounding countryside of Hereford, and across the hills into Wales. Its high stone walls enclosed themselves about a quadrangle on the south side of which was a church. From the church four sheltered walks went around the quadrangle connecting with the refectory, where the nuns and their female guests ate, the chapter house, where they met guests or did the business of the house, and the dormitories. There were special places for the students and nuns to study, and a kitchen, a bakery, a brewery. St. Frideswide’s, though small, had a storehouse, a barn for its farm animals, a henhouse and dovecote, not to mention an infirmary to treat the sick, several workshops for metalwork and illuminating manuscripts, and an herbarium.
Within the convent each day was carefully ordered. At midnight, Matins, the first holy office of the day was said, followed shortly thereafter by Lauds. The nuns would then go to their sleeping quarters. Prime was said at six during the summer months, and seven in the dark months of winter. It was then that the young girls in the convent’s charge joined the nuns for the first Mass, which was followed by a breakfast of oat porridge, a slice of buttered bread, and a small cup of cider, or ale for the nuns. The children then returned to their dormitory to make their beds and sweep the rooms. They emptied the common night jar, and opened the windows to air the space.
It was during this time the nuns met together in the chapter house. Convent business was discussed, announcements, if any, were made, letters read, and finally