Message From The Author

Elizabeth Elliott

Genre: Medieval, Continental Locales, Historical Romance

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Author's Message

My characters really come to life for me, and every one of them have story to tell. Not all of those stories make it onto paper, but whenever I work on a manuscript, one of the secondary characters always seems to shout louder than the rest that they need a book of their own. That’s what happened with Dante Chiavari, the hero of my new book, The Dark Knight. I knew from the moment I met Dante that he would have his own book; I just didn’t know his heroine very well. 

Dante first entered the scene in my novel, Betrothed, when his sister was coerced into marriage with the brother of the hero from my first book, The Warlord. Dante is an Italian nobleman, robbed of his heritage, who found out at a very young age that the world is a cruel place where few play fair and only the ruthless survive. His mental scars go bone deep. In Betrothed, Dante was heartless and a hired killer to boot. Rescuing his sister was more a point of honor than any real consideration of her feelings. Over the years he learned the hard way that a man in his position cannot afford to care too deeply for anyone or anything. 

So, hard, heartless Dante set sail into a story of his own. I knew he was wonderfully dark and dangerous, but what sort of woman could love this man? It would take a very special kind, one he could he trust enough to make himself vulnerable. But Dante doesn’t trust anyone. 

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed from real life, it’s that there is someone out there for everyone. Some of the most notorious men in history might have been despised by the masses, but they had a mother or a wife or a mistress who truly loved them. Dante came with a lot of baggage. He needed a woman who packed light. It took me a long time to find just the right girl. 

Avalene de Forshay has a mind of her own, and she judges people on their own merits rather than on the opinions of others. It doesn’t hurt Dante’s case that her first impression of him is as a noble knight sent to rescue her. Dante thinks the traits he displays as her knight are nothing more than a ruse, a part he must play to gain her trust. Avalene is convinced those traits are a part of him. She makes him want to be the man she sees.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors working against them. Dante has yet to receive the full details of his assignment with Avalene, but he’s an assassin. He doubts the king sent him after Avalene to be a babysitter. Then there’s the man determined to marry her by any means necessary who is never far behind them. Throw in a steward with his own agenda and a magician who may or may not be on their side, and they have their work cut out for them. I hope you enjoy their story!

  - Elizabeth Elliot

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