posted on July 6, 2016 by Lauren Linwood


Knights of Valor Banner (1-3)

Admit it. You’ve told a white lie at some point in your life. We all have.

The phrase a white lie originated in the early 18th century. This minor/polite/harmless fib is usually an untruth you tell to remain tactful in a situation. It’s not meant to be harmful. It simply shields another person from a hurtful truth.

We usually tell white lies to help others, though they may also be for our own benefit. Often, a white lie helps sustain a good relationship with someone else. Yet if that person discovers the truth, it could possibly change your relationship with him or her.

Husbands have perfected the art of the white lie. When a wife asks, “How do I look in this?” a supportive husband will either white lie and tell her she looks terrific or redirect and say, “You look beautiful in anything you wear.” Even friends—good friends—might tell a white lie while shopping together and trying on clothes. I prefer a friend who WILL tell me that the stripes make my hips look too wide or that the color washes me out, but not everyone can own up to such a direct opinion.

Say you went to your high school reunion and spoke briefly to your old flame. Twenty years after graduation, he’s balding, overweight, and overbearing. Yet if your husband asks if you spent time with him, you pull out a white lie and tell him, “I saw him across the room, but we didn’t speak.” Or maybe your ex-boyfriend looks absolutely fabulous, is now a millionaire, and arrived in a dynamite car that you drooled over. You might shrug and say to your man, “He was there,” and leave it at that. No harm, no foul. Hubby is still number one in your life; it doesn’t matter if your ex looks great or not. You’ve chosen to be with the man you love.

Have you ever pulled the old, “Oh, I just think of you as a friend,” when someone wanted to heat things up with you? Especially if you have no interest in him romantically and never will—or worse—you really don’t even want to consider him a friend. That’s definitely a white lie that spares hurt feelings.

We tell white lies to our children, telling them to believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. Maybe we don’t have time to create something from scratch for the school bake sale, so we buy something from Costco, put it on a plate, cover it with foil, and pretend we baked it in record time.

White lies aren’t meant to hurt others; they are supposed to spare their (or our) feelings. And yet my heroine in MARKED BY HONOR tells a white lie that she winds up regretting.

Beatrice Bordel finds herself alone in the world and travels to visit her grandfather’s closest friend, hoping she can use her domestic sills and lute-playing talent to find a permanent place in his household. When accosted by highwaymen, all seems lost—until Raynor Le Roux arrives.

She tells a white lie to this dashing knight who rescues her in order to protect herself. Little does she know that she will spend time with this stranger and fall in love with him—but the lie she’s told stands between them. Will Beatrice come clean and reveal the truth to Raynor, hoping he forgives her deception—or will it be too late?

MARKED BY HONOR, releasing today, is the second book in The Knights of Valor series. It features Raynor Le Roux, cousin and best friend of Geoffrey de Montfort, the hero of WORD OF HONOR. On October 5, CODE OF HONOR will be released and tell the tale of Geoffrey’s niece. The final three books in the series arrive in 2017, and I’m busy at work on them.


Book 2 in the KNIGHTS OF VALOR

Marked by Honor Final The anger that coursed through Beatrice came to an abrupt halt as Raynor pressed his mouth to hers. His scent, a mix of leather and sweat, filled her senses. Her arms, held tightly against her, fell limply to her sides. His lips brushed softly against hers, calling out to her. She opened her mouth to reply and found his tongue slipped inside. It began running along her own, teasing it, drawing away and returning in a game she hadn’t known existed.

But was ready to play.

Instinctively, her arms rose and locked about his neck. Pulling him into her. Bringing him closer. He responded by wrapping his hands about her waist. He lifted her from the chair as if she weighed no more than a feather.

Beatrice leaned into his hard, muscled chest, taking in his heat. His tongue continued to plunder her mouth, over and over, till her mind was void of any thought but this moment. Tingles of pleasure rippled through her, dancing along her limbs in joy. His large hands splayed against her back, spanning the length and width of it.

And still he kissed her.

‘Twas almost more than she could bear. She felt her insides melting like snow as when the pale winter’s sun came out. Her knees weakened. She held onto him tightly, afraid to let go.  Afraid he would stop. A low moan echoed in the room. Beatrice realized it came from her. From an intense longing for something she did not understand but wished to lay claim to at once.

Suddenly, she found herself pushed away, back into the chair from which she had started her journey. Raynor had put her there. He took a few steps back from her, his eyes wide.

In fear.

Something had happened that terrified him. Had he felt the intense feelings she experienced? What did they mean?

He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He stared at her, shaking his head. He took another step back, retreating from her.

“My . . . my lady,” he whispered, his voice low and hoarse. “I . . . am . . .”

She watched him struggled to find words. She longed to reach out and touch him. Stroke his cheek. Place her head again his chest. Hear his beating heart.

Raynor found his voice. “I am sorry for the distress I have caused you,” he said brusquely. “’Twill not happen again. I give you my solemn promise.”

Before she could reply, he spun around and exited the room, slamming the door behind him.

Beatrice brought her fingertips to her lips. Touched where his mouth had been locked to hers. Softly rubbed them against her swollen mouth, now tender to the touch. Everything she had ever thought she’d known had shifted as sands did when the tide rolled in and out.

The only thing she knew with certainty was that she had tumbled swiftly, hopelessly, and utterly into love.

With a man who thought she belonged to another.

MARKED BY HONOR can be purchased in eBook and/or 05/16 trade paperback format for/from:



Lauren Linwood

Lauren Linwood

Lauren Linwood’s historical romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. Her romantic suspense novels feature strong heroes and heroines who unite to defeat a clever antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.

A native Texan, Lauren is an avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan who manages stress by alternating yoga with long walks. She plans to start a support group for Fixer Upper addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.

Lauren also writes the medieval romance series The Knights of Honor as Alexa Aston for Dragonblade Publishing.

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