Honor's Splendour

Honor's Splendour

by Julie Garwood

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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This classic historical romance from New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood is a fan favorite—a beautiful lady needs rescue from a knight in shining armor, and gets an alpha warrior instead.

In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand fast...as bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for...Honor’s Splendour.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671737825
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 04/30/1991
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 79,297
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Fire and Ice, Shadow Music, Shadow Dance, Murder List, Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-six million copies of her books in print.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter Two

Dear God, she wasn't going to be left behind.

Madelyne took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. She told herself she was just too distraught to think clearly. Of course the baron wasn't going to take her with him. Why, she wasn't significant enough to bother about.

She decided she still needed to hear his denial. "You don't think to take me with you, do you?" she blurted out. Her voice sounded strained; she knew she hadn't been able to keep the fear out of her voice.

Duncan walked over to Madelyne. He took hold of her satchel and threw it to his squire. She had her answer then. Madelyne stared up at Duncan, watched him swiftly mount, and then extend his hand down to her.

Madelyne began to back away. God help her, she was going to defy him. She knew if she tried to climb the distance to the top of his demon horse, she'd disgrace herself by fainting, or worse, screaming. In truth, she believed she preferred death to humiliation.

She was more frightened of the stallion than she was of the baron. Madelyne was sadly lacking in her education, and possessed none of the most basic riding skills. Memories of very young days, when Louddon had used those few riding lessons as a tool to inflict submission, still visited her on occasion. As a fully grown woman, she realized her fears were unreasonable, yet the fretful child inside her still rebelled with stubborn, illogical fright.

She took another step back. Then she slowly shook her head, denying Duncan's assistance. Her decision was made; she'd force him to kill her if that was his inclination, but she wasn't going to get on the stallion.

Without a thought as to where she was going, Madelyne turned and walked away. She was trembling so much, she stumbled several times. Panic was building inside until she was almost blinded by it, yet she kept her gaze directed or the ground and continued on, one determined step at a time.

She stopped when she came to the mutilated body of one of Louddon's soldiers. The man's face was horribly disfigured. The sight proved to be Madelyne's breaking point. She stood there, in the center of the carnage, staring at the dead soldier, until she heard a tortured scream echo in the distance. The sound was soul-wrenching. Madelyne put her hands over her ears to try to block out the noise but the action didn't help. The horrible sound went on and on.

Duncan spurred his horse forward the moment Madelyne started screaming. He reached her side, leaned down, and effortlessly lifted her up into his arms.

She stopped screaming when he touched her. Duncan adjusted his heavy cloak until his captive was completely covered. Her face rested against the steel links of his hauberk, yet he took time and attention to pull some of her own cloak forward so that the side of her cheek was cushioned against the soft sheepskin lining.

He didn't question his desire to be gentle with her. The picture flashed before him of Madelyne kneeling in front of him, taking his near-frozen feet under her own gown to give them warmth. It had been an act of kindness, that. He could do no less for her now. After all, he was the one solely responsible for causing Madelyne such pain in the first place.

Duncan let out a long sigh. It couldn't be undone. Hell, it had started out as such an easy plan too. Leave it to a woman to confuse it.

There was much to reevaluate now. Though he knew Madelyne wasn't aware of it, she had certainly complicated the issues. He'd have to sort it all out he told himself. The plan was changed now, whether he liked it or not, for he knew with a certainty that both amazed and infuriated him that he'd never let Madelyne go.

Duncan tightened his hold on his captive and finally gave the signal to ride. He remained behind to form the end of the long procession. When the last of his soldiers had cleared the area, and only Gilard and the young squire flanked his side, Duncan took precious minutes to stare at the destruction.

Madelyne tilted her head back so that she could see Duncan's face clearly. He must have felt her looking up at him, for he slowly lowered his gaze until he was staring directly into her eyes.

"An eye for an eye, Madelyne."

She waited for him to tell her more, to explain what her brother had done to cause such a retaliation, but Duncan just continued to stare at her, as if willing her to comprehend. He wasn't going to make any excuses for his ruthlessness. Madelyne understood that now. The victorious didn't need to justify.

Madelyne turned to look at the ruins. She remembered one of the stories told to her by her uncle, Father Berton about the Punic Wars of ancient times. There were many tales handed down, most of them frowned upon by the holy church, but Father Berton had repeated them to Madelyne all the same, educating her in the most unacceptable fashion, punishable in fact by severe discipline if the church leaders had any inkling as to what the priest was doing.

The carnage she'd witnessed now reminded her of the story of Carthage. During the third and final war between two mighty powers, the victorious had thoroughly destroyed the city once Carthage had fallen. What had not burned to ashes had been buried beneath the fertile ground. Not a stone was allowed to top another. As a final measure, the fields were covered with salt so that nothing would grow there in the future.

History was being repeated this night; Louddon and all that belonged to him was now being desecrated.

"Delenda est Carthago," Madelyne whispered to herself, repeating the vow made so long ago by Cato, an elder of ancient times.

Duncan was surprised by Madelyne's remark. He wondered how she'd ever come by such knowledge. "Aye, Madelyne. Like Carthage, your brother must be destroyed."

"And do I belong to Loud...to Carthage as well?" Madelyne asked, refusing to speak her brother's name.

"Nay, Madelyne, you don't belong to Carthage."

Madelyne nodded and then closed her eyes. She sagged against Duncan's chest.

Duncan used his hand to push her chin up, forcing her to look at him again.

"You don't belong to Louddon, Madelyne. From this moment on, you belong to me. Do you understand?"

Madelyne nodded her head.

Duncan released his hold on her when he saw how frightened he was making her. He watched her a moment longer and then slowly, aye, gently, pulled the cloak up over her face.

From her warm hiding place against him, Madelyne whispered, "I think I would rather belong to no man."

Duncan heard her. A slow smile crossed his face. What Lady Madelyne wanted wasn't the least significant to him. Aye, she belonged to him now, whether she wished it or not.

Lady Madelyne had sealed her own fate.

She'd warmed his feet.

Copyright © 1987 by Julie Garwood

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Honor's Splendour 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 325 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My all time favorite book....I have reread this dozen of times!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book ties only one other book (Princess, Galen Foley) as the best book I have ever read!! I give it 10 stars not just 5! I still have yet to read a book that had such thrill and adventure from the very beginning. I could not put it down!! I love the whole 'captive/protector' thing in love stories. No matter what book I pick up, I always compare it to this one and I have read A LOT of romance novels. I plan on reading this book over and over and over again during my lifetime. If you want a love story that stands on its own with a great plot and spell-binding adventure, this is the one. A true classic and a keeper. Thank you, thank you, thank you Julie Garwood for writing such a fantastic novel!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first romance novel I ever read. It is so good, I've read this book MANY times over.
christine thorne More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
BookReflections More than 1 year ago
I've loved Julie Garwood for some time and I had read all of her books carried by my library.  When I saw this one at my eLibrary, I jumped at the opportunity to give it a listen.  It didn't let me down.  The characters were funny.  Duncan's brothers really made me smile. Plus I love protective men.  Lady Madelyne was a bit naive but I loved how she stayed true to her morals and was consistent throughout the novel.  The side plots were entertaining.  I really enjoyed the narrator as well.  Ms. Flosnik did a great job with the different voices.  While the plot doesn't stand out for historical romance standards, the story is told quite well and I loved the characters.  For that, I wouldn't have missed this one for the world.
Monica0927 More than 1 year ago
What can I say .. it is a Julie Garwood masterpiece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Gulie Garwood
Tracy Yakicic More than 1 year ago
Honor's Splendor is one of my all time favorite romance stories. I have read all of Julie Garwoods books and this is one of my favorites. I am glad I downloaded on my Nook. If you like romance you'll love this book.
Anonymous 10 months ago
This has quickly become one of my absolute favorites. I can’t say enough about this book. Julie Garwood is one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I have read a lot of Garwood’s books, and this is my least favorite. The main character, Madalyn, was not a strong female lead. She came off as weak, overly emotional (cried about everything), and clumsy. Yet, the other characters saw her as feisty and strong. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes every time she did something that was supposed to be cute. If you want to read a good Garwood book, I recommend The Wedding (my favorite).
melorem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Julie Garwood definitely does not disappoint her readers. This historical romance has all the great elements... strong male character, sweet and innocent heroine who seems to champion everyone but herself, intrigue at court, etc. The opening scene has Madelyne "rescuing" Baron Wexton only to find out he hasn't come to battle her brother but to capture her instead. Madelyne meets the Wextons and quickly finds her place in their world. Not only is she falling in love with Duncan but she is able to bring his sister out of her depression and they become fast friends. The characters are strong, sweet and sometimes downright funny.
mom2lnb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been a long-time fan of Julie Garwood, but have been so distracted lately by exciting new books and authors that I have not picked up one of her books in nearly two years. Thanks to a new reading challenge in which I am participating, I was finally spurred to re-read Honor's Splendour, and was immediately reminded of all the things that made me start glomming Ms. Garwood's backlist in the first place. She has a talent for combining a good romance with a strong plot, action, humor and characters that I can truly care about, to create a really good story. The composition, to some degree, is done in the typical style of 1980's romance writing, which isn't too surprising since it was first published in 1987. Still, it is a romantic classic that consistently makes many reader's favorite lists over twenty years later. While I can't say that Honor's Splendour is my personal favorite Garwood book, it is a good read that I would certainly recommend. For me, Julie Garwood is just one of those comfort authors whose good (or even just OK) work still surpasses that of some other authors even on their best days.There are several things that kept Honor's Splendour from the very top of my favorites list. It is one of Ms. Garwood's earliest romance novels (her third), and in my opinion, it still shows a bit of the novice that she was at that time. There are some very long passages of prose and, while they do progress both the time-line and the plot without taking up a lot of space, it made me feel like the story was being told to me instead of the characters acting it out. There were also some parts where I was having a difficult time imagining the setting and felt that more environmental descriptions would have been helpful. I thought I had recalled Ms. Garwood's books being on the steamy side, but either my memory has deceived me or this one just wasn't quite as hot as some of her others. I found that the love scenes became progressively more sensuous with each one (I really enjoyed the late night ¿swim¿ in the lake), but still by more modern standards, they were fairly short and only moderately descriptive. While I didn't necessarily need more tawdriness, some of the scenes just seemed to lack that extra bit of spice that really shows the reader a deep emotional connection. In a couple of instances, I think this could have been rectified with a little more ¿whispered sweet nothings¿ dialog, and more sexual tension leading up to their initial consummation would have been nice too. Additionally, I am not a huge fan of the love/hate relationship. Thankfully there was enough tenderness to keep it from being overdone in this book, but Duncan and Madelyn still emotionally held back from each other a little too long for my taste, and their confusion over their feelings for one another seemed a bit forced to me. Finally, although Madelyne's fevered hallucinations and loss of inhibitions in that state made for some exceptionally funny and amusing moments, I would have preferred for her to relate the traumatic events of her past to Duncan when she was in a more coherent state. I think it would have packed a greater emotional punch and built even more trust in their relationship, which to me, is extremely romantic.Duncan and Madelyne are a classic Garwood hero and heroine. Duncan is what I like to refer to as the ¿tender alpha¿ or the ¿alpha with a heart.¿ He definitely has some dominating tendencies early in the story, but he is always patient and has a tender spot in his heart for Madelyne. Duncan's sweet side was solidified for me when he watched over Madelyne while she was ravaged with fever, and I loved how he snuck into bed with her every night without her knowing. He is also very much a man of few words and has very little dialog in the beginning of the story. In fact, Duncan often seemed to be overshadowed in this regard by his two brothers which is never a good thing. As the plot moves along though, he learns to lig
abigailyow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first book by Julia Garwood and I must say I wasn't too impressed. The author's writing was fluid and not in the least choppy. That I can say for sure but the characters, well, I wasn't too taken by them. There were a lot of inconsistencies with our main heroine. For instance, at the beginning of the story, Madelyne is portrayed as meek and gentle, only to be transformed into this fiery and annoying redhead who keeps trying to find fault with everything. We see her planning her escape route later, finding ways to be free of captivity but that plan was never put into action. What was the whole point of it then?The part where she keeps saying that she's gentle started to grate my nerves after awhile. So to say, if the characters in this novel were made more interesting, I might have liked this book better - or so I'd like to think.
CathyLeming on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite Garwood, but none are bad. I've read every one, front to back, so I could recommend them all.
blingtastic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
not as great as the secret or ransom...but good nonetheless. It dragged toward the end. But the highland characters are the best! will definitely re-read.
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I think of historical romances, this is the type of book that comes to mind. It's sweet, romantic, and fun to read. The hero is very heroic; the heroine is a lady without being a pushover. All in all, a really good book.
ut.tecum.loquerer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I mostly enjoyed this book. What bothers me is that the heroine is a bit of a Mary Sue. She's smart and beautiful, of course, and she ALWAYS TELLS THE TRUTH. Like, this is a major plot point. And that makes it a little hard for me to totally buy in to her character. Still, it's a fun read if you don't think too much about it.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book I'd classify as a guilty pleasure. Not in the sense that I'd hide it from anyone else, but in the sense that though I realize it's not very good, I enjoy it anyway. In this case, the heroine is just too naive to be believable, but it makes the book very funny anyway. As long as I ignore the little voice in my head that says she should be able to learn something eventually. Her naivete makes sense at first--she was raised by elderly priests--but it goes on too long, and she doesn't seem to learn anything. Still, as I said, it's very funny. There's adventure and romance, and a heck of a lot of humor, but it's one of those books that I have to turn off my internal critical reader to enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was simple and wonderful. Great story line,great action great characters. All in all it's one of those books I'll reread for years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite Julie Garwood book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Julie Garwood novels!!! One of the best authors in historical writing. I have read them over and over and over again!!!!! I hope you will start writing historicals again!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*I have a new favorite book.. absolutely excellent...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago