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Twelfth Night

92 pages1 hour


Mourning the death of her beloved grandfather, Aline visits the library to which he donated a medieval Book of Hours. While gazing at the December illustration, she suddenly finds herself on a muddy road, buffeted by wind and snow, about to be run down by a troop of armored horsemen. When the leader demands to know what she’s doing on his land, all Aline can say is that she’s lost.

Assuming from her accent and her clothing that she must be a noblewoman, Lord Adam takes her to his home, Shotley Castle. There Aline quickly learns it’s the early twelfth century, and December 23. Christmas celebrations will soon begin.

Adam’s son, Blaise, and daughter-in-law, Constance, are unhappily married. At Adam’s request Aline agrees to try to help the pair. She finds Adam irresistible, especially when he insists upon trekking into the forest to find holly and greenery. He’s a fair and just lord to his people, an open-hearted host, and his lovemaking is beyond anything Aline has ever known. He gives her a gold ring that he says once belonged to his late sister.

The days of Christmas pass quickly until Twelfth Night. After the final celebration, as the castle folk sink into exhausted sleep, a fierce gust of wind and snow snatches Aline out of Adam’s bedchamber, leaving her back where she began.

A man who identifies himself as Phillip Mallory, who once knew her grandfather, has come looking for her. As he questions her, Aline sees Adam’s ring on her finger and knows the last days were not a dream.

Phillip offers to drive her home and as they walk outside, through the crisp December air, Aline hears someone singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and realizes her initial grief over her grandfather has lessened and she is at peace.

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