The Knights Of Camelot (10 book series)
A love long-held, the love of a knight for his king, a love which must be denied.
Lancelot is banished from Camelot in disgrace, not only has he lost his honour and country, but too late he realises he has lost his love.
When duty calls him to return, Lancelot doesn’t think twice and once more puts on his armour. If his king needs him and he is called to the sword, he knows where he must be.
His country is threatened, the dark wings of war are gathering and his love… that will just have to wait.
The needs of one man’s heart cry for peace, but Lancelot understands what he must do.
He will stand shoulder to shoulder with the man he loves and if they survive the battlefields, if they can survive the peace, then maybe, just maybe, a knight and his king can put aside their call to arms and listen to the call of their hearts.
The Knights of Camelot series is a reimagining of the Arthurian legends. Each book features two (or more) men in love with one another, steamy encounters, and more. These books are not intended to be read as standalones, so be sure to start at the beginning with Lancelot and the King.
LIFTING MY SHIRT OVER my head caused me to wince. The muscles still sore and the skin still ravaged. If I dressed as I should, the gambeson then the hauberk would rip the scabs off my back.
I sighed, pulling the flesh taut over my ribs. I had to leave today. The nuns protecting me had healed all they could and if I stayed, I may endanger them. At least they managed to remove the worst of the blood from my clothing. I rolled the padded undergarment and mail up, moving slowly. The dull steel sucked in the early morning light. Arthur’s mail shone with the light of his soul, he seemed to glow from the inside out every time he went into battle or tourney.
I forced the memory away. I forced Arthur away. I swallowed my need to weep and tried to relax my clenched jaw. A gentle knock at the door focused me on the present.
“Come in.” My voice sounded the same even if I felt different. Deep, rough, heavy with unspoken emotions.
The door opened and a nun stood in the entrance of the small cell. She looked at me and then at the small amount of things I owned and packed. “So, you are leaving us,” she said.
“Yes, Sister Eliza.” I straightened. “I think it’s for the best.”
“You are leaving too soon, those wounds will become infected,” she told me. Her hands sat on her considerable hips. As the one to dress them, clean them and stitch them where necessary, I guess she felt a kind of perverse ownership.
“I promise I will keep them clean and I promise not to do anything too stupid until they are healed,” I said, dredging up a smile for her.
She blushed, her round face in the nun’s wimple all too obvious with no hair to hide behind. My smile can open doors for me in the most frigid of hearts.
“Humph, I don’t believe that promise for one bloody moment,” she cursed, then crossed herself. I had soon realised that the world of a nun didn’t come naturally to Sister Eliza. “But if you are going to leave then at least let me help you pack.”
She hustled me out of the way and began organising my few possessions. She did a better job than I could have done. My pack and saddlebags were tidy in moments.
When she finished she asked, “Do you have a plan?”
I laughed, a bitter, brittle sound making her flinch. “No, what is there to plan for? I am dishonoured. I am exiled. I have been thrown to the dogs by my King. I have no plan beyond the nearest tavern over the Channel.”
She sighed. “This self pity Doesn’t suit you, Lancelot.”
I opened my mouth to snap back at her when I saw the deep well of compassion in her blue eyes. I dropped my gaze. “No, I know. I need God’s Grace but I don’t know how to ask.”
She laid her hand on my bowed head. I stood almost as tall as she could reach, I felt her fingers nestle close to my scalp burrowing through my thick black hair. “You just have to ask, Sir Knight,” she said as a way of benediction.
“I cannot ask for God’s forgiveness when I cannot forgive myself,” I said to the stone floor.
“And you won’t forgive yourself until you have your King’s forgiveness,” she said, sadly. Over the last three days, she managed to prise my story from my reluctant lips. A farmer found me in his field, bleeding to death and carried me in his cart. I’d been lucky apparently. The wounds, though open, had been treated when I’d been cut down from the flogging post. No infection, no fever, beyond the one in my heart.
In those three days, I’d only really seen Sister Eliza and the Mother Superior of this small community near the monastery at Sherborne Abbey. I’d been deemed a dangerous influence on everyone else. They were probably right. Sister Eliza, after informing me confession would be good for my soul, proved a patient and sympathetic listener. I thought the only thing, which would be good for me, would be an arrow to the heart. I refrained from saying it aloud though; I didn’t want to shatter her illusions.
“Arthur can never forgive me and I don’t blame him,” I said. “I earned every lash of that whip.”
She opened her mouth to argue, realised how futile it would be and snapped it shut. “Well,” she said, becoming brisk, “you need something more positive to do than wallowing in a tavern for the rest of your life. I suggest you find a cause or a war to keep you entertained.”
I smiled again and caught her fingers to my lips. I kissed them fondly. “Sister, I will do as you command. I shall find a war and fight until I’m done, then perhaps I shall have some peace.” I’d meant the words to be funny, but her eyes filled with sudden tears.
“I wish you well, Lancelot du Lac, but I fear the darkness in your soul will never see you happy.” She turned away and left me alone, without as much as a backward glance. My last true friend in England.
I took the horse Arthur left me for my ‘escape’, saddled him and walked from the small community heading toward the coast. I wanted to avoid notice at the nearby castle, so I rode through the back lanes until I’d travelled several leagues. It took a day of hard riding to reach the port of Keyhaven. I sold the horse and carried my things to the nearest cargo ship heading for the mainland. Arthur had his wish. I was leaving English shores for good. I stood at the stern as the ship left the harbour on the evening tide. I watched my home for the last twenty nine of my thirty six years, fade under the light of the moon. A washed out shoreline in shades of grey and black with torchlight flashing like fireflies.
My throat tightened. “I will always love you, Arthur,” I whispered under my breath. I closed my eyes and turned my back on England.
The crossing proved quick and easy, the wind kind in our sails and the swells gentle. I’d had some bad ones over the years when I’d been travelling to and from various courts and wars, but this voyage at least proved painless. We arrived late the following day. I stood on deck watching the sun descend behind the headland, the deckhands tying us to the shore.
I disembarked as soon as I could and breathed in the stink of Le Havre. For the first time in weeks, I felt alive and grateful for the privilege. The shock of my time in England slipped into the sea to be borne away on the tide. Having been in this town many times, I wove with purpose through the docks avoiding the fish guts, grubby children and the cheapest of whores, to find my favourite tavern.
The recent rain meant the mud stank of human waste, horses and rotting food. More than a little fastidious I tried to pick my way through the worst of the muck. The streets were busy, noisy and ignorant of my crimes. Although a man of my height is hard to miss, I felt anonymous. Le Rex, my favourite inn, stood in the centre of the merchant’s quarter of the town, so it made good money. Most of it was built of stone, except for the upper level. Its tiled roof rose like a beacon of hope. The rooms had fresh sheets and the women were clean. The door stood open as I approached. A welcoming noise and light burbled into the street.
Night found me with a beautiful woman in one hand and a bad hand in the other. “Well, play or fold you fool,” came the gruff voice of some sea captain. We’d been playing primo vista for a long time and I held most of the coins.
I squinted at the cards once more, they were fuzzy, I then peered up at the woman on my knee. Her fine blonde hair snagged me immediately, that and her beautiful smile. “What do you think?” I asked, “Play or fold?”
She smiled back. “If you play and win this hand, as I know you will, I will earn more of your money. So, I say play.” She winked.
I laughed. “The lady says play, so I will play. All in,” I said and she pushed everything I had left into the pot.
She knew her own game well this one. If I won with her help, she knew I’d pay her more of my winnings and the pot had grown large. I looked forward to the challenge of burying myself in her body and fucking until the sun came up.
The gruff sea captain studied us. He thought I was too drunk to make a wise choice and he might be right. He studied his cards, looked at the pile of money in the pot and the pile beside his elbow. Just as I’d grown bored and my fingers began to explore the whore’s cleavage, he said, “Fold.”
“Really?” I asked surprised. “Great.” Before he could do a damn thing about it, I folded my cards and hid them in the deck. The whore scooped up the horde and we left the table. The sea captain’s curses made us both giggle.
I followed the woman. Her hips swayed and I watched her tight waist in the unforgiving bodice. We walked upstairs and she led us to a room off the main corridor.
She dumped the winnings on the bed and lay back, the coin jingling as it and she landed, making a pleasing sound. I watched her, amused as she wriggled around in the money. I walked to a table. Wine sat warming by the fire and my belongings were in a pile alongside. I poured myself a large glass and one for the woman. I knew at this point in the game I should be feeling the lust stir inside me. There had been many women in my life, one I thought I loved, but right now, right here, I found it hard to focus on her. A ghost overlay the desire I needed to satisfy. A tall, blonde, strong and male ghost, with haunted blue eyes, full of so much pain.
I threw the wine down my neck and heard the woman rise from the bed to join me. Soft lips brushed my neck and soft hands pulled my shirt from my sword belt and hose.
“Hmm,” she murmured, “I don’t get to play with men as well built as you very often. The finest room, with the finest whore and you are fit enough to fuck into next week. I can’t wait,” she purred, kissing under my collar length tangled hair. “Those dark eyes of yours speak of promises you can do to women most men consider too terrifying to contemplate.”
I turned in her arms and looked down into clear blue eyes. “You are a bad girl,” I told her firmly.
“You need me to be very bad and very wicked so I wouldn’t complain,” she said, kissing my mouth.
The wine and the moment collided with my desperate need to escape the ghost. I wanted something normal, something I understood and could enjoy, a simple pleasure with a willing partner. I pushed her back against the bed and had her skirts up before she fell on the covers. The coins chimed cheerfully. Her deft fingers undid my hose with wonderful efficiency.
I closed my eyes. Within moments my companion began the task of ensuring I left a hefty tip, but I felt the tears burn the backs of my eyes as the unrequited love for someone I couldn’t have and a desire I didn’t understand, complicated a simple moment.
When the first flush of lust was dragged from me, it left an unsatisfied warmth behind. A peculiar longing despite the warm arms and soft kisses.
“Whoever let you go to make you that desperate in my bed, was a fool of a woman.”
I laughed, trying to cover my confusion and strange dissatisfaction. “Is there no way of hiding a broken heart from a professional?”
She pulled my shirt over my head and kissed my chest. “No, no way, but with a body this fit I’ll take a broken heart and work hard to mend it.” She licked from my belly button over my tight stomach and up my chest. I climbed onto the bed and she turned to attend my back.
“Oh, my God, what happened to you?” she gasped. I froze. For one blissful moment, I’d forgotten the healing scabs on my back.
I found words but they were rough, “I paid for sex not a commentary on my body.”
She dropped her gaze. “No, sorry, sir, I had no right. We all carry scars, one way or another.”
In that moment I wanted to run. Every muscle tightened to flee this damned woman and her prying eyes. What the hell must she think of me for looking like this?
Ever the professional and knowing she’d ruined the moment, the doxy rose from the bed and poured more wine. She smiled as she approached. “You look as though you are going to kill me,” she laughed. “Don’t be angry. It makes no difference to me what you’ve done or who you are. Just help me out of this damned dress and I’ll make you forget you ever had a life before this one.”
Lancelot and the Sword
The Knights of Camelot Book 2
A powerful new threat looms over Camelot and the fleeting sanctuary of love is shattered. Maybe beyond repair.
Lancelot and Arthur must place their joy on hold to save the kingdom.
As chaos takes hold over the land, the time for tender passion has passed. This is the time for heroes, the time for a king and his greatest knight to make a stand and lead their country through the fires of war.
But in the midst of the battles sometimes the needs of the moment demand sacrifice and a trust is broken.
With the blood of betrayal still running, Lancelot finds himself drawn to another. Perhaps in Tancred’s tender embrace he might just find the peace he so desperately craves.
But a jealous king is a dangerous creature and the ghosts of the dead are intent on hounding a broken soul to the grave.
Lancelot and the Grail
The Knights of Camelot Book 3
A broken and shattered knight hides from the world and from the man who destroyed him. Betrayed by the man he loved, Lancelot vows that the only way he will return is to see the heart of his king staining the floors of Camelot.
Then one day, a gentler soul tracks down the tormented knight and sets to repairing a mind so damaged, there may never be a way back. When Tancred finds Lancelot, he is barely recognisable.
The revenant of a once powerful knight, with a heart which burns so intensely, it is only the pain which gives life.
But Tancred is not going to lose a soulmate he has spent a lifetime waiting to find.
Lancelot will return and his sword is thirsty for blood. The power of the Grail and the fury of Excalibur are turned on the enemies of Camelot in a race to save a kingdom and a brotherhood bound in blood.
The Knights of Camelot Book 4
With King Arthur’s blood still fresh on Lancelot’s hands, a deal is struck. A deal which will bind the knight to an evil power in return for the life of the man he loves.
Lancelot is forced to work for the fey in a bargain which is set to unleash a new terror on the lands. A force so powerful that even the gods step back to watch.
With Tancred at his side, the vengeful knight must bide his time and play the fey’s games.
Games which will cost Lancelot his soul if he cannot find a way to defeat the evil which grows. But when the final prophecy is revealed, Lancelot must challenge his fate alone.
The Knights of Camelot Book 5
The gods play games, and Albion’s gods seem to enjoy the chase. When chaos descends the gentlest soul will break.
When that soul belongs to the man to whom Lancelot has given his heart, death is coming for the tormenters.
Lancelot is now the king of Albion and his sword will destroy her enemies. Even if those enemies are more powerful than anything he could have dreamed.
But first he needs to save his love. A man so destroyed that his thirst for revenge will not stop until the kingdom runs red.
Forced to make alliances with once hated enemies, the needs of war forge dangerous bedfellows.
To save a kingdom may just cost Lancelot the only thing he has left. His soul.
The Knights of Camelot Book 6
With only one chance to save his lover, and his land, Lancelot must make a new deal with the gods.
They will demand everything Lancelot holds and take the last threads of hope from his heart.
The torment that the god of chaos and misery sets to work in Lancelot’s life, threatens to destroy Albion and Camelot, but the god never figured on the power of love and with Arthur’s help, there may just be a way to survive such sadness.
Lancelot must find a way to stop their destruction before Camelot, Albion and Tancred are lost forever. This time there is no hope, no battle he can win, no twist to save his cursed life.
The knight turns his eyes to the heavens and his curse follows on a swift sword.
His only hope is that the sacrifice he gives proves to be enough to save his lost love.
Betrayal of Lancelot
The Knights of Camelot Book 7
For six hundred years, Lancelot has been lost.
Lost in a world so far from Camelot that his blood stills and his soul craves nothing but oblivion. Six hundred years of fighting other men’s wars and bedding other men’s lovers. Six hundred years of death.
But Fate wants her hero back and Lancelot must give up this new world of machines and cities to return to Albion.
The gods are rising and Mordred has a new ally.
An ally more fearsome than any Lancelot has ever encountered.
With Arthur once more by his side, they face what they believe will be their final battle. An appointment with the darkest soul in Albion and his even darker god.
Passion of Lancelot
The Knights of Camelot Book 8
When the battle rests, the hearts are laid bare.
Lancelot has destroyed the person who loved him and who brought him back from the dead. Tancred lies broken and Arthur will never release his hold on Lancelot.
But wars have no time for broken hearts and the three men are all that stand between Camelot and the advancing armies in the north. Somehow they must find a way to put the pain of broken love to one side before all is lost under the gathering evil.
They must learn to trust each other once more, if only for one last time. Camelot needs its greatest knights now; there will be time enough for hearts to heal when the battle is done.
If they survive.
Revenge of Lancelot
The Knights of Camelot Book 9
When a god strips you of everything you love, what is there left to do but fight?
Lancelot, Arthur and Tancred face their god of madness and chaos in the centre of the world. Fate holds her breath as the three heroes draw on the last of their strength to bring peace to Albion.
But can a warrior ever be still? Is there a place where heroes can sleep? Or is there only death for those who made death their lives?
Lancelot knows he is facing his final battle, but it is not the battle of the sword he fears, it is the battle of the heart.
If he is victorious, he will secure peace for Albion for eternity. Yet still his heart aches.
The fiercest knight that Camelot has ever known is fearful of the fragile soul his battered body conceals.
There may be only one answer and the thought scares him more than any enemy he has ever faced.
Lancelot- The Lost Years: The Spear
The Knights of Camelot Book 10
“The voices of the past are often too strong to resist. I have been away from Camelot and Albion for five long centuries. Occasionally though, a soul brushes against mine and I feel it… I feel love in all its forms regardless of the cost. No one can replace Arthur or Tancred, but there are souls in this long lonely life that make it bearable, even happy, and I live only for those candle flashes of hope.”
Lancelot is cursed to walk the world alone. His is the immortal Knight of Camelot, cast adrift after angering the god Balar. Time drifts endlessly for him until he finds a reason to live.
Lady Elizabeth Rothschild is a noble of the Great British Empire and she is going to prove that a noble woman can control just as much as a noble man. Her tool for this mission is a man called Lance Ash, a drunkard, a whoremonger, a wastrel, but someone very good at his job. He is her treasure hunter, and she wants him to find the Holy Spear which pierced the flank of the true God.
Lance Ash knows exactly how dangerous such a quest can be for all involved, but when he meets the Lady Rothschild’s half brother, Lance Ash is lost and Lancelot du Lac is reborn.
A Knights of Camelot story which takes place between Lancelot’s Curse and Betrayal of Lancelot.
Sarah Luddington is the author of historical gay romance and contemporary gay romance. She is a gay rights activist, holds three martial arts black belts, a degree in Medieval History and far too many dogs. She lives on a mountain in Spain and in her spare time writes and reads LGBT fiction.
Come and visit her website at www.romanticadventures.net or Facebook for more information. She always welcomes contact with her readers.