Bitter Fruit (Paperback)
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A sweeping Icelandic Saga of love, loss, and the terrible sacrifices that duty demands...
Summer 1152: Viscountess Ermengard, ruler of Narbonne, twice married and still a virgin, longs for a husband of her own choosing. When Viking longboats sail into her sunny Mediterranean harbor, she fears invasion. But when the first ship arrives bearing a huge wooden cross and a handsome Viking nobleman, Ermengard dares to hope her prayers have finally been answered.
Desperate to atone for a lifetime of sin, Earl Rogenvaldr of Orkneyinga is on a Christian pilgrimage from Norway to Jerusalem. To finance his journey, Rogenvaldr must do the King's bidding: pass off a gilded narwhal tooth as a unicorn horn, and sell it for gold.
The unsuspecting Ermengard buys the unicorn horn, but lonely and love starved, she eagerly welcomes Rogenvaldr into into her bed.
But, suddenly, someone is slaughtering the innocent daughters of Narbonne The town is quick to blame the Viking horde drinking Narbonne's wine and gorging on the ripe, sensual delights of its fertile lands and women. Rioting, they imprison Rogenvaldr.Ermengard refuses to believe Rogenvaldr is to blame. Going down a twisted trail of heresy, treachery, and greed, she saves the man she loves. But saving him costs Ermengard far more than she ever imagined - her heart, her life, maybe even her soul.