Alexa Aston with you today at Embracing Romance. My current medieval romance series, the Knights of Honor, features a knight as its hero in each book—so you can imagine I’ve done a ton of research regarding how men became knights.
In Journey to Honor, the 4th book of this series (where each romance can be read as a standalone), I feature Sir Kenric Fairfax, who goes through his Order of the Knighthood Ceremony early in the novel. But what did this ceremony involve?
After years of training—and usually around the age of 21—a squire would go through the dubbing ceremony. In the early Middle Ages, this was simply done with a brief, open-handed blow to the neck followed by an admonition to conduct himself with courage, bravery, skill and loyalty. After the 11th century, the Church expanded this ceremony to incorporate seeds of religious chivalry and promised in return, knights would be guaranteed a place in heaven for their loyalty.
The dubbing ceremony became much more elaborate during the 11th and 12th centuries. Some would pray alone in church the night before the ceremony, wearing simple clothes to prove humility before God. The priest would bless his sword, and when presented, the new knight would kiss the hilt, which often contained religious relics.
It was fun and interesting incorporating all of these elements into Kenric’s Order of the Knighthood into Kenric’s book—and then taking it all away from him—for Kenric, feeling he’s brought dishonor to himself, hacks off the spurs he earned and attached to his boots at the end of the ceremony. Fortunately, Avelyn Le Cler, the woman meant for him, helps Kenric regain his confidence and honor.
When twin boys are born, a servant with a grudge switches their birth order . . .
1366 A.D. – Kenric Fairfax is raised as the second son of the Earl of Shadowfaire. The day of his Knighting Ceremony, a tragedy takes place—and Kenric flees the north of England, putting his past behind him as he swears he will never marry. He becomes a trusted knight in service to Lord Michael Devereux, who asks Kenric to lead an escort party from London in order to bring his wife’s sister home to Sandbourne.
Avelyn Le Cler has spent a year as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Philippa and finds the treachery at the royal court not to her liking. She looks forward to a summer visit with her sister Elysande, who will soon give birth to her first child. While journeying from London, Avelyn discovers a secret about Sir Kenric Fairfax that could change his life—if he believes her.
But Avelyn is plagued with doubts since she has no proof to present Kenric. As the couple fall in love, Avelyn knows she must reveal to Kenric the truth she has learned about his birth—even if it costs her everything.
Join Kenric and Avelyn as the truth rips them apart—but their enduring love brings them together again.
Each book in the Knights of Honor series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Word of Honor
Book #2 Marked by Honor
Book #3 Code of Honor
Book #4 Journey to Honor
Book #5 Heart of Honor
“I want you,” Kenric said, his voice rough and low.
Avelyn nodded, words impossible to form.
He took her hand, drawing it to his mouth. His lips brushed against her knuckles, causing her knees to go weak.
Kenric cupped her face gently with his other hand. “But I have learned that I can’t always have what I want. It’s a hard lesson a man must learn.”
His fingers touched her mouth, burning her, silencing her.
“You are destined to be a great lady someday, Avelyn Le Cler. You’ll marry a powerful man who will treasure you and give you everything you deserve. I would not spoil you for him merely to satisfy my own desire,” he said softly, his hand squeezing hers.
Kenric released her hand and took a step back. “I will always remember you as you are in this moment. Your hair coming undone and damp. Your lips bruised with my kiss. Your cheeks flushed with desire. You are the most beautiful woman who walks this earth, Avelyn. I pray the Most Holy God brings the right man into your life. That you will wed and be happy together. Even come to love one another.”
He turned and went to their horses, where he loosened the reins and brought them back to where she stood, dazed, not comprehending his words.
Then anger boiled inside her. She saw red as she looked up at him.
“How dare you tease me!” she spit out. “Make me want you. Make me fall in love with you . . . and then cast me aside for some nonexistent, future husband. I hope you burn in the fires of Hell, Kenric Fairfax.”
Avelyn drew her arm back and slapped him as hard as she could. She saw the stunned look upon his face. Before he could react, she jammed her foot into Starlight’s stirrup and tossed her leg over, snatching up the reins as she rode away in the rain.