Carlisle Castle, Border Fortress

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Highlighting Historical Romance with Sawyer North on castles in England.

Fair Weather Enemies is an enemies-to-lovers road tripping treasure hunt that begins in earnest at Carlisle Castle in Northwest England. In the pantheon of English castles, the one at Carlisle barely registers with most sightseers. Its blocky appearance and small size are a byproduct of its true function: as a border fortress. In its fortress spirit, the castle remains devoid of luxuries, charm, and esthetics. However, due to its location on the English-Scottish border, few castles in England have witnessed more significant history than has Carlisle Castle.

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Carlisle Castle from aerial photograph of the UK by Webb Aviation

When William II conquered Cumberland in 1092, he built the first rudimentary fortress on foundation stones of a Roman fort dating from the second century. Henry I began constructing the castle in earnest, only for David I of Scotland to seize it and construct the present castle keep. After King David died in the castle’s prayer room, Henry II reclaimed the castle. Over the next 300 years, the Scots laid siege to it seven times to no avail until a combined force of Scots and Lancastrians took it from the Yorkists. When Mary Queen of Scots was taken prisoner by Elizabeth, she was housed for some time at Carlisle Castle.

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Carlisle Castle

After yet another siege during the English Civil War, Carlisle Castle experienced a rare double siege in 1745. Outlander fans will recognize this part! When Bonny Prince Charlie led the Jacobite rebels across the English border, they captured the castle from town militia. A month later, the Jacobites retreated across the border and left a garrison at Carlisle. Ten days later, royalist forces retook the castle for the last time. With portions nearly 2000 years old, sieged ten times, and continuously occupied since 1092, few castles in England boast the resume of Carlisle Castle.

About the Book

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The Hancocks and Ashfords have had a long-standing feud between their families long before Miss Jane Hancock couldn’t stand the sight of gentleman farmer Adam Ashford. But after both families fall on hard times and an unscrupulous creditor forces Jane and Adam to sign a devil’s bargain, they’ll finally understand the true meaning of keeping your enemies close at hand.

The terms of this bargain? Locate a lost treasure shrouded in deception and mystery.

The catch? Only one can claim it to win…the loser is left to ruin.

As Jane and Adam embark on a trek throughout England they plan to hate their adversary, no matter how attractive, generous, and kind they are.

Sometimes, plans change…


“Miss Hancock. I should have suspected you would arrive early and appear well-rested, despite the circumstances. This only reinforces my suspicion that you are a witch.”

Jane huffed. To cover her relief, she resorted to what she did best in his presence. Insult him. “What did you say, sir? I could not hear you over the incessant braying.”

He dropped his bag and clapped twice in mock applause. “Very good. I see you visited the blacksmith recently to sharpen that tongue. Did he also fashion for you a pitchfork?”

“If I have need for a pitchfork, sir, I will simply borrow yours. Although, I do admit surprise.”

He cocked his head. “Surprise? Over what?”

“Your attire. I did not believe you capable of owning clothing so common.”

He shook his head. “What you do not know of me could fill libraries.”

“I see. Then I am doubly surprised.”

His eyes narrowed. “Dare I ask?”

“I am surprised you know about libraries.”

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About the Author, Sawyer North

After self-publishing science fiction novels over a period of years, I made the truly odd move into historical romance. Although romance is a strong thread in nearly all my works, I came to straight-up, nothing-but-romance only after turning fifty. Since then, I am plagued by the question, “What took me so long?” My awakening began rather innocuously when I casually watched the 2015 version of Poldark. Before I knew, I was falling headlong into the abyss of historical romance and read fifteen such novels over a three-month span. However, no number could sufficiently scratch my itch for more, so I did what any writer would do and began constructing stories of my own. In April of 2019, I received my first contract with Entangled Publishing.

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Caroline Warfield, Author

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