by Mary Wine
Series: Courtly Love #1
Pub. Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
He'd defend her keep...
After proving himself on the field of battle, Ramon de Segrave is appointed to the Council of Barons by Richard the Lionheart. But instead of taking his most formidable warrior on his latest Crusade, the king assigns Ramon an even more dangerous task—woo and win the Lady of Thistle Keep.
If only she'd yield her heart...
Isabel of Camoys is a capable widow with no intention of surrendering her valuable estate. She's fought long and hard for her independence, and if the price is loneliness, then so be it. She will not yield... even if she does find the powerful knight's heated embrace impossible to ignore.
But when her land is threatened, Isabel reluctantly agrees to allow Ramon and his army to defend the keep—knowing that the price may very well be her heart.
This is a nice new release from Mary Wine, set during the time of the Crusades and the reign of Richard the Lionheart. I was pleasantly surprised by this book b/c just last week I DNF'd another book set during the Crusades because it did not stay true to the time period. Mary Wine did a good job of making the 12th century come to life in the marshes of the English/Welsh border.
Baron Ramon de Segraves has been campaigning with Richard I for the past 10 years, but has received a royal "suggestion" that he will now stay behind to marry a widow and secure the Welsh border. Ramon, who had a bad experience with his first marriage, is not eager to enter into another matrimonial union. That is, until he meets the headstrong Isabel of Camoys, the widow in question. Isabel has been managing her estate since the death of her brute of a husband, and prefers the life of a widow to living again as a man's chattel. But Ramon has never met a challenge he could not best, and he sees Isabel as a worthwhile opponent. This leads to a saucy seduction by Ramon, which is sometimes humorous and quite steamy at others.
The story had great secondary characters and villains. I particularly liked Ambrose and Isabel's nurse, who made me chuckle several times and provided my favorite quote for the book:
A member like that means only one thing,” Mildred continued in spite of Isabel’s displeasure with the topic. She leaned closer and lowered her voice. “The man will have a great appetite for the flesh. Every midwife will tell you a member that thick and long is a demanding one. He’ll need to spend once a night at least and likely twice with sacs such as those.
So this one had a little bit of everything from romance to comedy to drama, all wrapped up in a beautiful medieval setting. I will definitely be continuing on with the series. I believe the next book will feature Ambrose, a hulking blond giant of a man. ;)
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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