by Lynsay Sands
Pub. Date: Nov. 24, 2015
Publisher: Harper Audio
Narrator: India Baldwin
Length: 12 hrs 25 min
Source: One Click Digital
New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns with the unforgettable story of a reluctant bride and groom who soon find common ground in the bedroom . . .
Bastard daughter to the king, Rosamunde was raised in a convent and wholly prepared to take the veil . . . until King Henry declared she would wed Aric, one of his most valiant knights. Suddenly she found herself promising to love, honor, and obey.
Rosamunde's education had not covered a wedding night, but the handsome warrior she was now bound to seemed intent on giving her a lesson in the art of pleasure. In no time, Aric was certain she would surrender to the irresistible passion he promised.
And while Rosamunde's spirited nature often put her at odds with her new husband, his mastery in seduction was quickly melting her resolve—and capturing her heart.
I have yet to read a historical by Lynsay Sands that I didn't love, and Always is no different. This book had so many laugh out loud moments that I was afraid to listen in public. I have gotten strange looks on the elevator before from people wondering why I am cackling at nothing (as they can't usually see my bluetooth headphones). Anyway, I digress.
Our heroine in this story is Rosamunde, bastard daughter to King Henry II and his beloved mistress (also named Rosamunde). She is convent-raised and set to take the veil when her father arrives with a bridegroom in tow. Certainly the convent nuns were not the proper avenue for Rosamunde to learn of the marriage bed, but it was certainly funny listening to them try to educate her. So Rosamunde is uber-naive but it leaned more toward humorously naive than annoyingly naive for me. She is caught up in sex being a sin as she was taught in the convent, but she wants to obey her husband who is trying to show her the pleasures of the marriage bed.
The king's selected bridegroom, Sir Aric, had recently vowed to never marry after he caught his betrothed in the stables with someone else. Because of her faithlessness, Aric now has major trust issues and he takes all of them out on his innocent wife. His repeated distrust and mistreatment of Rosamunde made it hard for me to like him. I sympathized with him, but he really believed that all women were whores and couldn't even be trusted to go to the stables without lifting their skirt for the first man they encountered. So that was frustrating. That being said, I liked him and Rosamunde together when he wasn't being such a numpty.
There is also a side plot going on that endangers Rosamunde's life. While the culprit was a bit predictable, the plot was laid out nicely and it added the needed drama element to compliment the romance and humor.
The narrator did a fantastic job and really lent a comedic effect where it was needed. I encourage you to listen to this one in audio if you are able. I borrowed my copy from the library via One Click Digital.