Review by Ann McDonald
An English lady turns the damsel-in-distress tale on its head as she escapes her malicious fiancé and fights for both her life and that of the lustful rebel that has become her protector.
The story opens in 1848 in Germany. The beautiful Lady Lenora Trevelyan is tethered to a flogging post on the order of her bethrothed Prince Kurt, who wishes to make her a good, obedient and submissive wife. His sadistic smile as he orders the floggings to commence, makes Lenora determined to get away from him and back to her beloved parents in England. If she can just survive. The townspeople don’t dare protest, they know his iron fist will spare no one who speaks out.
With the punishment over, Kurt orders the local blacksmith, Wolfram, to assist her to her quarters. An enormous giant of a man, he gets her to her room and makes sure her wounds are dressed. As it turns out, he is the English/German leader of the rebellion. Eventually she does manage to escape only to be captured by the rebels and lo and behold, Wolfram is there and insists on a wedding so he can protect her from Kurt. The wedding must be consummated or Kurt can have it annulled.
So bed it is in spite of her protests. She eventually reaches home in England as she gets really good at escaping bad princes and over-zealous lovers. The story covers the political and social ramifications of that time and the research is well done. The love story is, at times, long-drawn out and sometimes convoluted but LaRoche gets away with it for the most part. The seduction scenarios are not too passe, methinks the lady doth protest too much! Pass the sherry ladies, you’re going to need it.
In stores June 9th
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