By Madeline Hunter
Bantam Books (Random House Inc) - 2000
ISBN: 0553582224 - 2000

Romance / Historical

Reviewed by: Rachel Hyde, MyShelf.Com 
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If you are a romance reader then you will welcome newcomer on the scene Madeline Hunter.  This is the first of a trio of novels set in 14th century London and concerns one Lady Christiana Fitzwaryn, ward of the king and longing for her knight with whom she dallied once and now fears that her reputation may be lost.  But the king has something for her - a husband called David de Abyndon who is not a romantic chivalrous knight like the man she dreams about but a mere merchant.  Not so mere though as he means to have his way and make her his despite her protests.  Other people have plans for this pair too including the king, sadistic lady Catherine, Christiana's former boyfriend and her brother to name a few.  This isn't going to be a boring marriage!

Romance, sex, castles, mediaeval thrills and's all here in an admirably taut book.  Fans of mediaeval romances will enjoy it as it just oozes romantic appeal even if parts of the background were rather sketchy in places - but this is not supposed to be a history lesson and if you want lots of knightly conflict or information about mediaeval London and its mercers then you should look elsewhere.  A good place would be the author's website 

Overall I was gripped and the story rushed along with two likeable characters leading the events all the way.  At the back you can read excerpts of the next two books to whet your appetite for more if reading this novel hasn't already done that.  Pure romantic escapism.

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