Alexander de Montroi is a wayward young man of 18 who has run away from the monastery to join his older brother, Hervi, and learn the arts of a tourney knight. Along with his brother is a long time friend, his wife and their 14 year old daughter, Monday. Alexander grows to manhood with the arrogance and conceit of a successful, handsome youth fighting on the tourney field.
When Monday de Cerizay loses her parents, she is forced to become a resourceful young woman and is determined to escape the insecurity and difficulty of life on the road.
One night, while under Hervis guardianship, Monday loses her virtue to Alexander. This creates a chain of reactionsstarting them all on a path they could never have foreseen, thanks to an unforgiving grandfather, who disinherited Mondays mother, and a cruel tourney knight who wants Monday as his wife.
Ms. Chadwicks novel is everything a medieval romance should be and more. Her characters develop as real people over the course of the novel with human virtues and failings. Her storytelling skills are excellent and her style a pleasure to read. SENSUAL (Feb., 350 pp., $25.95)