William le Brouillard, Grenefordes new lord, is surprised to see that the holding he has been given is in shambles. Not only that, but his bride, Lady Cathryn, and her household look as if they have not bathed in months. What kind of a reward is this, that Henry gave his loyal knight?

Lady Cathryn has her reasons for keeping herself and her people hidden under filth. Since her lands were raided and ruined she trusts no man, even if the king has sent him to be lord and master. William will have to prove himself before she will allow him to know her and rule over Greneforde.

However, she needs William and his men to protect her lands and people, and she will be an obedient wife to gain that protection. Cathryn fears Williams reaction when he learns that she is not the innocent, blushing bride. Will he believe she was a willing mistress to the brutal enemy or will he believe she was used and abused by one who now claims friendship?

Filled with the aura of the 12th century and much of the reality of the middle ages, THE HOLDING is a romance that brings historical detail and passion together. Readers are given an accurate portrait of the cruelties, while at the same time, a fantasy to fill their dreams. The strong characters hold appeal as does the backdrop, even when the end appears a bit weak. SENSUAL (Mar., 350 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin