THE SHATTERED ROSE
Jo Beverley moves from the Regency period to the turbulence of the middle ages for this powerful, thought-provoking romance that is sure to win her new devotees.
After years on the battlefields of the Crusades, Galerin of Heywood has finally come home. He longs to hold his beloved wife and the young son he has never seen, but it is with shock that he finds his wife branded an adulteress and his child dead.
Always loving and faithful, Jehanne had believed Galerin dead when she became Raymond of Lowick's lover and bore his daughter. Raymond has fled leaving her to face Galerin's wrath. She has never stopped loving Galerin and grieves for the loss of their son, yet she knows he is justified in his hatred and rage.
Try as he might, Galerin cannot condemn Jehanne for what has happened. Torn by his own grief, he cannot believe Jehanne murdered his son and he accepts the infant girl as his own while he and Jehanne begin to rebuild their marriage.
However, Raymond has powerful friends in the church and will do whatever he must to gain control over Jehanne. In a world thick with intrigue and where passions run deep, Jehanne and Galerin fight for their love, their land and their children.
Jo Beverley paints an accurate, though often violent portrait of the 12th century and the place women held in this turbulent era. The lovers' grief, Jehanne's willingness to accept punishment for crimes real and imagined, the finely-drawn portrait of the powerful Church and even the lovely secondary love story, will keep you turning the pages until the satisfying conclusion. SENSUAL (May, 416 pp., $5.99)