Well known for her powerfully written, deeply emotional medieval romances, Elliot engages readers with an atypical marriage-of-convenience love story. The heroine’s distinctive voice creates a realistic and unique perspective of the nuances of her character. She is a woman of her time, yet she has a 21st century sensibility and belief in her empowerment that gains the hero’s respect. Medieval romance lovers are sure to treasure this well-paced, intriguing novel reminiscent of Roberta Gellis and Madeline Hunter.
King Edward’s daughter, young widow Princess Isabel Plantagenet, is aware that she must comply with her father’s wish that she marry a man of his choosing. She may be a pawn in his political schemes, but she does not have to allow her betrothed, Faulke Segrave, to see her fears. He has already buried three wives and rumors swirl around the circumstances of their deaths. It might well be he is a murderer. Faulke is none too happy to be forced into marriage. Yet Isabel’s calmness, surety and intelligence create a spark of desire. He is determined to seduce his wife to be. Isabel has never been kissed by a man as powerful and desirable as Faulke, but she is resolute in maintaining her independence. A death on the eve of their betrothal thrusts them into a hunt for a killer, even as they begin their new life as husband and wife. While ferreting out a traitor, Isabel and Faulke discover unexpected love, loyalty and great passion. (BANTAM, Jun., 400 pp., $7.99)