BY THE KING’S COMMAND
LINDA LEA CASTLE
The Wild Rose Press
Rating: 4 Cups
Elsbeth is desperate to escape an arranged marriage. She is terrified that her Uncle Corwin will betroth her to a brute who will expect her to bear numerous children causing her early death. A nunnery will be a welcome sanctuary.
Roger is a landless Welsh knight who has been charged by his overlord with ridding St. John’s Wood of robbers. The young woman he rescues might be comely and wealthy, but bodes nothing but trouble for the young knight.
As a result of her heedless flight into St. John’s Wood, Elsbeth is ordered to marry Roger of Angelsey. One does not disobey the orders of the King, and Roger is elevated from landless knight to one of the most powerful Barons of the kingdom. If he could only win his lady’s love as well, his life would be perfect.
This is an engaging historical with a lot of suspense and action. The author pays great attention to detail about the mores and language of the time, but the plot flows very smoothly for the reader, even if they are not familiar with the terminology and customs of the era. Roger and Elsbeth are both likable and complex characters. Elsbeth has a valid fear of her future and the perils of childbirth, which causes her problems to begin with and Roger suffers from guilt that he was not able to find or protect his cousin. The subplot of Millisand’s disappearance and the gentlemanly robber of St. John’s Wood is intriguing. The evil Sir Brian and the sneaky confessor added to the drama of life in the time of King John. The reader will enjoy the fast moving plot and fascinating characters as they fall in love and try to stay alive during a very turbulent time in English history.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
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