Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Synopsis: Most readers tend to go for Regency when someone mentions historical to them, but Medieval isn’t as left out as you might think – it’s still going strong thanks to those authors who decide to take it on themselves to create a stormy and sensual novel – which this is. Madeleine Bouchard is an unhappy wife in a difficult relationship with her husband who beats her when things don’t go right with his life.
As a vineyard owner, he expected her to bear him a son, but after years of trying for one, and with no success, he blames her for their barren relationship. When she finds out he plans to kill her, she decides to leave and make a new life on the road in England as a troubadour, singing songs and entertaining people. It is then she catches the eye of Garrett Montayne.
Garrett is a wealthy nobleman who wants to see more of Madeleine even though he thinks she might do him a disservice at some point. He does his best to encourage her, and summer plans to be a whirlwind affair where the both of them will fall in love, but problems lurk on the horizon when her husband has discovered where she might be, and intends to kill her no matter what.
What can Madeleine do now?
As a debut author, this is Lauren Linwood’s first novel, one of three in fact set in 1346 and starts at the point where she is ready to flee her abusive husband, Henri and thinks hard on the problems she will have once she does leave the relative comfort of what she has considered her home with him. Through all her plotting she also considers that she has to not alert him as to her sudden decision to move, but with him being a drunkard, she feels he is unlikely to notice any change in her. His annoyance at her not being able to bear children can quickly be traced back to Henri as he is unlikely to be able to father any with his constant drinking enabling him. Garrett on the other hand already has a daughter, Lissa who he loves very much and he is a completely different man to her husband. He has the wealth and the caring attitude toward her she has missed while being with Henri.
- I am with her all the way through while she is plotting to leave Henri – the suspense is killing me!
- Garrett Montayne is everything you would want in a man, strong, cuddly and good with kids.
- There is an excellent build-up to the sensual parts in the story.
- Henri, she does a great job of making him sound positively awful most of the way through the novel.
- Lauren makes you wait before anything saucy happens – naughty
Review: For a debut romance author this gets right to the nub of the matter without any messing around – Madeleine wants to leave her husband and she does right at the start. Lauren knows the strength of a setting and using interesting characters you want to get to know more of in the story, and has them do the most amazing things for love.
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Sandra delights in immersing herself in anything period romance, says that supernatural romance novels have a tendency to grasp her in a way that some don’t, and thinks GLBT romances have that extra something and show a different way of how people of the same sex find love and try to keep it. She likes a wide variety of novels and is interested in reading stories, and in some cases, the shorter the better. Romance of all genres can keep her interest, but she finds that the Regency period is one of her firm favourites. Learn more about Sandra in her Reader Highlight.