Lady Johanna is trapped in a loveless and violent arranged marriage to Sir Fulk. When her father’s illness allows her to escape back to her childhood home, her mother schemes to release her from the hell that is her life. Geraint is going by the name of Gervase de Laval in order to escape capture by the King’s men. Lady Johanna’s mother recognizes Geraint’s companion as a wanted man and traps Geraint in a devil’s bargain. If Geraint professes to be Johanna’s first husband returned to claim his wife, thus nullifying the marriage to Fulk, she will not make the King’s men aware of the injured fugitive hiding on the property. Is Geraint Johanna’s savior? Or will the cure be worse than the illness?
Isolde Martyn weaves a complex, emotionally intense saga anchored deeply in the history of Medieval England. The cast of characters before the start of the story is a little intimidating and cause for worry if the tale will be too complex to be understood without the “cheat sheet.” Fortunately, the fears are quickly dispelled. Masterful characterization and story telling bring the tale to life and make it unforgettable. This story is not for those who want “history lite” in their historical romances. The history is a character in it’s own right. But for those who want to be immersed in the daily life and struggles of the characters they are reading about, this story is a highly satisfying endeavor.
Lea Moyer, December 2003
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