THE SAXON ROSE
by Fiona Neal

October 2006
ISBN: 1-58608-966-8
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Norman knight Sir Alan was about the king’s business when he quite literally ran into a woman who materialized out of nowhere. He’d shouted a warning but had no time to stop. His men feared her to be the Mist Maiden come to do them harm. Alan believed her to be a Saxon spy and while her appearance gave evidence that she was no serf, he wasn‘t sure of her identity. Keeping her with him would solve two things: She would be safe from harm and he could find out her true intentions.


Gwyneth did harbor a dark secret. Only two other people knew of it and they were devoted to protecting Gwyneth. One of those people was her father. If he knew she’d managed to get herself captured by a Norman, he would be beside himself with worry. Gwyneth must keep her identity secret, thus protecting her father in the process. She didn’t want to lead the Normans to Wykston just to see them take it from her father and hand it over to William. But she soon found matters taken out of her hands when her father died. His last words were to offer Gwyneth in marriage to the hated Wulfstan. Gwyneth was devastated.


A rebel uprising prompted King William to order his men to seize every estate they could find. Sir Alan saw the opportunity to stop Wulfstan from marrying Gwyneth. Alan desired her for himself and now he had the rebellion to thank for delivering her to him. By taking Wykston, he would also have the daughter; thereby protecting Gwyneth from her father’s last wish.


Gwyneth desired her captor turned rescuer. She didn’t want to, after all, he held her life in his hands. Fear continued to hold her in its grasp. What would he do if he discovered her secret?


Not only do Alan and Gwyneth have the fact they were on opposite sides, but they both hid secrets which created stress in their burgeoning relationship. The path to trust was not easy, but it would be well worth the effort.


Fiona Neal’s new book is an adventurous medieval romance set during the time of William the Conqueror. I enjoyed the plot in The Saxon Rose, however, the characters lacked that connecting factor needed for me to care about what happened to them. Even so, I encourage readers to try it for themselves.


Reviewed in March 2007 by Rho.

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