by Paula Quinn

December 2006
ISBN: 0-446-61782-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Books
Mass Market Paperback

Young Tanon Risande often finds herself the target of Roger de Courtenayís bullying tactics. He seems to take special delight in making her life miserable, and shows an aptitude for cruelty. Since Tanon refuses to join him in making others suffer, she becomes the victim instead. All of that changes when the Welsh prince brings his nephews to King Williamís court. It seems that Tanon has a champion in Gareth ap Owain, and Rogerís wicked fun is spoiled. The young Welshman may not be able to speak Norman French, but his meaning is clear as he stands over the fallen girl, ready to defend her. For the rest of that summer, the two children became fast friends, and Tanon misses Gareth when it was time for his family to return home.

Twelve years later, Tanon is a beautiful young woman, poised and assured. She has accepted that she will be wed for political reasons, but longs for the deep love shared by her parents, Brand and Brynna. King William may love her like his own daughter, but he will need her connections to insure peace. First, she is betrothed to Garethís older brother Cedric, but that is changed when he turns traitor to his king. Now, it appears that she will wed Roger de Courtenay, whose years in Normandy have not wrought a miraculous change in his personality. She is dreading the prospect, but has no real choice. She had hoped that once her betrothal to Cedric was dissolved, that they might petition King Rhys for a match with Gareth. But word has come that the young warrior was killed, and her fanciful dreams were crushed.

It seems Gareth has arrived at King Williamís castle just in time. While held prisoner in a rebel lordís dungeon, he had plenty of time to think about his duties to his king, and his people. One conclusion was clear. It was time for him to return to England take what was rightfully his. Not only will he forge an alliance for peace, he will marry the young girl who captured his heart so many years ago.

Author Paula Quinn spins the clock on her first two books, and brings us forward a bit in Lord of Seduction. While familiar characters grace the pages, they are older and settled. But King Williamís reign was turbulent, especially on the western border where the Marcher Lords and the Welsh battled for decades. This novel captures the era, on both sides of the conflict, with masterful skill. She offers readers a fine romance, plenty of action, and a few twists in this medieval tale.

Reviewed in November 2006 by Paula.

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