by Margaret Moore

October 2002
ISBN: 0-380-82053-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Alexander DeFrouchette, illegitimate son of a traitor to the crown, believes himself wronged when he doesnít inherit his fatherís estate. Instead the estate goes to Connor of Llanstephan, the man who killed his father. Out for revenge, Alexander intends to kidnap the manís wife, Lady Allis.

With the help of his dear friend, Dennis, and a troupe of Norsemen, he takes the Lady Allis to a remote castle, where they are to await the ransom. However, the taken woman is not Lady Allis, but her sister Lady Isabelle. And not willing to risk her own life or those of her family, Lady Isabelle keeps quite about the mistaken identity.

I canít say I like the story very much. Sure it is a medieval, but there is not much in it I find exciting, beautiful or interesting. All My Desire is a very predictable tale with a hero I couldnít sympathize with. Uninformed and easily duped, he spends more time salivating over Lady Isabelleís beauty than deciding on an honorable way to gain his knighthood and an estate.

He is using her, exposing her to countless dangers in the appearance of fierce Norsemen, violent mercenaries and crazy former nobles (yup, complete overkill!) and leaves her to them when promising her protection. Is it any wonder that she tries to escape and succeeds in killing one of her guards?

Do I like her for those actions? Not if she stumbles over a tree root, needs rescuing from a steep fall out her window and, to top it all, feels no remorse for the killing. Sure he deserved it and it wasn't planned, but to not spend one single thought on it? How insensitive. And instead of hating the man who is responsible, Alexander DeFrouchette, she suddenly falls in love with him.

They do deserve each other - he without honor and her without feelings.

No, I donít like this story; it has some secondary characters that I wouldnít mind reading more about, but the main romance and its characters are not well developed. Overall, it might appeal to those readers of ALL medievals, but for the more discerning Iíd recommend passing this on and waiting for a better tale.

Reviewed in February 2003 by Kris Alice.

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