by Suzanne McMinn

December 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-6877-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Itís the year 1356 and the siege of Manvel is underway. Gwyneth of Wulfere wants to be a warrior - not a wife to an unwanted and old husband - and follows her brother into battle. But as soon as she arrives at the camp, she is spotted and as a suspected spy brought in front of a lord. The lord turns out to be none other than Rorke of Valmond. The man that trained her for years only to leave without a goodbye. The man that she can't resist have womanly feelings for.

Discovering her not only to be a woman Ė and a desirable one at that - but also his best friendís little sister Rorke promises to return her home. When on their way home they are attacked and Gwyneth rescues him it is clear that to save her from an unwanted marriage he needs to offer for her hand. Without a better choice she accepts and follows him to his deserted castle.

And that was the point where it all suddenly seemed to turn gothic. Curses, ghosts, dungeons, murdering monks and poison. Should be enough to keep me entertained. Especially with a tortured hero, a warrior woman and a medieval setting. Somehow though this is just too bland. The authorís style and voice never really agreed with me and the many explanatory passages, though necessary, left me annoyed and bored. The attraction is there and I do like how he lets her be what and who she wants to, but her choices are just a little too predictable. Or maybe they are just not my choices.

Itís not a bad story and for a few hours itís entertaining enough, but if you have better things to do, to read, than this can turn out a waste of time. Maybe it all works better together with the previous titles in this series, but as stand alone title itís only average.

Reviewed in April 2003 by Kris Alice.

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