by Katy Cooper

December 2002
ISBN: 0-373-29238-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #638
Mass Market Paperback

Thomas Manners was dead and Lady Beatrice was now free, or was she? When her brother John came home, she was happy to see him, yet that joy was thwarted when he learned that she had not been married to Lord Sebastian Benbury as he had thought. When they were younger, Sebastian and Beatrice, in wine induced passion, pledged their love for each other and promised to marry when they were older with her brother John as their witness. Johnís years in Italy made him very familiar with Canon law and he assured them that the vows they made were binding.

Sebastian and Beatrice were stunned. Sebastian was betrothed to her sister Cecilia, who was in love with a man who was of royal blood and not free to marry as he chose. Beatrice had thought she was free. Her husband, Thomas was a cruel, abusive man. She never told anyone of the fact that he beat her if the weather changed.

Beatrice and Sebastian had been friends from childhood. While they flirted and played at love, they thought they had all the time in the world. When Thomas Manners asked for Beatriceís hand, she waited for Sebastian to claim her, when he didnít she accepted Mannerís offer and lived to regret her haste. Sebastian had been hurt when Beatrice married Thomas Manners. When he caught her in a compromising position with another man, George Conyers, he was devastated, he felt that he could no longer trust her.

Lord Sebastianís Wife is a beautifully written tale of love, forgiveness and redemption. What do you do when you find out that the one you love is human and makes mistakes? Do you stop loving them, or do you take the chance and trust that they are telling you the truth when they say that they will never treat you in that way. That is the dilemma that faces Sebastian and Beatrice. They both handle the results with grace and humility.

Katy Cooper has written a story about two people who have experienced pain, disappointment, disillusionment and heartbreak. Yet they have both retained their faith in love and the hope that they can overcome their problems and live together. Lord Sebastianís Wife is unique in that itís time line runs parallel to Prince of Hearts, her first Harlequin Historical. It is not really necessary to read Prince of Hearts first. I loved these two books immensely. I have read them both twice and I can see me reading them again and again. I admit that at the end I cried a little when they finally opened up to each other past the hurt and the fear. It reaffirmed my belief in love and my firm belief that reading romance is time well spent.

Reviewed in April 2003 by Carolyn.

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