by Hannah Howell

March 1993
ISBN: 0-843-93475-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

Imagine that - another 5 star rating. Just what did this story do to rate all that? Well what do you look for in a good romance novel? Is it romance, love, trust, a touch of danger, villains that you want to see get what's coming to them, a hero and heroine that grab your imagination? This is a novel that will give you that and more.

Scotland 1500, we open with a 17 year old Aimil, dressed as a boy, being captured and whisked away to Black Parlan's castle with her loyal horse Elfking. Parlan is of course dallying with the other woman who pops up later to complicate an already complicated relationship. Throw in Aimil's intended, to whom she has been engaged to since birth, a man who gets his pleasure from pain and suffering and you have the main characters. Even the secondary characters, Aimil's family and Parlan's clan, are strong with their own ideas and views on their lives and of course Aimil's and Parlan's.

One of the things I liked most about this book was the humor, it was quiet and understated but definitely there especially in the dialogue between Aimil and Parlan. Another thing was the joy, quite simply it made me feel happy just reading this book. The two main characters are together from the moment they meet, even through deceit, torture, pain and kidnap, they care about each other and that never changes.

The villain is wonderful all through the book no matter where he appears you just want him to hurt as much as he hurts other people it amazed me that he could do so much damage to people and nobody told anyone else, just a few rumors here and there.

So there you have it a feisty heroine, a tall too good to be true hero, love scenes with humor and really bone melting sex, a gorgeous horse with loyalty and brains and a villain that you really want justice meted out to. Elfking's Lady never slows down and is a pleasure to read from start to finish. Definitely worth reading especially if you need a pick me up and to reaffirm that love will conquer all.

Reviewed in July 2001 by Julie.

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