by Joanna Makepeace

August 2001
ISBN: 0-263-82742-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Mills & Boon
Mass Market Paperback

As a Yorkist supporter of the late King, Lady Phillipa's father is now a wanted man, a traitor. Visiting her dying grandfather in Wales, she is fearful when she is recognised by Sir Rhys Griffith, a knight and supporter of the present king.

At any moment, Sir Rhys could have her father arrested and thrown in the Tower for treason. Yet he seems to be a man of honour, a man who has appointed himself her protector. Could it be he seeks her father for a different reason, to ask for her hand in marriage?

This book is set during the reign of King Henry VII. There were still many people who live in exile because of their loyalty to the late King Richard. Lady Phillipa's father was one of them; as a result, Phillipa and her Mother live in exile as well and their subsequent trip to Wales to visit her dying grandfather is fraught with danger.

Phillipa is a determined young woman. She fights the attraction she feels for Sir Rhys because she feels nothing can ever come of her feelings as they are on opposing sides.

It is unusual for the hero to declare his love to the heroine as he does very early in this story. She besots him but he is no lovelorn hero. He is a strong, very masculine man, and a brave one at that, as the author, Joanna Makepeace, shows us later in the story.

There is so much going on in this story; it is the kind of book you could easily read more than once. Ms. Makepeace gives a good portrayal of the way people lived in the beginning of the 16th century; to make it even more interesting, Ms. Makepeace includes a lot of intrigue with the romance in this story. Philippa takes quite a number of risks that the hero has to rescue her repeatedly much to her annoyance!

Phillipa goes through a lot of agonising moments as her love for Rhys grows. She knows that he could lose the King's favour by marrying her and this is something she feels she cannot risk as she begins to trust Rhys.

I found myself understanding the difficulties such an alliance must have presented. Ms. Makepeace succeeded well in conveying this throughout the book. The climax to the story is very dramatic and action filled. The fear of the heroine can be felt strongly while the hero's fear for her safety leads him to risk everything in a daring rescue. The action here is fast and furious! And draws to a very satisfying conclusion.

I certainly recommend this book as a thoroughly good read. Maybe not as hot on passion until towards the end, but the story in itself is so good that this doesn't really disappoint - as the story progresses, there are plenty of undercurrents promising passion to come. This book clearly deserves 5 stars.

Reviewed in September 2001 by Mary.

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