by Lynsay Sands

July 2000
ISBN: 0-8439-4736-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

Having never read a Lynsay Sands book before I had no idea what to expect and therefore was pleasantly surprised when I couldn't stop laughing. Ms. Sands has an amazing sense of humor and filters it wonderfully into her writing. Always is a historical romance with humor and from the first page I absolutely couldn't put the book down! The story was funny and romantic, and the mystery involved made it extremely interesting. It is well weaved and carries you from one delightful event to another throughout the entire book.

Always is about the Good King Henry's bastard daughter, Rosamunde who has been raised in a convent and suddenly finds herself betrothed by her father to a man she has never met, and married to him in the same day. This was day before she was supposed to become a nun! Can you imagine? What a transition to make for a young woman!

In turn, Aric, the man Rosamunde was promised to by the King, was also shocked to be suddenly betrothed, having just come out of a broken engagement himself. He had been promptly drinking himself into oblivion announcing that he would never marry for any reason whatsoever. Shortly after, he finds out of his King's wish (more of a command) for him to marry his daughter.

Aric receives little information as to why the King wants his daughter wed and so soon. All he knows is that the King is worried for his daughter's safety in case anything should happen to him. But from what or whom seems to be a mystery to all. This leads the reader to question and become even more involved in the story trying to figure out as to who this could possibly be.

From the moment the marriage takes place, both bride and groom have their doubts. The fact that they have barely ten minutes to consummate the marriage while the King and Priest await outside the door is not the easiest start for a marriage between, for all practical purposes, two strangers. The tension is just enough! Rosamunde is so confident about how "it" should be done. Unfortunately her knowledge of what sex is all about is somewhat warped. This is one of the most hilarious scenes in the book. You have to read it!

The heroine is sweet and lovable, and absolutely delightful. Her antics keep you laughing throughout the whole entire book. Aric, in turn, has quite a charming temper, and it is tested over and over by Rosamunde's behavior. When Aric gives special attention to teaching Rosamunde the joys of the "Marital bed", even I fell in love with him!

There are so many wonderful parts to this story. Although, Aric and Rosamunde did not marry for love, watching them fall in love was absolutely the best part of this book! The romance scenes were just hot enough! The humor, delightful! This being my first Lynsay Sands novel, I can tell you it won't be my last. You really need to read this book!

Reviewed in July 2001 by Wendy.

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