by Joanne Rock

February 2004
ISBN: 0-373-29294-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback

The Wedding Knight, Harlequin Blaze/Temptation author Joanne Rock’s foray into the world of knights and damsels in distress is a pleasant surprise that should introduce her to many new readers and will guarantee this talented authors new fans.

Guilty of an act of violence against a loved one and owing his younger brother, Roarke, a debt of considerable size, Lucian Barret agrees to abduct his brother’s childhood sweetheart from a French convent. Melissande Deverell might be a novitiate but she is not meek and obedient. Forced into service to God at an early age she used her imprisonment to further her own education and to care for a trio of unloved orphans. So, though she is not happy behind convent walls, she refuses to feel grateful for her forced removal, as it means leaving her only joy, her children, behind.

With ease Joanne Rock tells her story, bit by bit revealing information about her hero’s past, keeping her readers in suspense of why Lucian carries the heavy burden of guilt and shame. As all of Ms Rock’s books, The Wedding Knight is a story written with heart, fully concentrating on Lucian and Melissande’s struggle not to fall in love with the other, as it would go against their morals and beliefs. It finds a guilt ridden Lucian enthralled by his childhood friend and future sister in law’s intelligence, courage and innocent passion instead of repaying his dept and a naïve Melissande growing into the vivacious woman she is meant to be.

My only regret would be, that with the church and the Crusades providing the very interesting historical backdrop and its conflicting messages of love and violence mirroring Lucian and Melissande’s minds, it would have been fascinating for more of it to filter into the narrative and so to allow Lucian and Melissande to be part of history instead of only just filling a place in history.

Other that that The Wedding Knight has all the elements of a satisfying historical romance, a tortured hero, a spirited heroine and a long and dangerous journey traveled together. It’s well paced, never slowed down with superfluous historical details and the sexual tension grows slowly as it befits a convent-bred young woman. Ms. Rock proves once more, that she is a virtuoso of her craft. Already a favorite with Blaze/Temptation readers her voice is a welcome and fresh addition to the historical romance genre.

Reviewed in January 2004 by Kris Alice.

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