What romance reader can resist a spunky heroine and a brooding wounded warrior? Well, not this reader in any case! Within just a few pages I was completely enthralled with Marsha Canham’s, My Forever Love. My enthusiasm led me all too quickly to the conclusion of a wonderful medieval tale, full of passion and a dash of humor.
Amaranth de Langois is on the run. Having suffered through one arranged marriage to a cruel, sadistic nobleman, she has found herself wed once again to a brute who takes delight in pain and power. Rather than become his pawn, she dispatches him with a candlestick and flees his holding on her wedding night. She discovers, too late, that her husband has survived, and has sent his soldiers to hunt for her. As they ransack the village where she sought shelter, she realizes that they are not planning on taking her back. They plan to kill her, once they have finished “playing” with her.
Ciaran Tamberlane, former Crusader and Knight Templar, lives in self-imposed exile in a remote castle. With only his loyal retainers and a grumbling squire, Lord Tamberlane is a man of mystery. The stories say that he fell from grace in battle and returned home excommunicated and disowned. Only the intervention of King Richard saved him from execution, and his wounds are soul-deep.
When he discovers mercenaries putting one of his villages to the torch, he and his hunting companions soon dispatch the villains. Only one resident has survived the attack, a woman who apparently managed to outrun her pursuers until she was felled by an arrow. Knowing that his senechal, Marak, may be able to save her, Ciaran carries her home to his keep. He has no way of knowing that she is not one of his peasants, or that she is indeed the cause of the destruction.
I could go on and on about Ciaran and Amanranth. They are wonderful characters brought into full-life by the talented Ms. Canham. Their strengths and weaknesses are explored as they both must learn to trust again. The author is not content, though, to leave us with these main players, but she has added a number of intriguing and entertaining secondary characters which make the story complete. Marak is utterly fascinating, and I would hope that perhaps we will see young Roland, the squire, once he has matured a bit. My Forever Love, is a keeper that I will enjoy again and again.