by Mary Reed McCall

June 2005
ISBN: 0-06-059368-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Due to loving the wrong man, Lady Margaret spends her days caring for her mentally unbalanced cousin. It serves as penance after being rejected by her father, although the church inflicts punishment as well. This being the case, Meg feels she has nothing to lose by allowing herself the freedom of insolence and rebellion. She’d already lost everything she held dear, what did it matter anymore? But then the lord of the manor, her cousin’s husband, returns home and feelings Meg thought were long since dead began to stir within her. Allowing a revival of those emotions would mean putting her heart on the line and that was something Meg wasn’t sure she wanted to risk again.

Sir Richard de Cantor blamed himself for his wife’s condition. As a self-appointed penance, he joined the Templar Knights for a fixed amount of time. One year after his service ends an outrageous claim by the King of France turns the Templars into outlaws. Accused of heresy the Templars are taken into custody. Richard returns home to England to enlist the aide of the King. To his surprise Richard finds his wife being cared for by the defiant, yet beautiful, Lady Margaret. He had too much to devote himself to without the unwelcome desire Meg evokes in him. Besides, Sir Richard de Cantor was a married man, despite the wife absent in mind and the husband who’d been absent in body.

Politics and danger intrude at Hawksley Manor and while Richard and Margaret find comfort in one another in a time of pandemonium they cannot escape the deluge that follows. Is it possible that which is forbidden will turn out to be their redemption?

Beyond Temptation: The Templar Knights by Mary Reed McCall takes the reader back to a time where political intrigue, secret societies, and the church intercepted daily affairs of knights and ladies. Matters of the heart were not exempt from the machinations of these men of authority. Whether good or evil, their will superceded any others. In this story, the first of The Templar Knights series, Richard and Margaret find what really matters and the courage needed to obtain it. Readers of McCall’s previous novel, The Crimson Lady will recognize Richard as the younger brother of Braeden.

It is true that this novel follows the same format of many medieval romances, yet the skill of the author’s pen makes this tale one that plays through the mind in vibrant detail while the reader cheers for true love to conquer all. Ms. McCall makes it easy for us to relate to the characters and weaves in historical facts without distracting from the story. Reading Beyond Temptation: The Templar Knights is time well spent.

Reviewed in July 2005 by Rho.

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