by Kinley McGregor

January 2001
ISBN: 0-06-108713-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Draven de Montague has few things in life that he holds dear. His loyalty and honor are pretty much the only two!! So when the King calls upon him to settle a feud with Hugh of Warwick by taking guardianship of Hugh’s youngest daughter for one year, Draven has no choice, horrified though he is at the thought of a woman in his keep.

Lady Emily, youngest daughter of Hugh of Warwick, is no delicate maid, fainting at the slightest thought of a warrior near her tender flesh. On the contrary, Lady Emily is about as spirited a young woman as they come in medieval times – give her a thousand years, and she’d be running a multinational corporation with great success. Her inventiveness, charm, and people skills win over Draven’s staff and his brother in next to no time – now all she has to do is to win over Draven himself. Because this feisty and gorgeous woman has decided that it’s time for her to marry – and none other than Draven de Montague will do as a husband.

So the elegant courtship dance begins in this delightful novel by Kinley MacGregor. The day to day life of a medieval knight is so well conveyed, that it becomes quite natural for us to expect there to be clean rushes on the floor and bright tapestries in the great hall – no boring discourses on historical settings here! This is a lively romp between a perfectly wonderful, dour, misogynistic hero and an unquenchable, intelligent, sensual heroine. Who is going to triumph? Oh – please – this is a romance!!! The fun is in watching Draven as he is helplessly landed by a very skilled fisherwoman – who uses little more than her brains and her charm as bait. She’s a delight in so many different ways – unafraid to acknowledge her fledgling feelings for Draven, and anxious to increase her experiences with sensuality. Draven is, by turns, angry, baffled, aroused, exasperated, and absolutely crazy over Emily, their relationship is the heart and soul of this book.

The ending is taut and true to the characters we have come to enjoy so much throughout the tale, and Draven proves himself to be the knight of every woman’s dreams, not just Emily’s! It becomes a matter for discussion just who is the “Master of Desire” in the title – for while Draven certainly has the talents, it’s Emily who accomplishes her goals! If you love historicals, then this one is an absolute must-read; if you’re tired of contemporaries and looking to broaden your romance library, you can’t do much better than start with this book.

Reviewed in January 2002 by Celia.

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