The re-release of author Jo Beverley’s early works is a welcome addition to my library. I started reading her books with the Malloren series. The Shattered Rose will be a hit with not only her fans, but readers who like strong medieval romance.
The book begins as Galeran of Heywood makes his way home from the Holy Lands. Joining the Crusades was a difficult decision for the nobleman, who made a pledge to God in return for a child. Now that he is back on English soil, he longs to see his wife and son. Little does he know that many things have changed.
Jehanne has never stopped loving her husband, but a priest brought news of his death nearly two years ago. In a fit of anguish at the loss of her husband, and the mysterious death of her son, Jehanne sought comfort in the arms of Raymond of Lowick, a landless knight. She is stunned to learn that Galeran is outside the gate.
The Shattered Rose has many layers to be explored. There is the relationship between husband and wife, father and son, nobleman and king. There are mysteries to reveal, and truths to seek. Galeran is certainly a more enlightened man than would normally be found in this time, but his experiences were also extraordinary. I liked the fact that neither person wanted their spouse to change, but that life had changed them both. They had to reacquaint themselves in order to find the real love that burned within. The story held my interest from the beginning and kept my interest throughout. Readers who enjoy stories that have The Crusades as a backdrop will appreciate Ms. Beverley’s fine romance.