Lady in Waiting by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz
Publisher: Muse it Up
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon
Mabriona is cousin to the beautiful and spoiled Princess Alana. When Alana is forced to marry a man she despises, Mabriona is torn between her loyalty to her cousin and her attraction to the handsome Prince Blayne.
Tragedy befalls the cousins on the way to Prince Blayne’s castle. Servants, believing Mabriona to be Alana, refuse to listen when she tries to explain.
While she waits for Blayne to recover, Mabriona meets his equally handsome younger brother, Madoc, a bard.
When Blayne awakes, will Mabriona choose life with a future king, will she be sent home in disgrace because of her inadvertent lies, or will Madoc win her love with his poetry?
Is this the classic torn-between-two loves? Well, not exactly, but Ms. Ehrenkranz does a great job keeping us guessing about the choices – and fate – of lovely, aristocratic lady Mabriona.
Mabriona's life is all about duty. Getting along with the cranky princess (a princess who is a...well...a princess!) is her chief challenge at least in the beginning. And this is no easy task, since Alana has just been told she's to marry a 'brute' she so plainly detests. Complicating things, Mabriona is attracted to Prince Blayne...which would certainly not suit the powers-that-be, aka King Cedric.
At first, the path before Mabriona looks simple. Challenging, to be sure, but we develop a little expectation (or maybe hope?) for where this relationship is headed. Surely, somehow, some way things will work out.
And at that point, the story takes on a completely unpredictable twist. It becomes an absolute page-turner, as Mabriona plunges into ... well, no spoilers here. This one starts out intriguing and turns into a book you won't want to put down pretty quickly.
Through various complications, we meet Madoc, a bard. He's the other man - and a worthy soul, and suddenly, we readers don't even know what to hope for.
Quick and witty conversation drives the plot and unfailingly builds the characters. Descriptions and the background to the story, in general, are good. For those who truly like a 'historical' though, it's a bit difficult to assign this a specific era. I'd have preferred a better placement in time/history, as it's got a rather medieval charm, but with no real commitmment to a specific time period.
However, this really is quite a good tale. Do read.