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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Amorous Chatelaine by Lindsay Townsend

The Amorous Chatelaine by Lindsay Townsend
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (76 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fennel

Emma de Barri is the generous chatelaine of a large estate, where she schools young, green knights in the matters of courtly dress and deportment. As a widow, she is often the object of desire but never has a knight tempted her away from the memory of her late husband.

Sir Robert is neither young nor green. He is hardened by battle and tempered by the vagaries of life. He is also rough and unrefined—completely lacking in manners, sophistication or any of the qualities Lady de Barri values. But his arms are strong, his face is handsome and his heart is as bright and gold as the sun at noon. A heart he gives unreservedly to Lady de Barri.

As Emma teaches Sir Robert how to read and dress, how to be gentle and composed, he teaches his sweet chatelaine how to live and love again.

Ms Townsend drops her reader into the medieval world of Knights and Ladies and in short order reveals two characters with depths, charm and baggage they are both subconsciously using as shields against moving forward.

All it takes for Sir Robert is one look at the Lady bathing in the open air pool to fall head-over-heels in love, but never having felt the emotion before, it takes him a while to cotton on, and yet that is part of Ms Townsend's skill in presenting such a loveable hero. While he is gallant, strong, courteous and caring, he lacks social skills and presumes they will forever hold him back from finding true love. Indeed due to past events, he doesn’t ever expect a woman to look upon him with any favour. When challenged, he rises to protect the woman he’s given his heart to.

Widowed lady Emma never expects to give her heart to another and yet, and despite the number of knights she has schooled in social etiquette and expectations, it is the honourable and courageous Sir Robert, who lacks all those graces she normally holds dear, that captures her heart. She is wily, witty and charming and when she has a goal she goes after it.

The challenge when it comes is unexpected and takes a little readjustment, but only a little. The author skims over the details of the conflict and swiftly moves the reader on to how her hero and heroine overcome the considered obstacles in their path.

It is the way that the author unveils the insecurities of her characters, that adds depth and charm to the romance, and her scene-setting is delightful.

There are some sexually charged scenes in The Amorous Chatelaine, of which only one is mildly explicit. That said the author’s light touch, and ‘sweet’ technique, present a rough diamond of a hero in Sir Roger, and just the woman to polish up those sharp edge in widowed Lady Em, the Chatelaine.

For lovers of historical romance, this is a quick and uplifting story.