The Prisoner by Sharon Lanergan
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical romance
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon
When Brian Fitzroy is unable to save the woman he loved from her murderous husband, he is imprisoned with no hope of rescue since his family believes him dead. Years pass until the day a beautiful woman enters his cell. Constance Portnoy, the treasured and protected ward of the Fitzroys, is seduced by Loutrant, the man who imprisoned Brian. Realizing too late, she becomes his latest prisoner.
Even as she falls for Brian, he determines she will escape the torment he endures. After her escape, Brian is rescued and Loutrant seemingly falls to his death.
They both have a difficult time adjusting. Brian rebuffs all who offer sympathy. Constance hides her own pain while concentrating on bringing the man she loves back into the light.
The two former prisoners fall in love and take a chance at happiness, unaware Loutrant is still alive and intends to win at all costs.
Lanergan’s The Prisoner, is a complex tale of deceit and danger, but also of enduring love, and compassion.
Brian and Constance are two strong, and strong-minded characters, but of whom fall the victim of a horrible, evil man. Both suffer – grief for one and anxiety as well. Their discovery of one another, and their efforts to help one another are the only expected and predictable parts of the plot. Even in circumstances outside their control,. Both (ok, well Brian perhaps a bit more) to behave with honor. Incredibly sensual moments leave one in no doubt of their mutual feeling and attraction. However, their circumstances do see impossible – and when things change, we begin to suspect feelings have changed as well. Constance surely realizes that she might well be associated with the terrible torment Brian suffered.
Even as each of them seek to reestablish their lives – old complications, like lovers, hover, and old deviltry re-emerges. In some ways it seems they will never shake off the past. The many different problems and emotions make this as changeable as a soap opera, but far more evocative.
Set in England in the fourteenth century, it is rich in atmosphere, from castle strongholds to dungeons. Background details enhance the story from the start – from simple things like their clothing to more subtle detail like eating pigeon. Several friends are well developed – and not-exactly-friends: you will find you cringe every time Vanessa enters the room!
The Prisoner is not a fast read because of the complexity of the tale. It is however, a compelling read. Suspense is played on and played up in so many ways – from sexual tension to the threat of deadly danger. While not a simple romance, this is a very enjoyable and rewarding. And their future promises to be just as topsy-turvy.