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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory

Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Forever)
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (354 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia


His surcoat still bloody from battle, William FitzAlan comes to claim the strategic borderlands granted to him by the king. One last prize awaits him at the castle gates: the lovely Lady Catherine Rayburn.


Catherine risked everything to spy for the crown. Her reward? Her lands are declared forfeit and she is given this choice: marry FitzAlan or be taken to the Tower. Catherine agrees to give her handsome new husband her body, but she's keeping secrets, and dare not give him her heart. As passion ignites and danger closes in, Catherine and William must learn to trust in each other to save their marriage, their land, and their very lives.

A breathtaking trip into 15th century England, KNIGHT OF DESIRE abounds with war, intrigue, betrayal, cruelty, and tenuous alliances triggered by politics and greed. Love stealthily weaves its way among the chaos to nestle down into the hearts of Lady Mary Catherine and William Neville Fitz-Alan to wait until the time is right for them to come together as soul mates with passion, trust, and joy.

Lady Mary Catherine Rayburn survived one horrifyingly abusive marriage arranged by the king and praised God when her cruel husband was killed. When William Neville Fitz-Alan shows up at Ross Castle to wed the widow Rayburn by order of the king, Catherine can either marry again or be sent to the Tower to never see her son again and where she will surely die. She marries but does not revert to the defenseless, na├»ve girl she’d been when Rayburn brought her to Ross Castle.

When William sees Catherine at the gate of Ross Castle, he recognizes her as the girl he’s dreamed of for five years—the girl he had protected on her last night of freedom before her marriage the next day. The tales he had heard about the widow Rayburn did not fit his memory of the carefree, joyous girl he remembered and loved. Regardless of the tales or his memory, he would not be denied. His faithful service to the king had finally paid off. The hard-won gift from the king, Ross Castle and its vast holdings located on the border between England and Wales was his home—his first true home to protect and control.

A renowned warrior, William felt confident about defending his holdings, but how to deal with a wife left him at a loss. He wanted her with all his heart and “Though she denied him nothing, she rejected him totally”. She had locked a part of herself away so it could not be reached, it seemed and William had no idea of how to ease her fears.

KNIGHT OF DESIRE is full of secondary characters, rich and poor, powerful and powerless, pious and impious, male and female and they all seem to have agendas of their own.

Jealousy sets in motion events that lead to Catherine’s abduction by influential Welshmen. As she suffers and survives in her captivate, William works unceasingly to find her while trying to ferret out the spy in Ross Castle. While he ponders information his second-in-command tells him about Catherine, his heart and body give him no rest—the desire for her is beyond reason. He doesn’t care what she has done; he wants his Catherine.

Catherine’s inner strength and resolve show throughout the story, but never better than when she takes care of the antagonist that caused her so much grief.

KNIGHT OF DESIRE is a fantastic tale of Medieval England--masterfully told by Margaret Mallory. The imagery, strong characters, and historical setting brought to life are remarkable. SO GOOD!