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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tears of the Dragon by Cyndi Friberg

Tears of the Dragon by Cyndi Friberg
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Genre: Historical, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (179 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewer: Holly

Neither wars nor famine nor Fairy curses have intimidated Lady Rowena of Pendragon, but now she finds herself locked in a battle of wills with Dominic of Capstow. Dominic is William Marshal’s trusted knight, and the regent has sent him to escort her to court so her scheming stepfather’s claim against her can be heard.

She’s infuriated and insulted—and intrigued. Dominic is by far the most attractive man ever to coerce his way beyond her defenses. He’s dangerous and appealing and she needs him in her bed for reasons she dare not reveal. Knowing little about seduction, but more than willing to learn, Lady Rowena sets out on a conquest of her own.

The stakes are high, higher even than Lady Rowena realizes. For the Fairy curse is real and dark forces are at work, ready to tear the young lovers apart and rob them of their happily ever after.

Lady Rowena of Pendragon is determined to retain control of the kingdom she has ruled for five years. As the widow of Gaston, she has been a fair and caring ruler, but her stepfather Edwin is challenging her leadership. When confronted by a knight determined to gain access and take Rowena to face Edwin in front of William Marshal, regent of England, Rowena believes it is another of Edwin’s ruses to gain control of Pendragon castle. Her fear is well-founded, for if it was known that, although Rowena is Gaston’s widow, she is still a virgin it could be grounds for Edwin gaining control of not only Pendragon Castle, but of Rowena herself.

As William’s representative, Dominic Chapstow is determined to do his sworn duty to bring Rowena to William Marshal to answer the charges made by Edwin. What Dominic doesn’t count on is the determination of this woman to protect what she sees as hers. And there is also a curse to break and a riddle to solve, so that all can be settled for the good of all concerned.

Rowena believes that she must solve the “problem” of her virginity before she reaches Marshal’s palace, while Dominic has sworn not to touch the widow. Can Rowena seduce the dark knight and save her inheritance? Can Dominic keep his promise, when Rowena becomes such a temptation to him? Will these two learn to trust each other, break the curse and solve the riddle, and also defeat Edwin at his own game?

Let me start by saying that I love Rowena. She is strong and determined to do whatever needs to be done to protect the people in her kingdom. She is smart, and quite tricky at times, but a bit too impulsive for her own good. She trusts few except for her inner circle, and is quick to judge, which does lead to some misunderstandings along the way.

Dominic is the strong and handsome knight, cunning and able to find ways around the blocks that Rowena throws up. I really enjoyed the interaction between these two, beginning with their initial confrontation to the point where each realizes they love the other, but don’t recognize the feeling as love. The challenges from Edwin, with his determination to have it all, are what eventually bring these two stubborn people together. There are many twists to this story, including who is helping Edwin behind the scenes.

This is an epic love story, with mystery, suspense and lots of humor as well. I would recommend this for those who still believe in magic and curses, and in the ability of love to conquer all.