We're nearing the end of the July books, and this time out, I have Margaret Mallory's Knight of Desire (Grand Central). Lady Catherine Rayburn has risked much to share information with the king and his army, and now she's rewarded by having her home and her hand given in marriage to William FitzAlan the day his men defeat and kill her traitorous and abusive husband. Catherine's only other choice is to be taken to London and treated like the traitor her husband was--and lose her son. So, marriage to the strange knight it is. But that doesn't mean she's happy about it. William is happy to have a wife, and especially happy to have this one, as they met once, a very long time ago and shared a kiss. He is not very happy, though, that she is so leery of him, or that she seems to be keeping secrets from him. But Catherine can't trust him with her biggest secret. Which leads William not to trust her. Sure, he wants her; his wife is beautiful, and he's waited years to see her again, to make her his own. But he doesn't trust her, not to tell him the truth, and not with other men. William clearly has some issues, just as big, if not bigger than Catherine's. She eventually overcomes her reluctance to share William's bed, yet there is still a distance between them. Then she is kidnapped by Welsh rebels, and William is frantic with worry, and determined to get his wife back. Trouble is, it seems as if someone in their own household has shared secrets with the rebels in order to put Catherine in harm's way. This isn't really one of my favorite time periods or settings, but the story is an interesting read. I did have some issues with William's distrust of women, as we only ever hear a little about it, and then when the source of his problem arrives late in the story, nothing is really worked out there. Catherine is a strong woman, though she had to be with her late husband's abuse. I didn't love this one, but it will likely interest some of our historical fans very much. It's earned three of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!