A Sword for His Lady (Courtly Love) by Mary Wine
Overview by Amazon:
He’d defend her keep…
After proving himself on the field of battle, Ramon de Segrave is appointed to the Council of Barons by Richard the Lionheart. But instead of taking his most formidable warrior on his latest Crusade, the king assigns Ramon an even more dangerous task-woo and win the Lady of Thistle Keep.
If only she’d yield her heart
Isabel of Camoys is a capable widow with no intention of surrendering her valuable estate. She’s fought long and hard for her independence, and if the price is loneliness, then so be it. She will not yield…even if she does find the powerful knight’s heated embrace impossible to ignore.
But when her land is threatened, Isabel reluctantly agrees to allow Ramon and his army to defend the keep-knowing that the price may very well be her heart.
I think the reason I love historical romance so much is that I love the history aspect. I find it fascinating to learn about a new time. I like learning about the average lives of people, the way the nobility lives and the structure of society. This book is an awesome look at the time of the Crusades and Richard the Lionheart. It brings to mind Robin Hood and the forests of England.
Ramon has been made a Baron for service to the crown. He has been granted land on the Welsh border and if it moves him, the widow of Thistle Keep. Ramon is a Knight, but also a savvy political weapon. It takes a while to get to know the man behind the armour, but I really enjoyed his manliness and strength. He leads men with his intuition and strength and he also enjoys playing games with Isabel.
Isabel had a terrible first marriage. A lot is made of her experiences in the bedchamber with the brute of a husband. Her fear of being under a man’s control again has her resisting Ramon. Thankfully she is intrigued and gives him a chance to flirt with her. The cat and mouse game they play with each other is really enjoyable. What resonated with me as the reader was the respect that Ramon had for Isabel. She is a smart woman and has found ways to support her people while keeping their bellies full. Even the King is impressed with her abilities. She is independent and taking Ramon on as a partner is an inner struggle she has to face.
The plot is well developed in this book. There is not only conflict between Ramon and Isabel, but a dangerous Baron intent on reeking havoc on their lives. The insertion of this Baron raises the stakes and creates delicious conflict for the keep, Isabel and Ramon.
The passion the two share is hot. The bath house is a great setting for their amorous adventures. Ramon proves himself worthy of the passion he promised Isabel. She is a lucky lady to have such a man devoted to not only her well being but that of her people as well.
This is a really good book. Full of adventure, plots, flirting and passion. I greatly enjoyed the historical elements and learning about the daily lives of the people of England.