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REVIEW

"This delightful medieval romance will make you want to join the hunt!"

From the time Durand de Marle had been banished by the late King John, his son Adrain had been determined to win back his birthright. Adrian had spent the past decade as a mercenary. As Adam Quintin, he had served the new king well. At long last his opportunity had come to reclaim Ravenswood Castle. He would ask it as his boon once he ferreted out the suspected plot against the new British sovereign.

His mission would take him home to Ravenswood where Bishop Gravant had ordered a tournament for the hand of Lady Matilda. The lord usurper had died leaving no male heir, for Matilda's brother, Richard, had fancied himself in love with the Hunt Master's adopted daughter, Joan Swan. His father's refusal to endorse his chosen had sent Richard from the castle in a fury. He had died shortly thereafter. Grief had softened the lord's heart and he had willed that his only remaining child, Matilda, be allowed to choose her own husband should he die before she was safely wed.

The Bishop had come to manage Ravenswood, and advise Matilda until she choose a suitor. The tournament would allow her to assess those possible suitors. However Gravant had declared that should Matilda not be able to choose on her own, the choice would be made for her in spite of her father's wish.

Adam fully intended to reclaim his rights by uncovering a treasonous plot, however he was a most handsome and able knight. He knew that should he fail at his mission, he stood an excellent chance of winning the lady. He would recover his birthright one way or another.

In spite of his well earned confidence, Adam's mission nearly ends before it begins. Unseated by a wild boar and with no way to defend himself, he finds himself in the debt of Joan Swan. With a mere signal of her hand, her hounds surrounded the boar, giving Adam time to collect his sword and finish it off. One look at the huntress, and Adam realizes that plan B will never do. His heart has been stolen away by the huntress. Though others might think Matilda the prize, Adam would have his Castle and his Diana, this living embodiment of the Goddess of the Hunt he'd admired since boyhood.

Joan is taken with Adam at first sight as well. In spite of the fact that he is meant for Matilda, and her deep seated fear of mercenaries, she is fascinated by him. Though highly successful at the suitor's games, Adam does not hide his interest well either. Even Matilda notices, but when Joan and her elderly, inconsistent, father become pawns in the jockeying for position, she has can think of no one but Adam to turn to for assistance. He in turn cannot refuse her.

Love blossoms, but trust does not come easy. When Adam discovers the source of the treason, he realizes he must act fast or all will be lost, and he would keep Joan safe, even if it meant sending her away. There was a single solution to both problems, but could he summon the trust to ask her to carry important evidence to the king's man in his stead? Could she trust him enough to do so, when his oath prevented an explanation? Would she turn him away when at last he could tell her who he really was?

I think what I liked most about this tale is that while Adam initially believes that he would do anything to recover what matters most to him, he soon realizes that a castle is just a collection of cold stone walls unless you have someone to share it with. As Joan becomes what matters most, he becomes truly conflicted. When at last he decides where to place his trust, the outcome is one he never could have orchestrated on his own. Adam and Joan are a beautiful illustration of a partnership in the truest sense of the word. Joan was a surprise up to the very end, for though Adam is willing to compromise his dream for a life together, Joan will not allow him to be any other than the man he was born to be. Once again Ms. Lawrence has swept the reader up into the world of her characters, pulling at our emotions as we waited with baited breath for a happy conclusion. A delightful read, this book will have you hunting for Ann's backlist.

Copyright 2003

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted February 10, 2003

SUMMARY

The Thrill of the Hunt...
Hunter and hunted, lover and beloved, they would come together in a moment as impossible to escape as it was full of ecstasy.

THE THRILL OF THE HUNT?

What man does not savor it? Whether the chase was for savage boar, political prize or beautiful heiress, a knight worth his spurs threw himself into it once his blood was up. And if Adam Quintin was to succeed at the secret task given him by the king, he must pursue all three. But never did he imagine he might become the quarry himself--unhorsed by a wild boar, betrayed by political enemies, seduced by a simple maid with no claim to power or position.

As daughter to the keeper of the hounds, Joan Swan was no stranger to the hunt. Like the legendary Diana, she slipped through the moonlit woods with her dogs, her loveliness as irresistible to Adam as the goddess herself.

Hunter and hunted, lover and beloved, they would come together in a moment as impossible to escape as it was full of ecstasy.

Read an Excerpt

 

Lord of the Hunt
by Ann Lawrence

Leisure Books
January 1, 2003
ISBN #0843951397
EAN #9780843951394
357 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Ann Lawrence

Do You Believe?
Lord of the Keep
Virtual Warrior
Lord Of The Mist
Virtual Desire
Paradise
Virtual Heaven


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