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"Heartwarming Historical!"

Durand de Marle stood before his lovely wife's bier, unable to mourn. Though his marriage had been the usual alliance, Marion had been everything he'd thought he'd wanted. She had born him two fine sons. He'd never felt the need to stray. His wife, apparently, had felt otherwise.

Her death of childbed fever, birthing a daughter, had come as a shock. When last he'd been home, at Ravenwood Castle, they'd quarreled over her flirtatiousness and slept apart. The child was not his. This he could not forgive.

His heart was cold, but far worse than Marion's betrayal, was the thought that someone else he'd trusted had betrayed him as well. Could the father have been his brother Luke, dubbed the Lord of Skirts, or his handsome brother-in-law who had been Marion's first choice? Marion's beauty had even drawn the attention of the king. Durand could no longer trust anyone.

Then Christina entered the chapel to lay a garland around his wife. Something about her, her look, her scent, her gentle nature, stirred him to life and gave him hope. Before she'd departed, he'd asked her who she was....his 'daughter's' wet nurse, the woman who now nourishes Marion's child, a woman he soon learns could definitely nourish his empty soul.

Though Durand stirs Christina's heart, she is not free to love him. She is the wife of the merchant Simon le Gros. She is childless, having lost their second daughter just days after her birth. Though the marriage is clearly neither happy nor pleasant, Durand's daughter, Felice, fills the emptiness in her. She loves the child dearly. She could easily come to love the child's 'father' as well. Durand has shown far more than a passing interest, but Christina is determined to honor her sacred vows, even though it breaks her heart.

Durand strives to respect Christina's honor, but finds her increasingly difficult to resist. Simon le Gros is not an honorable man. He is faithless and dishonest, and when he unexpectedly dies for his crimes, Durand is given reason to hope. Yet, sorrowfully, a relationship between them could never last. Durand has a duty to his king, and to his two sons, to make another marriage of convenience, an alliance of wealth and property. Will short stolen moments be enough to last a him a lifetime? Could he bear seeing Christina in the arms of another, perhaps even the man who had fathered Felice?

Like him, King John trusts no one. When he seizes his lords' sons against their fathers' obedience to his will, the die is cast. Durand must decide whether to bow to the kings wishes, to marry a woman he does not love and protect his son's birthright, or defy him and fight to give all three children a legacy of love and trust, in exile with Christina.

Ann Lawrence has shown her versatility as a writer, alternating between a virtual fantasy series and her medieval historical romances. The common denominator between the two is the strength or her heroines, and the courage of her heroes, as they fight seemingly insurmountable odds to grab the brass ring.

April 2001
Copyright 2001

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted June 28, 2001

SUMMARY

2001 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award Winner - Best Medieval Historical Romance

Forgive the sins of my wife,' he prayed. 'Forgive the winter cold of my heart.' For as he knelt in the darkened chapel by his wife's lifeless body, he knew the babe she had birthed could not be his. The scent of spring--blossoms, wet leaves, damp earth--preceded the alluring woman into the chapel. As she honored his dead wife with garlands, she seemed to bring him fresh hope, just as she nourished the little girl his wife had left behind. Even though she was not his, could it be wrong to reach out for life, for love? As he watched her nurse the child in the walled courtyard whre his wife had met her lovers, he could not deny his longing for her lush kiss, could not ignore her urging to turn away from yesterday's sorrows and embrace tomorrow's sweetness.

 

Lord Of The Mist
by Ann Lawrence

Love Spell
July 1, 2001
ISBN #0505524430
EAN #9780505524430
400 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Ann Lawrence

Do You Believe?
Lord of the Keep
Lord of the Hunt
Virtual Warrior
Virtual Desire
Paradise
Virtual Heaven


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