"Wonderful debut medieval romance!"
After the death of her mother, Lady Eldswythe spent most of
her life in a convent. Since the sickness of her
stepmother, Eldswythe came home to Crenalden. Her father,
the Earl of Crenalden, is now leaving to fight in the
Crusades and Eldswythe has accompanied him to say goodbye
before he gets on the ship. Unfortunately, she is his only
heir, so she will be in charge of Crenalden while he is off
fighting. One thing Eldswythe cannot stop herself from
doing is taking care of sick horses. Since she has an
uncanny way with them, she has earned the title
of "horsewitch" which she really fears. Now, on the eve of
the knight's departure, Prince Edward has requested that
Eldswythe tend to Robert Breton's sick horses. While
Eldswythe would normally not hesitate to do so, the fact
Robert Breton is an enemy of her family causes her to think
about it. Since her tending the horses was the prince's
request, Eldswythe knows she cannot refuse and so off she
goes. Needless to say, Eldswythe succeeds at healing them.
After the knights and equipment have all been loaded on the
ships, she is joined by Robert Breton and a priest sent by
the prince. Turns out, Robert was ordered to remain in
England and help Eldswythe save her holding from Sir
Gilroy, her bastard brother. Sir Gilroy is headed toward
Crenalden and the king does not want it taken from
Eldswythe. So off Eldswythe goes with Robert, another
knight and her maid.
Robert Breton, second son, no longer has the land which has
always passed to the second born male. It was turned over
to his sworn enemy, the Earl of Crenalden, after the Earl
performed some service to the king. Making the hatred even
worse is that the Earl of Crenalden murdered Robert's
father, thereby giving his older brother, Harold—a wastrel—
Hillsborough and the earldom. Robert cannot believe the
king would order him to save Crenalden for his sworn enemy.
The only reason he agrees to do it, is unbeknown to
Eldswythe, the king will give him the contested lands and
more of Crenalden for the capture of Sir Gilroy. So off
they all head to Crenalden, where they find Sir Gilroy has
already taken the castle and Eldswythe and Robert become
separated from the rest of their traveling companions.
Will Robert be able to retake Crenalden from Sir Gilroy? Is
Eldswythe indeed a horse witch, able to command horses to
do her will? What will happen while the two of them are
alone? Will they be able to put their family feud to the
side to work together to save Crenalden? Will the
attraction between them lead to more?
DARK RIDER is a wonderful debut medieval romance. Kathrynn
Dennis does a very good job of putting us in the time
period. The action is non-stop from the very first page
until the last, with the heartfelt sigh at the end. We
experience everything right along with the characters; from
Eldswythe's fear of being called a horsewitch and being
forced into the company of a man she considers her enemy,
even though she is attracted to him, to Robert's feelings
of having to make his own way in the world as a second son
with the loss of the land he was to inherit. All in all,
this is a very enjoyable read and one I recommend reading.
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted April 22, 2008
A Dark Lord...
Few secrets are harder to keep than witchcraft—but is the ancient knowledge the source of Lady Eldswythe’s mysterious gift for healing horses? She is summoned to tend the prize steeds of the dark and solitary Sir Robert Breton, a rival of her family’s house. The last thing Eldswythe wants is to be near a man her heart distrusts--and desires. His smoldering eyes could make her forget she is betrothed. And, oh! How he rides a horse…
A Lady Fair...
Gallantly defending her through a violent siege and a harrowing escape, Robert comes to believe in her strange powers, for he knows only too well that he has fallen under her spell. The spirited and sensual Eldswythe has bewitched his stony heart with wondrous ease . . . .