Exigencies of birthright and privilege are the catalyst for passion, intrigue, and obsession in this new novel by the bestselling author of The Bride. Severin of Langthorne returns to his family's estate from the Holy Land in 1277 only to find his father and elder brother dead, his mother demented, and his lands devastated. When the Earl of ...
Exigencies of birthright and privilege are the catalyst for passion, intrigue, and obsession in this new novel by the bestselling author of The Bride. Severin of Langthorne returns to his family's estate from the Holy Land in 1277 only to find his father and elder brother dead, his mother demented, and his lands devastated. When the Earl of Oxborough chooses Severin to marry his daughter and sole heir, Severin's new station seems enviable. But all is not as it appears. . . .
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I love this story. Severin and Hastings are wonderful people with so many flaws and strengths that make them very rich and full body characters. They manage to overcome many of their personality flaws and prejudices and come to love each other in this necessary marriage of convenience.
Sensitive readers might find Severin and Hastings' beginning to be a bit rough but if one can get past that, they do become very endearing characters. Severin can be rather frustrating at times with his overbearing behavior. Sometimes I find myself wincing over his attitude but Hastings is more than able to put her foot down when it comes to her husband.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-06-24 Medieval England provides the background for Coulter's latest spirited romance, a tale that pits willful young heiress Hastings of Trent against her new husband, doughty warrior Severin of Langthorne. The union has been decreed by Hastings's dying father, the Earl of Oxborough, to save herĉand the castle and estateĉfrom the evil depredations of Richard de Luci. As de Luci's forces advance on the castle, Severin consummates the marriage with practical dispatch. He explains away his harsh commands and brutal deflowering expedient behavior (if Hastings is no longer a virgin, de Luci cannot claim her as a bride), but Hastings feels she has been raped. Seeking counsel from several older women, she is told she must change her attitude and try to please her husband. She takes their advice and, to her surprise, Severin's behavior toward her changes dramatically. Then, just as the relationship begins to grow, beautiful Lady Marjorie, Severin's long-lost first love, arrives at the castle, perhaps, Hastings fears, to try to win Severin back. Compounding her worries is her discovery that the earl had maintained a mysterious second household at Rosehaven, a keep on the English coast. After an angry confrontation with Severin about Marjorie, Hastings sets out alone to find Rosehaven. The secret of the secluded castle is part of the requisite happy ending, but Coulter's (The Valentine Legacy) portrayal of an abusive husband as a romantic hero may leave some readers less than pleased. Although it is presented in the context of the era, her suggestion that a woman can, by changing her behavior, alter the pattern of abuse in a relationship is frightening. The notion that a physically brutal man can be tamed by an intelligent wife is difficult to accept. Major ad/promo; Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild featured alternate; author tour. (July)
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