Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
by Oberon Wonch
Rogues of Rouen, #2
Publication Date: January 23, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Historical Romance
SYNOPSIS: Sir Drogo LaForce has spent a lifetime chasing the family honor and wealth denied him by his bastard birth. A clever scheme to uncloak a traitor against the Crown finally promises to win him everything he desires…Lady Isabel has been in hiding ever since an evil Norman lord killed her father and usurped her English lands. But her plot to avenge her father and free her people is threatened when a mysterious Norman knight abducts her with plans to use her for espionage.
Drogo’s fascinating captive is nothing like he anticipated. Outspoken but innocent, Isabel reluctantly submits to Drogo’s tutoring in the spymaster’s craft, as well as the art of making love. But their potent attraction nearly leads to disaster. In the end they must decide between their dueling appetites for riches and revenge…or love.
This is an adventure packed historical romance with the hero, Sir Drogo LaForce, striving to prove to King William that his suspicions of treasonous behaviour are correct. He is endeavouring to win the King’s favour and gain honour and wealth both of which he believes have been denied him as his noble father failed to acknowledge him or his birth. His scheme to achieve this involves capturing the notorious Blue Lady, Lady Isabel, who had been in hiding for five years following the murder of her father by the Norman Lord who usurped his lands.
Lady Isabel never expected to be captured by a Norman knight but he’s even more shocked to realise she really is an innocent virgin, not the wicked, spell casting Blue Lady of local legend. Isabel is outspoken and has no respect for the Normans, not really surprising after all she’s seen and how the local people have been mistreated since her father’s demise. Drogo, however, plans to use her to gain access to her former home and discover the plots of the present incumbent. As he convinces Isabel of his plans, others are also scheming and Isabel has to decide just who she can trust and who to actually work with. As the attraction between her and Drogo flourishes, there are constant danger, new allies to convince and two Kings to decide between. Add in the dangers from the Norse invaders and there are battles of all kinds ahead!
This is a fast paced historical romance with plenty of angst and turmoil as Lady Isabel has to decide just who to trust and how to achieve her ultimate goal. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way as the number of rival sides just seems to keep on growing! This isn’t just a Norman v English adventure – you need to remember the Scots and Norsemen, too! Isabel is a feisty, independent and very caring young lady who has been thrust into an unwanted and unexpected role by warfare and the dastardly deeds of a traitorous Norman Lord. As more is revealed regarding his past and other connections between protagonists the story takes on a life of its own. It is an enthralling page turner, a great story to escape into and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who enjoys well written, action packed, historical romance.
Many thanks to the publishers who gifted me, with no obligation, a copy of this novel via NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion after choosing to read it.
An Excerpt to whet your appetite:
Isabel rose slowly to face Sir Drogo. She let him hold the canvas drape aside before stepping past him into the bracing chill of the great hall.
She shivered. It was time.
Unfortunately, by the look on his face, the dark suggestion in his voice—and the drawn curtain—she knew exactly what it was time for.
Her lesson on how to seduce a man.
“Are you cold?” he asked, his brow lowered.
In her fantasy, it was out of concern for her, after her spill in the icy beck.
“Not a bit,” she snapped, annoyed with herself for wishing he felt something, anything, for her.
She let him take her hand in his and lead her toward the smoky light of the brazier at the distant end of the hall, as far from the entrance to the kitchen—and Maggie and the others—as the manor house would allow.
“Do you remember what you learned about the dancing the other day?” he began.
“I already knew how to dance, so your instruction was wasted.”
He halted abruptly, crushing her fingers with his, and put his other hand to her cheek to nudge her face toward him. His words were steady, his expression impassive. “A lady must be gracious and kind at all times, even if her wrath is invoked.”
Glory of God, how she wanted to spit. She should be gracious and kind. The man had just saved her and Phoebe’s lives! But her contrary nature reared up instead…because his very nearness made her tremble with inexplicable excitement. Unacceptable!
With her teeth bared in a false smile, she said, “Thank you, my lord, for your careful instruction. I do recall precisely what you tried to tell me in your inadequate language, which hasn’t the vocabulary to accomplish what it needs.”
He tugged on her arm, imparting a jolt of pain to her shoulder. She used her free hand to rub it, giving him her meanest glower.
“Say it again,” he commanded. “This time, praise me for my vast knowledge and sage advice.”
Her jaw dropped in disbelief. She couldn’t help it. She stopped rubbing her shoulder.
“Say it,” he repeated, placing his thumb beneath her chin and applying upward pressure until her mouth closed. “Tell me how you could never manage without my esteemed guidance.”
“You jest, surely.”
His hand remained below her chin and the pad of his thumb brushed gently over her lips. Whatever did he mean by the gesture? It seemed overly personal, aggressive.
She should have shoved his hand away, loudly declared his impertinence, but something kept her from doing so—his gaze locked on hers, perhaps, or the fact that his other hand still gripped hers immovably against his thigh.
“I’ve never been more serious,” he said.
SYNOPSIS: A maiden’s duty becomes a woman’s desire…
Comte Gregoire FitzHenri, the new Earl of Shyleburgh, is known for his prowess as one of the Norman conqueror’s most favored warriors…but not for his romantic sensibility or his command of the English language. Gregoire looks forward to his imminent marriage with his seneschal’s beautiful daughter, his longtime betrothed. But as a rough-hewn soldier, he wishes to enchant the elegant lady before taking their wedding vows-which means an interpreter…and much-needed lessons in courtly love.
The clever Bridget of Shyleburgh has been secretly in love with Gregoire since his visit as a dashing young warrior-when he was promised in marriage to her sister. But when he returns five years later as their new earl, Bridget is tasked with translating for him-including his love letters and somewhat awkward attempts to woo her sister. Mortified at first, Bridget soon finds herself completely charmed by his whispers of love and desire. She never expected such tenderness…or such wicked temptation… from a man like him. Gregoire’s heated missives tempt a fair maiden to stray down a path filled with forbidden pleasures.
But his words are meant for another… aren’t they?
Oberon Wonch has engaged in a love affair with books for as long as she can remember. Penning her own stories from an early age, she later earned a degree in World Literature while studying several languages—all in order to learn what makes a tale endure the ages, but really just to read more books. Her very favorite stories—both to read and write—are those that celebrate the happily-ever-after.
An avid gardener and armchair archaeologist, she grew up in northeast Ohio but now lives in Indiana with her college sweetheart husband and two very joyful little dogs.
Many thanks to IndieSage for organising this tour and providing additional materials for this post. The review is my own honest opinion after reading a copy of the novel gifted to me without obligation by the publishers.