STORY: 1486 A.D.
Fresh from his treacherous turning of the tides against Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth, Sir Gaston de Russe’s reputation is dark and dirty. Those loyal to Richard hate him and those loyal to Henry Tudor fear him. He is, after all, The Dark One.
In order to gain a strong foothold in Yorkshire, Henry sends Gaston to one of the largest fortresses in the north, a massive bastion called Mt. Holyoak Castle. Having formerly belonged to Sir Guy Stoneley, who is now a prisoner in the White Tower after his capture at Bosworth, the castle is still the home to Guy’s wife, Remington, her three sisters, and her son.
Gaston takes possession of Mt. Holyoak, pleased with his acquisition and intrigued with Lady Stoneley. Beautiful, somewhat shy and demure, Gaston soon comes to find out that Mt. Holyoak harbors a horrible secret of rape and abuse. Guy Stoneley abused his wife and sisters, so much so that the women look to Gaston as their saviour for taking Mt. Holyoak from Guy. As Gaston struggles to administer the North and form alliances with those still loyal to Richard, something more is taking place that threatens to distract him from his task. The lure, the power, is more than he can resist.
A strong bond is forming between the knight believed to be the ultimate traitor and the lady who has known nothing but sorrow and horror. And with that realization, a delicate love story begins as two lonely people find solace and comfort with each other. Gaston soon realizes he loves Remington more than anything, which sets the stage for the biggest battle of his life: the fight against the Catholic Church in his quest for an annulment so he can marry her.
REVIEW: I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed on reading this author, but if I say it’s been years, that’ll give you some idea. The reason why I decided to “sample” her writing was me joining this Audible Romance Package in which I pay a small monthly fee so I can read/listen to a lot of romances for free. Hers was the first book I got and being a story that is 843 pages long, I thought it would be the perfect time to start listening to it. I did end up buying it because I wanted to have a chance to be able to read it when I couldn’t listen to it.
To say that this is an “epic” story is not enough. This is such a “sprawling saga” of a couple that was willing to sacrifice a lot for the love they found in each other.
I thoroughly enjoyed every character in this story, from our hero to heroine and on to their children, family and friends. Every character had its purpose within the main story and all of them were well developed and had an impact on not just other characters but on the reader as well.
This author is now firmly in my auto read column and I will make sure to work my way through her backlist which is HUGE, but I’ll make time to get to it.
Melanie for b2b