Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Conquest-Julia Templeton

The Conquest
Julia Templeton
Berkley Heat, Aug 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 9780425223413

In 1080 at Castle Mackay in the Highlands, Rhiannon waits for her betrothed Malgor de Cion to arrive and take her back to his Castle Almerson on the English border. She does not want to marry this much older stranger as she fears the fate of her mom; her dad locked her away until she died and has since remarried Deirdre, who Rhiannon detests.

Lord Wulf sends his brother-in-law Adelstan Cawdor to escort Malgor’s bride as he was hurt allegedly while hunting. Rhiannon mistakes Adelstan as Malgor and is excited as she is attracted to him. Adelstan is also stunned by that first encounter as he is attracted to her too.

When Adelstan leaves the castle, Rhiannon and Elspeth follow him. He strips and swims in a pond. Both women are stunned as he is quite a hung hunk. Their horse is missing, but Adelstan has it. He rides back with Rhiannon sharing his horse. Rhiannon holds tight and when a chance occurs she kisses Adelstan; he kisses her back as he desires her, but duty prevents him from acting on his feelings. Rhiannon makes it clear she wants Adelstan and tries to seduce him; he flees. She tells him she wants him as her husband taking her maidenhead. He tells her she is desirable, but he will deliver a virgin to her betrothed though he loves her.

The lead couple is a terrific pairing as they are in heat at first sight though both know she belongs to another; their ethical dilemma battling their desire makes for a fine tale. Additionally the return of the lead couple from THE BARGAIN in a short but critical appearance adds to the overall fun. Although why Rhiannon’s dad allowed Adelstan to escort his daughter to her betrothed when he caught her sneaking into his room makes no sense, fans will enjoy this fine Conquest romance.

Harriet Klausner

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