I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Courtly Love #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on July 7, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: the Publisher
He'd defend her keep...
After proving himself on the field of battle, Ramon de Segrave is appointed to the Council of Barons by Richard the Lionheart. But instead of taking his most formidable warrior on his latest Crusade, the king assigns Ramon an even more dangerous task—woo and win the Lady of Thistle Keep.
If only she'd yield her heart...
Isabel of Camoys is a capable widow with no intention of surrendering her valuable estate. She's fought long and hard for her independence, and if the price is loneliness, then so be it. She will not yield... even if she does find the powerful knight's heated embrace impossible to ignore.
But when her land is threatened, Isabel reluctantly agrees to allow Ramon and his army to defend the keep—knowing that the price may very well be her heart.
Baron Ramon de Segrave has served his King, Richard the Lionheart, during his many crusades. But his liege is not done with him. The King needs more support for his crusades, but also must leave men he trusts to protect the borderlands of England. The King instructs Ramon to travel to Thistle Keep where he will find the beautiful (and prosperous!) widow Lady Isabel of Camoys and marry the woman to secure not only her keep close to the Welsh border, but also the valuable flock of geese which provide feathers for almost all of the King’s archers. Lady Isabel has run a successful estate since the death of her unwanted husband and she refuses to simply hand over the reigns to the upstart Baron who comes charging onto her land.
Isabel is head-strong, incredibly intelligent, and shrewd too. She’s proven she can not only run a bustling estate populated largely by war-widowed women, but also pay her taxes solely in goose feathers while keeping a secret quarry from which to harvest stone and other materials. This quality was very impressive, particularly for a woman in 12th century England.
Isabel and Ramon’s love develops slowly, but in a steady, believable fashion. I really enjoyed the setting and the author stayed true to the time period. There were times I bristled against Ramon’s (and other men’s) treatment of the women in the book, but that was simply the prevailing thought of the time and the author takes great care to frame Ramon’s treatment of women in a way that shows he is trying to do what he believes is best for them. His heart is in the right place, even if the execution could use some work (by today’s standards, of course. This is quite accurate for 12th century England).
Now, I have to say that the villain is very one-dimensional. This is one of the few drawbacks to the novel. The villain was evil simply for evil’s sake and accordingly, I didn’t think his character was developed as well as he could have been. Thankfully, he’s rather minor to the rest of the story, so the parts of the novel that included this character were brief.
Overall, A SWORD FOR HIS LADY was an enjoyable read. I especially liked the ending scenes and look forward to reading more books from this author and set in this time period.