Rise of the Defender by Kathryn Le Veque

November 20, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★

Rise of the Defender by Kathryn Le VequeRise of the Defender by Kathryn Le Veque
Series: de Lohr Dynasty #1
Published by Dragonblade Publishing on January 26, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
four-stars
1192 A.D. – Sir Christopher de Lohr is Richard the Lion Heart’s champion, a man that the Muslims nicknamed “The Lion’s Claw”. Blond, battle-scarred and powerful, he is what all men fear. After the fall of Acre, Christopher makes a promise at the deathbed of a dying comrade to marry the man’s incorrigible but wealthy daughter. Christopher returns home to marry the woman, but the only thing is interested in is her substantial dowry. He has no use for a wife and resents being forced into the marriage.

The Lady Dustin Barrington doesn’t want a husband. Petite and beautiful, she is a goddess with the heart of a tomboy. When the enormous, seasoned warrior comes to Lioncross Abbey Castle to marry her, she savagely resists him. More than ever, Christopher regrets agreeing to marry the woman but as they are forced together in a contract marriage, something strange happens… somehow, someway, the animosity subsides and a gentle warmth takes its place. More and more, they come to care for one another but neither of them will admit it.

As the voyage of discovery begins, Christopher is distracted by a very important task entrusted to him by Richard. He has been sent back to England ahead of King Richard to assess the climate of the country and also to assess the activities of Richard’s brother, Prince John. He leaves for London to put himself in the heart of the turmoil that is going on between Richard and John, and brings Dustin with him. The moment they arrive in London, an entirely new and dangerous world opens up to them.

Join Dustin and Christopher as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Evil princes, tournaments, politics, wars, and a threat to their relationship from deep inside Christopher’s inner circle invade their loving and passionate world. When Christopher is reportedly killed in battle, Dustin must pick up the pieces of her shattered life and attempt to carry on. But don’t count the Defender out just yet… can he make it back to Dustin in time to prevent catastrophe?

Become a part of the sweeping three- part saga in an epic Medieval Romance you won’t soon forget.

Oh my goodness, where on earth do I begin?  This is truly an epic historical romance/historical fiction.  The book is incredibly long and so much happens that it is difficult to craft an adequate summary.

Set during the Crusades of Richard the Lionheart, this epic novel explores the lives and love(s) of Lady Dustin Barrington  and Sir Christopher De Lohr.  Beginning with an unwanted arranged marriage, Dustin and Christopher begin to drop their mutual animosity and come to care for each other.  Christopher is not adjusting well to life off the battlefield, especially when King Richard commands he stay put and spy on the local gentry.  Similarly, Dustin has never had to answer to man and is not adjusting easily into her new life.  Death follows Christopher from the battlefield into his new home with Dustin at Lioncross Abbey and soon Christopher and Dustin are forced to London and become embroiled in a deadly battle of wits with the King’s evil brother, Prince John.

Christopher is a battle-hardened warrior.  At first he is brutish, callous, and full of raging testosterone.  I didn’t expect to like him.  But he softens around Dustin and readers discover he is honorable, loyal, and absolutely devoted to his beautiful, enchanting wife.

Dustin is a beautiful woman who has the personality of a tomboy.  She has no problem running, jumping, climbing trees, and generally getting into mischief, but also knows when to turn on the ladylike charm in order to get her way.  While she does mature as the novel progresses, there are times I wanted to shake her for her stupidity.  Honestly, she is the reason this did not get a 5-star review.

This novel will turn you into an emotional wreck.  It’s a constant roller coaster between laughter, tears, disgust, fear, loathing, love, and yes even sometime confusion.  There were portions that had me transfixed to the audiobook, eager to find out what happened next, enthralled in the passionate love scenes, or sitting in shocked disbelief in what had just transpired. There were a few points where I wanted to stop listening because of things that happened in the book (it’s like a soap opera really), but I am so, so glad I continued.  Give this one a try!!

 

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