Publication Date: July 1st 1997
POV: Alternating - Third-Person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 7 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Half-sister to Richard the Fair, Alys has been schooled in the sheltered ways of the convent, far from the treachery and intrigue of castle life. Until she is taken from the cloister and brought to a place filled with secrets. Here she is to meet her future husband, a man some call a monster. His name is Simon of Navarre, a powerful and mysterious lord practiced in the black arts. This sensual stranger both terrifies her and fascinates her...and sets her heart burning with an unfamiliar fire.
Jaded by war, no longer able to believe in human goodness, Simon has turned toward the realm of darkness. But the master magician finds himself bewitched by the innocent Alys, who fears his very touch could damn her forever. Yet even as Simon begins to work his seductive magic, Alys senses the wounded soul beneath the cooly elegant facade. Now, as the two become pawns in Richard's treacherous scheme to become England's king, only one power can save them: the unstoppable force of love.
I enjoyed this more than Reckless, and would have enjoyed it more than Ruthless if it weren't for the imprisonment business. I was completely pulled in by the story in this one, and by Simon and Alys. They were amazing and Simon is by far my favourite Anne Stuart hero so far. He was absolutely wicked and irresistible. I was told this was one of her best books, and I can see why someone would think so.
And that brings me to another issue. I could not stand Claire! OMG what a spoiled brat. Even after everything I still could not stand her. She drove me crazy to the end and I think Thomas deserved better. This book had another secondary romance, like the previous two Anne Stuart books I have read. It must be standard for her. Another standard must be that the villain is a relative. Next time I read one of her books I wont trust anyone's family.
Although I seemed to have a lot of issues with this, Simon and Alys made this book and I want to love it more because of them. Especially Simon. Gosh I love him! Alys was awesome too. Definitely better than Charlotte. Maybe not Elinor though. Elinor kicked some ass.
“She tilted her head to one side, considering him. "Do you love me?"
"Love is a trick and a sham. A foolish plague and a lie and a torment."
"Do you love me?" she repeated, quite calmly. Knowing the answer.
"Yes, may it curse my soul."