A Falcon’s Heart
This romance is set in 1154-5, the period immediately following Henry II’s coronation, right after the prolonged and bloody civil war described in Sharon Kay Penman’s When Christ and His Saints Slept. Wylie puts historical figures such as conniving Henry II and a malevolent Eleanor of Aquitaine in the background. The main story concerns Alista, whose father Mark had been awarded the hero Will’s estate as a reward for services to King Stephen. When Queen Maude’s son Henry succeeds her rival, he rewards Will by arranging a marriage with the orphaned daughter of Mark, who had conveniently died at the coronation party. The marriage suffers from Alista’s nagging suspicion that Will killed her father, but steamy passages assure us that other aspects of the marriage are all that they should be.
The cover tells us “He was her enemy, her beloved, her destiny.” Those readers who would still open it after that warning just may enjoy this suspenseful historical romance.