If a serious historical novel is meat and potatoes, this romance is a sweet, fluffy dessert. Just don’t expect historical veracity. We enter a world in which young girls have the final word about their betrothals, men expect their wives to be equal partners—at least good men do—and instituting a job training program makes wonderful sense as a way to help the serfs in the 12th century. Is this England in the time of Stephen and Maude? Not exactly. But why not curl up and enjoy this female-oriented fantasy on its own terms?
With just a few words, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss can breathe life into a completely charming male character. Her Raven (that’s the hero’s name) is sensitive but manly, and has a delightful Scottish burr. However, he and beautiful Abrielle get off on the wrong foot, and, in order to save her family from poverty, she becomes betrothed to the fiendish Desmond, who has already murdered two wives. Does Abrielle escape Desmond’s clutches? Do Raven and Abrielle eventually find true love? Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is not called the queen of historical romance for nothing. Once you start reading, chances are you’ll read right on until you find out
Early Medieval (to 1337)