The fair Lady Faye has always played the role allotted her. Yet the marriage her
family wanted only brought her years of abuse and heartache. Now, finally free
of her tyrannical husband, she is able to live her own life for the first time.
But someone from the past has returned. Someone she has never been able to
forbidden attraction. An attraction that now burns brighter than ever before.
And it is only a matter of time until it consumes them both.
This is my first read from Sarah Hegger. I knew from the first page I would love this book. It is the old-time historical romance with great main characters and a voice reminiscent of Philippa Gregory. The research is impeccable and puts you in their time with just the right amount of period language.
Faye has finally escaped her villain of a husband and is living with her family. She is the kind of heroine who is strong and capable. She knows what hell is and will fight tooth and nail not to go back there. If she doubts herself, she does it quietly without whining and moves on.
Gregory, living without her, has pledged himself to God. He is tired of death and killing but Faye returns and needs him before he says his vows. Perfect timing. And he comes running. He’s a hero from the start with his quiet and valiant ways.
Faye’s first born has been kidnapped and the two of them work together to rescue him and the love begins again. I did have a problem with the explanation to her family about the abuse. Gregory knew the evils she had suffered yet her family seemed not to know anything. I found that a little hard to believe. (Not a spoiler, it is all in the very beginning of the book.)
The rest of the story is beautiful. I hadn’t time to read a good medieval in months. This one has me ready to devour a few more. It is part of a series but I found it read as a standalone. I will be checking out the rest of the series. 4.5 mugs
Her mother and father were settled at table and Faye took the seat to her father’s left. As the first girl, born after Roger and William, she’d been accorded a special place in her father’s affection.
His craggy face split into a grin. “Beautiful Faye.” He kissed her cheek. “Tell me how you have been spending this day.”
She dreaded the question. He asked it every night and every night she burrowed deep for some interesting morsel that wouldn’t make her day seem as stale as old bread. “I am working on a new set of bed linens for Beatrice’s baby. As we do not know the sex of the child, I thought green was a good choice.”
“Marvelous.” Her father rubbed his hands together.
She loved him for the attempt, but honestly, the mighty Sir Arthur of Anglesea had as much interest in bedding as, well, she did.
Twined up in each other like a pair of clinging vines, Garrett and Beatrice entered the hall. Beatrice waddled under the weight of the child she carried. Garrett strutted and preened like the first man to ever conceive a child, hovering about Beatrice constantly. So in love, it made her wish for things she couldn’t have.
Nurse leant forward from beside Lady Mary. “She carries a boy, you mark my words.”
Faye itched to adjust her wimple. Nurse wore it so low and tight, it pressed her face inward and gave her the look of a spotted pudding.
“It is in the shape of the belly.” Nurse made a circle with her hands. “If it is round like that, it’s a boy. You were the same and your mother before you.”
Oh, spare her Nurse and her predictions. Both times Nurse had sworn up and down Faye bore a girl. She merely smiled at their resident oracle and accepted a goblet from a serving woman. At least the wine at Anglesea was always good.
Speaking of her confinements, Simon and Arthur should be back by now.
“Nurse, have you seen the boys?” She leant far forward to see past her father and mother. She had told Sir Arthur they should commission a curved table at Anglesea. It was one good thing she had taken from Calder Castle.
Nurse’s bodice dropped in her trencher as she replied. See there, a curved table would be a mercy to silk everywhere. “Nay.” Nurse frowned. “I thought they were with young Oliver.”
Oliver, the squire charged with watching the boys. There were so many around Anglesea, their names blurred into a crowd of eager young faces.
“Oliver missed weapons practice this evening.” William took the seat beside her.
Why he did it baffled her because Roger would only insist he move one down. Men. Oliver should not have missed practice. Everyone knew Sir Arthur ran a disciplined keep, and squires did not miss practice. Not unless there was a problem. A tendril of alarm curled in her belly.
“I saw them heading for the beech thicket.” Roger rumbled from behind. He clapped William on the shoulder, his knuckles whitening as he increased his grip.
“The beech thicket? Did you not stop them? They told me they would go to the stream at the bottom of the hill. They were to remain in sight of the keep guards.”
“I thought they had your permission.” Roger won the battle with William and wedged huge shoulders in beside her.
Roger was so thick sometimes, sitting there sipping his mead as if naught was amiss. She had told her boys right before him the thicket was not allowed, even accompanied. Her brother would be well served if she poured his mead over his thoughtless head. Roger should have stopped them. The beech thicket spread all the way to the village and the boys could be anywhere. Best she start looking. Already planning the stern word she would have with her oldest son when she found him, she got to her feet. Simon forever led the way into mischief with little Arthur at his heels. She should never have let them go this morning.
Sir Arthur rose. “Faye?”
“Forgive me.” She managed a tight smile for the table. “If you will excuse me, I will go and find my sons.”
Garrett stood. “I shall come with you.”
“I am sure there is no reason for concern.” She kept it light. Boys were boys and she did try not to coddle them, but for their bellies not to lead them to dinner was unusual.
“I will come.” Garrett motioned for Beatrice to stay. “Where would you like to begin?”
Beatrice had a treasure in her husband. Faye gave him a grateful smile as she led the way out of the hall.
A bench scraped and William called out. “Hang about, Faye, we can split up and cover more ground.”
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.
Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.