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Knight of Desire

by Margaret Mallory

Series: All the King's Men (1)

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12815169,380 (4.02)5
"His surcoat still bloody from battle, William FitzAlan comes to claim the strategic borderlands granted to him by the king. One last prize awaits him at the castle gates: the lovely Lady Catherine Rayburn. Catherine risked everything to spy for the crown. Her reward? Her lands are declared forfeit and she is given this choice: marry FitzAlan or be taken to the Tower. Catherine agrees to give her handsome new husband her body, but she's keeping secrets, and dare not give him her heart. As passion ignites and danger closes in, Catherine and William must learn to trust in each other to save their marriage, their land, and their very lives"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I bought this trilogy based on the recommendation of a bookseller. She said for debut novel this was really well done so I decided to give it a try. I have to say I was very impressed.

I adore medievals as a rule and this one was lovely. Though there were several misunderstandings and a lack of trust between the couple, I felt they were justified on both sides.

Although Catherine is a strong, independent woman, I never felt she was too independent. Despite betraying her first husband she was very loyal and caring. She suffered quite a bit throughout the book, both mentally and physically, but she bore each new strain admirably. Though I understood why her husband mistrusted her, I still felt her pain.

At times I became just as frustrated with William as Catherine, but it was hard to remain angry. His strong sense of honor and self-doubt made him an extremely sympathetic character. Plus, the kindness he showed not only Catherine but her son and the inhabitants of her home was very endearing.

I found the setting and political backdrop fascinating. The Prince, King and their enemies were written in a way that was engaging on their own while advancing the main storyline. I also enjoyed the other secondary characters, especially Robert, Stephen and the Tudors (who were featured here before their reign).

( )
  cranberrytarts | Sep 22, 2013 |
Huzzah for enjoying a free book!

Mallory's debut medieval pairs the wily Lady Catherine with the honorable, but stubborn and insecure, William FitzAlan in a hasty marriage. Catherine's husband had betrayed the Crown, but Catherine had been sending the prince messages behind her husband's back. The day the king's forces catch up with and kill her traitorous husband, she's offered a choice: live in the Tower of London, or marry William, who the king gave her lands to. Reasonably, she agrees to marry.

The book shines on the virtues of its plot. There's angst, yes. Catherine was abused by her previous husband and is not terribly keen on the whole wife thing. William doesn't trust her or women in general. But the plot keeps twisting and turning, with running away to an abbey, royal visits, kidnapping, intrigues, and bad guys getting what's coming to them. She drops clues and builds foreshadowing subtly. Never did I think I had the next step all figured out, but neither was I ever totally surprised.

None of this book is groundbreaking. You know these guys. She's spirited. He's alpha. There's a ton of misunderstanding and groveling. But the plot moves so well, pulling us along a surprising journey, that the stock characters are acceptable. They're not cardboard cutouts, but this is not a character study by any means. I enjoyed Catherine's poise and spirit and William's drive to do the right thing and ability to apologize when he's done quite the wrong thing, but they're very familiar characters to me.

Regardless, I look forward to subsequent books of hers. She has a good voice for medieval romance, if maybe a touch too modern. ( )
  Ridley_ | Apr 1, 2013 |
Lady Catherine Rayburn barely has time to celebrate the death of her abusive husband in battle when the king forces her to wed another man or go to prison for treason. His majesty doesn’t care if it was her intelligence that tipped him off to Rayburn’s treachery. He declares her lands and castle forfeit and grants them to Lord William FitzAlan, who agrees to marry the lady to save her from an unjust fate. Once he catches sight of the beautiful woman boldly meeting him at the castle gates, his passion ignites. As danger surrounds them, they must learn to trust each other in order to unmask the traitor in their midst. ( )
  NancyJCohen | Jul 23, 2011 |
This book was entertaining. I found myself chuckling throughout. There is strong sexual content in this book. I found myself skimming over the romantic scenes to get back to the main story. I did enjoy the heroine, she is lively and strong willed. I would recommend this to others who enjoy romance novels. ( )
  ThePublicLibrary | Nov 1, 2010 |
This book was entertaining. I found myself chuckling throughout. There is strong sexual content in this book. I found myself skimming over the romantic scenes to get back to the main story. I did enjoy the heroine, she is lively and strong willed. I would recommend this to others who enjoy romance novels. ( )
  Cottontail | Nov 1, 2010 |
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"His surcoat still bloody from battle, William FitzAlan comes to claim the strategic borderlands granted to him by the king. One last prize awaits him at the castle gates: the lovely Lady Catherine Rayburn. Catherine risked everything to spy for the crown. Her reward? Her lands are declared forfeit and she is given this choice: marry FitzAlan or be taken to the Tower. Catherine agrees to give her handsome new husband her body, but she's keeping secrets, and dare not give him her heart. As passion ignites and danger closes in, Catherine and William must learn to trust in each other to save their marriage, their land, and their very lives"--P. [4] of cover.

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Margaret Mallory is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Hachette Book Group

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Tantor Media

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