Bastard daughter to the king, Rosamunde was raised in a convent and wholly prepared to take the veil . . . until King Henry declared she would wed Aric, one of his most valiant knights. Suddenly she found herself promising to love, honor, and obey.
Rosamunde's education had not covered a wedding night, but the handsome warrior she was now bound to seemed intent on giving her a lesson in the art of pleasure. In no time, Aric was certain she would surrender to the irresistible passion he promised.
And while Rosamunde's spirited nature often put her at odds with her new husband, his mastery in seduction was quickly melting her resolve—and capturing her heart.
Author: Lynsay Sands
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: One Lucky Vampire , The Loving Daylights, The Immortal Who Loved Me, The Highlander Takes a Bride
Published by Avon Source: Publisher
Published: November 24, 2015
Genres: Historical Romace
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Purchase your copy: Amazon
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*Note: This is not a new Lyndsay Sands novel. This is a reissue with a new cover.*
In Always, Sands brings us to medieval England, and introduces us to Rosamunde, the illegitimate daughter of King Henry. Quick setup: Politics and a need to see his daughter safe drive King Henry to marry his daughter off to Aric, a fierce warrior who’s just broken off his own engagement. Rosamunde expects to take her vows as a nun, but instead takes her vows as a wife, and then has to figure out how marriage works when it’s to a man instead of God.
I liked Aric. He was a dynamic character, and though he’s gruff and a little grouchy, his patience level is astounding. He was caught between a rock and a hard place – marry the King’s daughter, or die. No matter what Rosamunde does or says, he forgives her because he realizes how sheltered she’s been (and how naive she is) due to her upbringing at the convent. He’s determined to make his marriage a good one, and for that, I thought him a great character.
I strongly disliked Rosamunde – but I believe this isn’t the fault of the book or the author. In fact, I think this shows how much the romance genre has changed. Rosamunde isn’t a heroine written for today’s reader. She’s SO naive, and SO selfish, and very much a maiden-in-distress character. She rarely thought of anyone but herself, and her actions were almost childish. It was downright annoying.
However…this book was published fifteen years ago. This kind of heroine wasn’t uncommon, and readers of that time (myself included way back when) saw nothing wrong with this, as it seemed indicative of the novel’s setting. However, I prefer my heroines – including the historical ones – to be more spunky, more independent, and more relatable than the time itself would’ve dictated. This is fiction – and creative license can (and should, in many cases) be applied to these stories.
I read this story twice, the first time as a modern reader (because I wasn’t aware it was a reissue) and then again as an early 2000’s reader. So…two different ratings.
Modern reader: 2 stars due to an extremely unlikeable heroine (which made me angry at the hero for putting up with her shenanigans)
2000’s reader: 4 stars due to fantastic writing, wonderful world building, hot sex scenes and the knight saving the maiden.
So let’s go with the average rating of 3. Just go in with eyes wide open!