A Sword for His Lady: Courtly Love #1 by Mary Wine

A Sword for His Lady: Courtly Love #1 by Mary Wine

Keeping to the obsession of all things historic, I have a rare treat: a romance set in Medieval England! with  Mary Wine and the first of her Courtly Love series.. In addition, I have a short Q&A with Mary about writing, an excerpt and a giveaway where you could win one of Five paperback copies of A Sword for His Lady. Drawing ends on 18 July.

A Sword for His Lady

Historic romance has such a large field for setting, I’m surprised more authors don’t utilize the medieval era. Mary Wine jumped right into the era with A Sword for His Lady, setting our characters in the time and court of Richard the Lionheart and 12th century England.

Isabel is a widow with the control (for now) of her lands and the Thistle Keep, a premium spot close to the Welsh border.  As Isabel is working her independence, a fleeting thing, she comes face to face with a knight from Richard’s Army, fresh from his own newly-granted lands with an order to woo and wed her.

Roman de Segrave is one of Richard’s loyal knights, granted the title of Baron and given lands that neighbor both Isabel and Thistle Keep and the Welsh border.  Thinking defensively, and for the enrichment of the crown (granted lands can always be taken back) Richard strongly suggests (orders) Roman to woo and wed the woman, thus adding to his own property.

Roman is charming, loyal and in truth, a touch of a caveman, but then, most men of his time were. Women’s rights were non-existent, and a woman managing an estate of value was unthinkable.  While Roman and Isabel butt heads more often than not over his presumption of her need of ‘protection’, the attraction between them is palpable.  Although Isabel is loathe to admit it, Roman intrigues her, and a life with him does not seem entirely distasteful, even though the thought of losing her hard won respect and independence rankles.

Then, the twist.  And Isabel realizes that a relationship with Roman, while losing her some of her own power may just be preferable to the threats to her land, independence and happiness.  And Roman is there, like a knight in shining armor (yeah – I know) to save the day and win the lady’s heart.

Plenty of action, heat and a touch of treachery help to move this story forward, bringing both Isabel and Roman into clear focus as they both battle for what they want, need and even desire. Not shying away from the less-palatable moments of the time, nor pulling any punches with the overtly patriarchal society, both Roman and Isabel had their moments to shine and grow as readers are transported into their lives and times.  Mary Wine has penned a fabulous start to a series that is sure to be on the must read list of many.

 

 

A Sword for His Lady: Courtly Love #1 by Mary Wine

Title: A Sword for His Lady
Author: Mary Wine
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1492602477
Published on: 7 July 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 352
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 56 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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He'd defend her keep...

After proving himself on the field of battle, Ramon de Segrave is appointed to the Council of Barons by Richard the Lionheart. But instead of taking his most formidable warrior on his latest Crusade, the king assigns Ramon an even more dangerous task—woo and win the Lady of Thistle Keep.

If only she'd yield her heart...

Isabel of Camoys is a capable widow with no intention of surrendering her valuable estate. She's fought long and hard for her independence, and if the price is loneliness, then so be it. She will not yield... even if she does find the powerful knight's heated embrace impossible to ignore.But when her land is threatened, Isabel reluctantly agrees to allow Ramon and his army to defend the keep—knowing that the price may very well be her heart.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

Read an Excerpt

He lifted one foot and set it on the bottom step.

“What are you doing?”

“I am entering the keep.” His tone made it clear he knew he was invading her home.

“No.” She fought back her breathlessness. “You shall not.”

She backed up, but forced herself to stop in the doorway.

“Why not, my lady?”

He climbed another step and she felt her knees quiver. It was an insane reaction, one that shocked her with how intense it was its intensity.

“You do not belong in the keep. This is my home.”

He frowned but climbed another step to stand on even ground with her. Isabel lifted her chin so she might maintain eye contact.

“I will be making a full assessment of this structure, lady. You may stand aside or I shall remove you from my path.”

She should have lowered herself and gracefully glided out of the doorway. It was the only response the code of chivalry afforded her, but she couldn’t force herself to do it. She didn’t feel in control of her emotions; they were scattering like autumn leaves. Her heart accelerated. He was pressing closer, watching her, gauging her reactions to him. She’d never felt so exposed. Never felt like any man took so much notice of her. He reached for her, his expression full of promise.

“No one enters this keep without bathing.” She spat the words out in a rush and had to pull in a deep breath because her lungs burned when she was finished. At last, relief flowed through her, for she had found a valid argument to use.

The baron’s expression didn’t change. His hands were clenched around his wide leather belt, his knuckles turning white.

“Take yourself off to the bath house, my lord baron.” She was being brazen.

He suddenly grunted, amusement returning to his eyes. “Very well lady, since you wish to offer me your hospitality, I accept.”

She stared at him, uncertain of the flicker burning in his dark eyes. This wasn’t a man who knew defeat, and the muscles in her neck tightened when his lips twitched into a smug grin once again.

An expression that was full of victory.

“I shall enjoy having you bathe me, Isabel. It is certainly a good place for us to begin to learn more about one another.” A gleam appeared in his eyes that sent a shiver down her body. 

“I did not offer to bathe you myself.” Her voice was a horrified whisper. He stepped closer, capturing her wrist in a grip that surprised her because it lacked pain with its gentleness. Instead, she felt their connection keenly, so much so, it felt as though that she couldn’t form a single, sensible thought. Logic had always offered her salvation in the past. Before Ramon, it crumbled away, leaving her at his mercy.

“You claim you are no maiden, so it is only customary for you to attend me since you are the lady of this keep.” His voice lowered. “Or perhaps, you would prefer not to act as a lady. In such a case…I will be most pleased to dispense with ceremony.”

 

 

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Named a Top 10 Pick for Spring 2015 by Publishers Weekly, A Sword For His Lady comes out this July! Mary agreed to stop by today and has answered some questions for us about herself and her career as an author.

Where’s your go-to place to write?
In my office. I’m strict about that. Focus is important.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I treat my writing like a job. Mind you, I have the best job in the world…except maybe for that guy that gets to play TinkerBell during the Disneyland fireworks show, zip lining across the sky during a fireworks show would be pretty amazing too. But on a serious note, I work a lot of weekends.

 

 

 

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About Mary Wine

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of erotic fantasy, romantic suspense, and historical romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives with her husband and two sons in Yorba Linda, California.

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