Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: The de Burgh Bride by Deborah Simmons (5 stars, medieval)

Full Description: Amazon

Rating: 5 out of 5

Thoughts After Reading:
So, funny story - I was looking for the sequel to The Devil's Lady, and thought I had found it with The de Burgh Bride. Then I realized that The de Burgh Bride was a second novel, but of a different series. By that time, however, the premise of the novel had caught me - a hoydenish medieval heroine who killed her first husband on their wedding night? Sounds like something I need to read right away :).

As it turns out, The de Burgh Bride was not quite what I was expecting but an excellent romance nonetheless. The heroine is a woman who has been emotionally mistreated by the men in her life, particularly by her father and later by a cruel knight who took her as his wife. As a result, she protects herself by acting crudely and screeching frequently. She carries knives on her person, should she need to defend herself. The hero shines as a man who is not only a large and strong knight, but who is  also a scholar and the most patient of his brothers. The book opens with the hero and his brothers drawing straws to see who has to agree to the marriage ordered by the king. As you can guess, the hero draws the short straw :). As the first few months of their marriage go by, the hero deals with the heroine as patiently/gently as he is able while he tries to set the estate right. They take a trip to the hero's brother's house, and after observing the happiness around her the heroine begins to start understanding what it means to care for others and ultimately love. As with The Devil's Lady, the romance plot is almost completely resolved by about 80% of the novel. The final conflict mainly deals with the hero saving the heroine from a villain. Unlike Simmons' other work, however, there's only a couple of love scenes and they don't happen until later in the relationship.

The de Burgh Bride is not a humorous or even particularly lighthearted novel. It does, though, seem to be representative of Simmons' work as another touching and enjoyable love story.

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