Shadowed Knight by Jan Alyce Avery

Samhain Publishing

Historical Romance

ISBN: 1-59998-703-1

Reviewed by Tanya



Lady Margaret D’Arcy has managed her family’s heritage and estate for more than six years, since her father and brother were brutally murdered by a rogue knight in the area.  But Lady Margaret has done everything to keep the castle and surrounding lands safe and still allow the families to stay together. Now suddenly her liege lord has decided that she needs to wed a knight of his choice so he has confidence that the area will be well protected.  The problem is that Lady Margaret has never met this baseborn knight and the stories about him make him out to be a ruthless man.  Her cousin Lady Ann insists that she at least try to make the best out of the situation.

Richard was born the bastard son of a nobleman who never acknowledged him publicly, which would have given him some standing.  Richard was instead forced to live and work in the stables and abused at all turns.  He runs away and decides to work hard and gain all he can in life.  This plan is coming to fruition though he is sure that he is going to be forced to wed either a shrew or a homely woman, as she is over 20 and never wed.  But nonetheless, this is the way to get his own holdings, so he and his second, Sir Fitzwilliam, set out for Warnmark.

Saying the initial meeting of Margaret and Richard didn’t go well would be an understatement.  But for each to keep what they want, they end up striking an odd bargain.  They agree to look the wedded couple in public but remain strangers in private.   The biggest problem with this bargain is that find they are falling in love with each other, but are afraid to admit it.  Then suddenly Lady Margaret is kidnapped by the same ruthless rogue knight (outlaw) who had killed her parents, and Margaret and Richard realize what the other means to them.  But when Richard is also taken prisoner when he catches up with the outlaw band, how will they escape?  Will they finally admit their true feelings, or will it be too late?

The immovable Lady Margaret meets and is forced to wed the determined Sir Richard in Shadowed Knight.  This story does a fantastic job of setting the stage for how women were treated during this time period. No matter how skilled, they were still at the whim of their liege lord and had no veto power.  I enjoyed both the actions and interaction of the main characters.  Sometimes you need to be careful of what you initially say, as you might not have all the necessary information.  I also enjoyed the secondary romance of Sir Fitzwilliam and Lady Ann, as they both overcame their shyness and let their love blossom.  If you are a fan of historical romances, you need to pick Shadowed Knight up as it has it all, a baseborn man who achieves knighthood, a rogue knight, a strong-willed woman, kidnapping and romance.



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