Sunday, October 7, 2012
New Review: Denise Domning’s WINTER’S HEAT – Classic Medieval Romance
It takes place in 1194, during the latter part of the reign of King Richard I. It tells the story of Rowena of Benfield, who at 21, was taken by her father from the abbey where she’d planned to spend her life to be wed to Rannulf FitzHenry, the powerful Lord of Graistan. Rannulf is a man with emotional baggage from a past betrayal and Rowena wants but does not expect his love. She is a masterful chatelaine and does his estate proud. While all come to love her, Rannulf treats her with disdain, holding himself back, presumably for fear of being betrayed once again.
I loved Rowena’s strength and feisty attitude; but Rannulf was at times too mean. Yes, it was an arranged marriage and Rowena was determined to make it work, but how many times can you be publically cut by your husband and not want to leave him? When he finally came around, it was a dramatic change and I was still harboring bitter thoughts about him from his earlier actions toward his wife. (How we do get into these stories!) But this is romance so it all comes right in the end.
The story is interesting, the plot held my interest, and I can recommend it. I intend to read the others in the series. But for those of you history lovers, you may want to consider others I’ve recommended on my Best Medieval Romances list if you like deep history with your love stories.
The Graistan Chronicles, the stories of the FitzHenry's:
WINTER’S HEAT (Rannulf and Rowena)
SUMMER’S STORM (Temric and Philippa)
SPRING’S FURY (Gilliam and Nicola)
AUTUMN’S FLAME (Geoffrey and Elyssa)
A LOVE FOR ALL SEASONS (Robert and Johanna)