Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Review: Virginia Henley’s THE RAVEN AND THE ROSE – A 15th Century Romance and a Wonderful Tale!

Rich in history of 15th century England, this is a passionate love story between two stubborn, strong-willed people who reached for all life could give and rose to every challenge, including each other. The author, Virginia Henley, is one of my favorites and always makes my "Best" lists.

It is the time when King Edward IV ruled England, though he faced threats from many enemies. Beautiful Roseanna Castlemaine rides and hunts with the best of her father’s men and is an expert at horse breeding. She does what she pleases. At 17, she learns she is the illegitimate daughter of the king, who has been her mother’s lover since they were 14. Roseanna’s “first love” is a landless knight, Sir Bryan, who writes her poetry. They pledge their love to each other, though she has been betrothed for years to Roger Montford, Baron of Ravenspur. She has never met the baron and he’s never claimed her. The King did that mostly to protect Ravenspur from having to ward off the parents of marriageable young girls as he’d already had two disastrous marriages that ended in the death of both wives.

Wanting out of a betrothal that is preventing her from marrying the man she loves, Roseanna rides to the hunting lodge where Ravenspur is staying to ask him to drop his claim so she can marry Sir Bryan. But her plans go awry when she is beset by a storm and her horse runs away. She is found in a bedraggled state by Tristan, Ravenspur’s younger brother who thinks her a simple village girl and decides she is a grand prize for his brother.

This is another good one by Henley, with a great story, sexy love scenes, a worthy hero and a heroine to inspire. It’s in the vein of the others she wrote at this time:

The Hawk and the Dove (1988) - Winner of the Romantic Times Award for Best Elizabethan Historical Romance
The Falcon and the Flower (1989) - Winner of the Romantic Times Award for Most Sensual
The Pirate and the Pagan (1990) - Winner of the Romantic Times Award for Best English Historical Romance
The Dragon and the Jewel (1991)

I highly recommend them all!

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