A Stormy Knight by Amy Mullen is a 2013 Astraea Press Publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a sweet historical romance that centers around a young couple torn apart by suspicions and machinations beyond their control.
Young and in love Gemma and Nicholas used to meet in a special place, their hearts full of love and promise of the future until one night Nicholas fails to show up and Gemma learns he and his family have simply vanished under a cloud of suspicion. Broken hearted, Gemma vows never to love again and refused to marry although she has many admirers.
When a string of deaths and odd occurrences plague the castle, Gemma finds herself all alone and making decisions she never expected to have to make. She calls upon the king for help. The last person she expects to ride up to the castle is Nicolas! The boy who broke her heart is now a full grown man, and not only was he sent to protect Gemma, he is there to marry her as well. Each blame the other for what happened seven years ago, and each are too proud to admit something was not right about what had happened and they are also too afraid to admit the love they shared back then is still in their hearts and stronger than ever.
I loved this Medieval England tale of intrigue and politics, loss and pain, but of young love, true love, the healing power of love. It is not an easy time and Gemma and Nicholas will find themselves at battle on many fronts. It looks as though the couple will not be able to reconcile the past or to overcome the anger they feel toward each other due to the pain and suffering they endured in the past. This is a little frustrating at times, and both characters made me want to scream a few times but they do have their hands full. There is some tense action going on as well, which I like in a romance as it helps to offset the turmoil the couple is going through. It is not until the very last when things seem the darkest for Gemma that she learns she is not alone in her feelings and that maybe Nicholas was in her corner all along, but too stubborn to tell her. Men!
I am glad I discovered this book and the author and was so happy to find a solid medieval romance in the midst of these regencies!! I hope this historical era will make a strong comeback and this book is a fine example of how wonderful these stories can be.
Reviewed by Countess Julie.
Some people get a mail order bride. She got a mail order man.
A well-meaning friend places an ad to find a mail order husband for Sarah, the proprietress of Larkspur’s stage and mail office. Sarah, who is generally quiet and reserved, doesn’t know about the ad and has no idea what to do with all the people that are showing up in her community. Before long, the town is overrun with men and mail alike.
Sarah is trying to avoid some men who have accosted her on the street when she stumbles into Samuel. Through long days spent together at the stage office, some very adventurous pots of coffee and a shared faith, the two became friends. Sarah knows that Samuel is hiding something from her, something important, but that doesn’t stop her heart from leaping wildly into love.
Lacking the confidence to trust her heart, Sarah wars with herself over the feelings she can no longer deny. When some of the men who have come to town show their true intentions, a shootout follows. Sarah finally gets answers to many of the questions circling through her mind. One question remains, though. Where will her mail order man go when the dust settles?
About the Author:
Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing. Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell. Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.
Will she be able to save him from himself?
Grace finds herself wed to a man who loathes her. She is shunned and exiled to the farthest corner of the land. It wouldn’t hurt so much if he hadn’t once been her best friend.
Thomas became a duke long before he was ready. Now he can’t go anywhere without women trying to entrap him into marriage. He expected better from his childhood friend.
How can friendship, let alone marriage, thrive in the face of bitterness, suspicion, and misunderstanding? What’s to be done when the hurtful choices made in anger have lasting consequences?
It takes a special kind of person to see past the pain to the beauty that lies beyond…
Grace soaked in Thomas’s warmth. She sighed into his waistcoat and said, “I appreciate the kind words, Thomas, but you shouldn’t be in here alone with me. We both know that.”
Thomas, his voice light, said, “It was in here with you or out there with the barracudas. I think I’m safer right where I am.”
Grace didn’t pull out of his comforting hug as she knew she ought to. Instead she said, “I’ve spent my whole life in Stafford Shire and have never even been to London before. All I’m asking for is one season. If I wait much longer, I’ll be completely on the shelf, and no decent man will even consider marrying me. My father has doomed me to the life of being some man’s courtesan!”
“You’ve been reading the newspaper again, haven’t you?” She felt the warm rumble of his chuckle against her cheek. “You shouldn’t even know words like that. If your parents knew you were reading those rags, they’d have your hide.”
Grace’s tears had quieted and were slowly being replaced by hiccups. Just as Thomas began to release her from his friendly hold, the library door opened with a loud bang.
“What the devil is going on in here?” demanded Lady Appleton.
Grace jumped out of Thomas’s arms and said, “It’s not what you th—ink.” The hiccups were gaining momentum. “I was up—set. Thomas found me, and I was—crying. He was simply be—ing kind.”
The skin on Lady Appleton’s florid face jiggled as she shouted, “Not only are you in a room with a man unchaperoned, but you were in an embrace!” Her gown truly was the most awful color. It was somewhere between green and brown, like a plant that had withered and died. To make the ensemble worse, she looked as if she were wearing an entire peacock atop her piled hair.
Seeming to thrive on spectacle, Lady Appleton continued to bombast them with accusation, her voice growing toward a crescendo. “You’ve been ruined, young lady! There will have to be a wedding at once!” If volume were the stick by which such things were measured, Lady Appleton’s screeching voice ensured that Grace would feel maximum shame.
“Th—at wasn’t an embrace!”
By this time, several people had gathered in the hallway outside the library door. When Grace’s father came on the scene, Thomas spoke directly to him, ignoring Lady Appleton. “I apologize for any misunderstanding. Gracie was crying. She was upset, might I add, by the cruel things you said to her. I’m nothing more than a childhood friend offering a bit of encouragement and reassuring her that her father is not the ogre he appears to be at present.”
Grace had never heard Thomas’s voice quite like this. The sharp edge of strong metal in it was unmistakable. This voice belonged to the Duke of Stafford, not her childhood friend Thomas.