Brand is well used to the lies and shadows of court. Yet nothing prepares him for his sizzling attraction to innocent Catherine, or the deadly plot she is tangled in, for her father took a secret to his grave that could tear Catholic England apart. With one chance at salvation, Brand and Catherine begin a cross-country journey that reveals the shocking truth...and a burning passion that could save or destroy them both.
On the steps of St James’s Palace his father stood next to the Duke of Norfolk and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the three most powerful men in the country, all devout Catholics, cold-eyed and unsmiling.
Norfolk stepped forward, a roll of crisp parchment open in his hands.
“Sir Brandon Fitzalan, Mistress Catherine Linwood, you stand accused of high treason, blasphemy, heresy, witchcraft and fornication. On behalf of her most gracious majesty Queen Mary, it is the desire of the council to hear this matter personally and pass judgement upon it. Due to the nature of the charges, it is also the desire of the council to begin with all haste. Therefore, your trial shall commence at noon, three days hence. Guards, escort them to the dungeon.”
“No,” Carey screamed, frantically trying to twist out of the guards’ hold as they began to roughly haul her away. “Brand. Brand!”
He ran several steps before his back arched and legs buckled under the brutal strike of wooden staffs, the burn of the blows a sickening contrast to the icy chills roiling his gut.
There would be no justice here. Mary wanted them both dead.
They would take her secrets to the grave.
One Forbidden Knight by Nicola Davidson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One Forbidden Knight by Nicola Davidson is a 2015 Entangled (Scandalous) publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a solid historical romance set in the days of “Bloody Mary's” reign. Lady Catherine Linwood is the daughter of an esteemed physician, and is favored by the queen, until her father dies suddenly.
Catherine is immediately suspicious of the alleged cause of death. When she meets Sir Brandon FitzAlan, a bastard Knight, a man indebted to Catherine's father for his medical treatment of his mother, the two work together to figure out what really happened to Catherine's father, and end up falling hard and fast for each other. However, they may not live long enough to have their happy ending…
Catherine is an unconventional girl, uninhibited, educated, and loyal, while Brand has a few dark spots on his record and carries around a little baggage. Catherine seems like a cool salve for Brand's tortured conscience and bitterness toward his father, who will not publicly acknowledge him. I like both characters because they were mature, faced danger head on, with courage and honor, and proved their love was strong and could weather any storm.
This is a novella length story, but did not suffer from underdeveloped characterization. The plot does move quickly, but the story is fleshed out evenly with a nice mix of romance, intrigue and suspense. I'm not sure if this book is a part of a series, but even it is, it can be read as a stand alone. A perfect lunch break read for historical romance lovers!
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