Picking up a book by an unknown author is always a crap shoot. With the economy as it is, seven dollars is a lot of money to gamble with, but after reading the back of “Knight of Desire” byMargaret Mallory, I was willing to take the chance.
“Knight of Desire” begins with a woman in a difficult position. After turning in her husband for treason, Lady Catherine Rayburn must now decide between imprisonment in the Tower of London or marriage to William FitzAlan, who looks handsome despite the mass amounts of blood (some of which belonged to her now dead husband) covering his surcoat. Catherine chooses marriage.
At its core, Mallory’s debut novel is about trust and its integral part in love. Catherine is not only forced to trust William with her wellbeing and those of her people, but that of her young son, Jamie. With no other choices, Mallory is able to illustrate Catherine’s desperation with her situation and the limitations of her sex in medieval England. It is when she is trapped that her true inner strength as a person shines through. She becomes the woman William has been dreaming of for five years.
When they were young William and Catherine shared a special moment with each other. One that William hasn’t been able to forget. Upon meeting her again he is gobsmacked. He recognizes her in an instant. William has kept that midnight kiss in his heart during years of warring, but now that the king has forced them to wed, how can he trust a woman who spied on her husband and then betrayed him?
Though not the only conflict in the novel, trust plays a central role in all conflicts. It is a time of war for England and you never knew who to fully trust. Mallory expertly uses that time of turmoil to frame her romance beautifully.
The greatest compliment I can give “Knight of Desire” is this: Before I finished this novel I bought the sequel, “Knight of Pleasure.” And as I write this review, I’ve already finished it and going out to buy the third one soon.