Whenever you read a good book, there is usually a background character who you want more of. In “Knight of Desire” that character is William’s half-brother, Sir Stephen Carleton. About twelve years have passed since the happy conclusion of William and Catherine’s romance. Stephen is now a young man, serving his king in the war to reclaim Normandy.
Stephen is a charming wastrel. He is a fierce and skilled knight, he tends to drink and wench a bit overmuch. The first time the reader meets him, Stephen is waking up with a hangover in a married woman’s bed. Not exactly a hero we want to fall in love with. Then he meets Lady Isobel Hume, a widow who has been summoned by King Henry V (Prince Harry from “Knight of Desire”) to marry a Frenchman.
Left without a choice headstrong Isobel arrives in Caen to meet her betrothed. Her outlook is bleak with the thought of seeing her brother again being the only beacon happiness she has to look forward to. Then she lays eyes on Stephen Carleton. He’s a seducer and all the women fawn over him.
Through the course of events, they spend more and more time with each other. Attractions grow, but they try to resist and avoid giving into temptation, but it is fruitless. There is a comfort they find in each other’s presence that cannot be forgotten no matter the distance they and others put between them.
Stephen and Isobel are dynamic characters that you grow to like and even love as a couple. It is Mallory’s excellent pacing in their story that really make’s the progression of love believable causing the reader to not see it as fiction, but how real love can grow and develop over time.
The real scene stealer of novel is little Linnet. When Stephen finds her and her brother, she does her best to steal your heart as she helps Isobel and Stephen find love. Luckily for us, the third and final book in Margaret Mallory’s trilogy features her love story with Jamie Rayburn.