Friday, June 19, 2009

Feature Review: "Knight of Desire," By Margaret Mallory

Announcement Tomorrow, June 20! Plus: Winner Round-Up below.

Do you remember that cute guy in "Lord of the Rings?" Oh, don't ask me which movie, but it was the guy with the kind of strawberry-blond hair who almost gets immolated on the pyre, but gets saved. A real cutie warrior. I think that's the guy; strapping, but fair-skinned and British-but-gots-some-Nordic-conquerors-somewhere-in-his-family-tree looking.

Yeah. He was hot. But it was so long ago that I saw the movie, I can't remember all the details. Kind of like what happens in those romances where the heroine experiences her first kiss from a hooded, young, chivalrous hero on some dark, hazy night, then meets up with him years later, drawn to his hard body and rough-yet-clean-shaven good looks, but recognizes not a blessed thing about his countenance.

Sort of like what happens to Lady Catherine Rayburn, heroine of Margaret Mallory's sigh-worthy new medieval, "Knight of Desire," the first fine historical tale in her new "All the King's Men" series.

The King in said series, is Henry II -- or maybe Hank V before he's got the crown -- and Lady Catherine's committed what almost amounts to treason by sending Prince Harry info that her husband's turned traitor. On the very day the prince's men foil her husband's plot, his slayer -- and the man who's been awarded the lands Catherine's long cherished -- arrives bloodied from battle and demanding she marry him or accept accommodations at London's famed Tower.

No fool she, Catherine chooses nuptials, but foils at every turn her lusty lord as he attempts to consummate the marriage. Is our hero, the ridiculously honorable William FitzAlan -- and doesn’t adding Fitz to a name ratchet up exponentially the hero’s desirability quotient? -- disheartened? Well a little, and at times, he acts so jerky, he’ll probably catch some flack online.

But once Catherine steps back for a breather – and FitzAlan is treated to some humble pie we-women-stick-together style -- she begins to see an alliance with FitzAlan might mean a rebirth of her youthful dreams of self-determination. Yet if he learns how her plans to help King and country could find them branded traitors, the fragile intimacy they share will shatter – along with the lives of their countrymen and Prince Harry.

“Knight of Desire,” is a treat for the historical romance fan who’s been craving a little more place-and-time meat with her sexy love story; the folks who really made the history make this story burst with character and life. It hearkens back to the days when historical heroines worked with what they had to save the day, and heroes didn’t have to appear or be written weakened so the women could shine.

Oh, you know the books I’m talking about, I just can’t remember the titles or authors.
Sheesh. Well, remember this: The next in this series is “Knight of Pleasure,” and I’m already dying for it, as you will be when you --

Buy the book.

How do you feel about real figures from history playing parts in the romances you read? What do you think of medievals/what are some faves? And who was that LOTR guy, anywayz?
Prize Winners --
Monica Burns: bookeroo; Laurie
Tessa Dare: margay
Janice Maynard: lyoness2009
Wrap Up: If you've not rec'ved a prize from me that we've corresponded about, please send me a note at We've lost 3 packages in the mail in the last 10 months.


Anonymous said...

That would be the gorgeous Faramir, the even more gorgeous and tragic Boromir's brother.

Margaret Mallory said...

I love it that my hero made you think of Boramir (sp?) from Lord of the Rings! That is just the kind of guy he is. And I'm glad you agree that a strong heroine can shine with a strong hero. Thanks for reading and reviewing my first book. Really, you can't know how exciting this is for me. :)
--Margaret Mallory

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

sigh. thank you, oh thank you, Gia. Isn't it pathetic? And I do the same thing when I'm talking to friends and -- ok, just shut. up, Bellas -- here about romance. Like, "you know that book with that hero who falls in love with the girl and she dope slaps him and he crawls inthe end? yeah, that was great. What book was that again?"

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, you're welcome, Margaret! We crossed posts! Well, he truly did make me think of him, and the way you describe his body in firelight...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

but, you know, maybe it was boromir I was thinking of... gotta go google.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind when historical characters appear in fictions, especially if their medieval.
My favorites include most of Julie Garwood's medievals, Paula quinn's novels... REALLY, REALLY good !!

Portia Da Costa said...

I enjoy reading about real life characters in historicals, mainly as secondary characters or supporting players though.

I've not read many medieval set books, as I'm mainly drawn to later time periods. But I do remember particularly enjoying Katherine by Anya Seton many years ago.

Myrin said...

I find it very interesting to read about characters in fictional books that really existed. However, sometimes I wonder what they would think if they knew what stuff they're doing/saying in certain books. Prinny (Geroge IV.), for example. He's featured in a lot of books and would clearly wonder what people he knew he has never heard about. *g*

The books I'm currently reading are medievals, the Blood Sword Legacy by Karin Tabke. Those are really, really good. In fact, the first one in the series is one of the best books I've ever written. Rather violent in some parts, but still good. Ms Tabke makes writing an art from, you want to read every single word just because it's so beautiful. There did, however, happen something at the end of book #2, that was so very sad that it somehow spoiled the whole book for me. It was very realistic, but still not something I want to happen to h/h. Not even the HEA could distract me from the sad part, sniff. But still, verrrrra well written and I'm already looking forward to books 3, which I'll be starting this evening, and the others in the series, which will be out in God only knows when. Sigh, long waiting again.

Oh, and just one thing off topic: Michelle, did you get the email I sent you two days or so ago?

Janice Maynard said...

Lyoness - I'm popping your prize package in the mail today!

Janice Maynard

pjpuppymom said...

SQUEEE! A brand new medieval for me to savor! I love medievals and am so delighted to see more authors writing them again. I'll definitely pick up a copy of your book, Margaret. Will you be at the RWA signing in DC?

I enjoy real historical figures in the romances I read. It gives me a sense of time and place and has, on occasion, enhanced my historical knowledge of the era.

Julie Garwood's medievals are wonderful. Her Saving Grace is my all-time favorite comfort read. My favorite new medieval writer from the past couple years is Monica McCarty. Some others that I enjoy are Kinley MacGregor, Terri Brisbin, Karen Tabke, Lisa Hendrix and Diana Cosby. Veronica Wolff is a relatively new author who writes terrific time-travel medievals. Her Warrior of the Highlands is my favorite. Love me some Alasdair MacColla. Yum!

Janice Maynard said...

Knight of Desire sounds yummy! Will have to pick it up ASAP!

Mari said...

I think adding real characters can enhance the story. I love Bertrice Small's books that feature King Henry the eighth.

kim h said...

wtg iwnners

have fun wish i had a vacation


Caffey said...

I'm excited about this book. I love to read new to me authors! This so does sound a great treat!!

I learn most from the romance books I read about history! So I love to read about historical figures/people that I missed learning about and too want to read about them! I do love Medieval Romances!

Tina St. John (Lara Aiden) LORD OF VENGEANCE
Marsha Canham - THE BLOOD OF ROSES
Leanne Burroughs - HER HIGHLAND ROGUE
HIGHLAND books by Hannah Howell
MY LADY'S TREASURE by Catherine Kean
THE KING'S MISTRESS by Terri Brisban
and too some other authors who write medieval I grab to read!
Donna Fletcher
Maragret Moore
Amanda Scott
Shari Anton
Julia Latham
Madeline Hunter
Mary Reed McCall
Lynn Kurland
Claudia Dain

That's just a few I can think of off hand. I love Medieval Romances!