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By Design

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting medieval romance

    In the marketplace near the Cathedral, freemason Rhys observes a beautiful newcomer serenely and quietly trying to sell crockery. For some strange reason, Rhys finds himself enchanted by the ¿alien¿ and even more excited by her work that is geometrically perfect especially since he learns that she lacked the proper equipment. Reluctantly by gleefully for having met the latest hawker, Rhys finally moves on to conduct his own business. <P> A few days later, Rhys sees his enchantress in quite a different situation. Apparently she did something that led to her master blaming her. Now she is a victim of the stocks. Rhys rescues Joan by buying her indentured contract. Joan wants nothing to do with her savior even if he is kind and handsome, and she is falling in love with him. Even with the enticement of Rhys and his love, Joan¿s goal remains vengeance on those who destroyed her and her family though some of her enemies reside in the court of young King Edward. <P>BY DESIGN is an exciting late medieval romance that uses the political and economic conditions of the times as a backdrop to a warm historical romantic intrigue. The story line works because of the historical depth, especially that of the guilds, that brings much color to the tale and leaves the audience feeling they are inspecting pottery among other wares. The lead couple seems real because of the full flavor of the period. Though Madeline Hunter has written a medieval romance that sub-genre fans will enjoy, readers of historical fiction will gain much pleasure from the novel too. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2000

    Another Compelling Tale

    With BY DESIGN, Madeline Hunter continues her examination of love across social classes in 14th century England. Rhys is a master mason who enjoys the patronage of the crown. One day, he sees a lovely young woman selling her statues in the market. He is struck by her talent. Shortly thereafter, he discovers her in the stocks, being punished for the shoddy goods sold by her master. Rhys rescues Joan and thus begins their relationship. Joan has secrets of her own, secrets which will make their growing love impossible. As she did in her first two books, Hunter uses the history of the time to good effect as Rhys finds himself involved in the political machinations of the era. But what carries this story is the romance. Rhys is a wonderful hero; he is both amazingly strong and amazingly gentle. Joan is a brave and determined heroine; she has lost everything yet has not been defeated. Their impossible love tugs at the heartstrings. A grand story of the power of love to overcome seemingly impossible barriers. Hunter brings the 14th century to vivid life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

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