By Design

( 13 )

Overview

Bound by honor...

The moment Rhys saw the stunning young woman selling her exquisitely crafted pottery in the marketplace, he was captivated. But the wealthy freemason would never have guessed that just a few days later, a misunderstanding would land Joan in the town stocks and he would become her unlikely savior. After the grueling ordeal, Rhys tenderly cares for Joan's bruised body—and her bruised pride. Yet he longs to do much more ... to ...

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By Design

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Overview

Bound by honor...

The moment Rhys saw the stunning young woman selling her exquisitely crafted pottery in the marketplace, he was captivated. But the wealthy freemason would never have guessed that just a few days later, a misunderstanding would land Joan in the town stocks and he would become her unlikely savior. After the grueling ordeal, Rhys tenderly cares for Joan's bruised body—and her bruised pride. Yet he longs to do much more ... to satisfy the fire that sparks between the pair the moment they are alone.

Rhys could not have known that Joan once enjoyed a more privileged life. She'd had no choice but to become an indentured servant, but she is determined to avenge the crimes that ruined her family and destroyed her world. When Rhys meets with her employer to buy pottery—and buys her instead —Joan is furious. She vows to resist falling under the spell of the handsome, imposing Rhys. But she finds that her resolve quickly softens when tempted by Rhys's powerful charms—and she can only hope to find a way to avoid surrendering to her potent desire....

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hunter skillfully keeps the relationship fresh and her readers wondering whether Joan can overcome her past in order to embrace the present" — Publishers Weekly

"An immensely gifted new author."—Jane Feather, author of The Least Likely Bride

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although readers new to Hunter's 14th-century London trilogy (which includes By Possession) may struggle to gain a foothold on the background details of this final installment, the sexual tension between Joan, a gifted sculptress, and her protector, Rhys, a Freemason, will engage newcomers and loyal fans alike. Rhys and Joan first cross paths at the market, where she is displaying her wares, and then again at the city stocks, when Joan is unfairly punished for peddling her employer's defective tiles. While attempting to free Joan of an indenture to her drunken master, Rhys unexpectedly purchases her himself. Greeting Rhys with anger instead of gratitude, Joan makes it clear that she intends to cook and clean, not share his bed. What Rhys doesn't know is that Joan is actually the high-born daughter of a lord who was murdered when England rose up to welcome Queen Isabella's invasion, and that, upon her father's death, Joan was forced to trade sexual favors to save her younger brother's life. Now she is in hiding until she can earn enough money to hire an assassin and seek revenge. Despite myriad plot lines, the romance between Rhys and Joan remains central, and Hunter skillfully keeps the relationship fresh and her readers wondering whether Joan can overcome her past in order to embrace the present. (Jan. 9) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553582239
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 984,241
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Madeline Hunter is a nationally bestselling author of historical romances who lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. In a parallel existence to the one she enjoys as a novelist, she has a Ph.D. in art history and teaches at an East Coast university.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read

    This was my first book by this author, and I must admit that it was much more than I thought it was going to be. Fairly complex and well-developed primary and secondary characters with a good bit of medeaval court intrigue and history thrown in. The author apparently really knows her period. Really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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 20, 2000

    Great book

    Rhys was a free mason during the time of Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer. He noticed Joan in the marketplace where she quietly sold her pottery. When he later found her in the town stocks, for her employer's mistake in crafting some tiles, he took care of her and then purchased her indenture from the tiler. He also took in her younger brother who was not old enough to be a man, but was old enough to get into trouble with other street boys. He was lacking a fatherly figure and needed a serious handling from a strong role model! <BR><BR> Joan and Mark had once lived a better life. But Guy Leighton and Roger Mortimer ceased that. Now they hid and barely survived. All Joan wanted was revenge on Guy and perhaps to get back some of her property or items back for her brother. But the free mason both attracted and repelled her. Trust must be earned from both. <BR><BR> ***** Set during a time well known for its unrest, Madeline Hunter has written an enticing romance for the ages! Extremely realistic in details and with characters you cannot help but love! *****

    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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