Lady Gwendolynby Magnolia Belle
In early medieval days, bandits beset a caravan taking Lady Gwendolyn Hampton of England to marry Angus Dewar in Scotland. In the confusion, she escapes, while the bandits think her maid, Madeleine, is her. From one peril to another, Madeleine must keep the ruse in order to stay alive. Lady Gwendolyn's brother, Lord Richard Hampton, wants Madeleine as his consort, and tries to rescue her. Through betrayal, intrigue and murder, she becomes a woman of title, and must decide if she wants the life he offers.
- Black Wolf Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)
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A medieval story of love, war, treachery and hidden identities. Lady Gwendolyn and her maids Madeleine and Ruth set out on the way to Gwendolyn’s wedding celebrations but their party is ambushed, with many casualties, and in the terrifying aftermath of the battle, brave Madeleine will do anything to save beloved her mistress from capture. Gwendolyn escapes the attackers and flees for safety, but Madeleine is carried far away to Scotland as a prisoner after telling her captors she is Gwendolyn in order to put them off her mistress’s trail. Despite witnessing bloodshed, being injured, and married to a man she barely knows, she shows herself to be courageous and firm-minded, fierce in her convictions whether for love or honour. Eventually Richard, brother of Gwendolyn, rides out to find Madeleine, having loved her all his life but unable to wed her due to his marriage contract and her lesser status. Finding her, he asks that she return with him as his mistress, but Madeleine is now a landowner in her own right and refuses unless he will give her the honourable position of his wife. Who will now win in this new battle of wills? ‘Lady Gwendolyn’ was given to me as a review copy; it is clearly and concisely written and the author has a good, realistic feel for the Middle Ages. Unusual words are translated for the reader. The author has quite a large cast of characters for a story of this length, but handles them all well; they all have distinct personalities and characterisation.
Magnolia Belle plunges the reader immediately into a dangerous journey, one that is fraught with deception and treachery. Yet, this initial journey is only one of many - betrayal and a degree of confusion a continuing thread throughout the plot. Lady Gwendolyn and her maids, Madeleine and Ruth, find themselves perilously set upon and are embroiled in a trap that becomes filled with all the horror and bloodshed that can often be expected in novels set in the Middle Ages. The detail throughout the novel is vivid and richly accurate, the locations straddling the border between Scotland and England. At times, the current situation calls on characters, main and secondary, to act according to their conscience though they are torn about doing their duty to their liege lord. In Lord Richard’s case, he has some maturing to do very quickly to ensure the best for the people who are under his care…and for the lady he genuinely loves. Magnolia Belle has created very believable characters, the developing relationships indicating just how constraining the era was in many ways regarding who might marry whom – according to their station and their contractual duties. I was very taken by the character of Beowyn, someone to rely on and wholeheartedly trust. Others were tainted, (no spoiler names here) and yet were redeemable. The little twists at the end bring the plot to a nice and tidy closure. A very well written and well edited novel, I can thoroughly recommend Lady Gwendolyn to lovers of the medieval era.