Geraint the Welshman captures Yolande's heart with his ready smile and easy ways, and the passionate fire of his spirit. An entertainer, he juggles and tumbles his way through life-but there is a serious side to him that runs deep. He offers Yolande an added strength in her work and opens his heart to her with a love such as she's never known.
But Yolande is not free to offer Geraint her love completely-not until her "time of seven" has passed.
Can the powerful attraction between them withstand the powers of evil who mean to separate them forever? Yolande's conscience and conviction force her to face this evil head-on-but can Geraint save his Dark Maiden...
About the Author
Lindsay is married and lives in England in the beautiful county of Yorkshire. When she's not writing or researching about the past, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming and cooking.
For more titles by Lindsay Townsend, please visit http://www.lindsaytownsend.co.uk
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When we first meet the Black Maiden Yolande in 1350, she is crouching behind a tub armed with bow and arrow, pretending to bathe in place of a novice who had been beleaguered by an apparition. A formidable exorcist, she apprehends a lecher mislabeled as an evil spirit. Who but Geraint, an easy-going Welshman juggler, could be a better romantic match for Yolande on her quest of tracking down and ridding evil spirits in plague-stricken England? In between facing demons, displaced souls, and an incubus, Geraint lustily woos the Black Maiden. The courtship is complicated by an abbot’s instructions that Yolande preserve her maidenhead, a barrier to a demon trying to possess her, for a time of seven, until she fulfills her duty. Not sure if the time is in days, weeks, or years, Geraint is nonetheless determined to win Yolande’s hand as they roam town from town, each of which holds dark secrets of people who live there. Lindsay Townsend has created a masterfully written romance intermixed with the horrors of the plague and the superstitions that arise out of its chaos. The voice is heavily sprinkled with humor, making this a thoroughly entertaining story. I was hooked from the first page and could not put the book down. The dialogue is witty, the characters are well-developed, and the stories of the people whom the couple meet are heartfelt. The rituals of exorcising demons and helping displaced souls find their spiritual home base is well-researched and fascinating. Most of all, the love scenes are sensual but tastefully written. Dark Maiden is a must-read for readers who love historical romance with unique characters and a dash of paranormal elements. Highly recommended. I voluntarily reviewed this book for the Historical Novel Society. The review is also posted in the Historical Newsletter HNR Issue 82 (November 2017).
I'm a big fan of unusual heroines and settings. The Dark Maiden by Lindsay Townsend delivers a heroine unlike many. The British Isles in the 14th century, rife with superstition and plagued by more than rampant sickness, inspires a heroine’s quest in Lindsay Townsend’s The Dark Maiden. Yolande is duty bound for an enigmatic term, a ‘time of seven’ to rid the country of dark paranormal forces, the restless spirits who seek vengeance or pure evil that troubles clergy and villagers alike. Although uncertain about the length of her service or the destinations it will take her, Yolande commits herself to the undertaking. Early in the course of her journey, she meets Geraint the Welshman, a juggler and tumbler by trade with an innate understanding of the troubles his companion faces. Although he has little patience for the Church, which took him in as a little boy until one of its members forsook the duty, Geraint respects Yolande’s work. His admiration for her commitment almost rivals his budding feelings of intense passion. As her self-appointed protector and helpmate, he shares in her precarious adventures, which take them through medieval England and Wales. They face more than malignant specters. Bigoted villagers mistrust Yolande based solely on her skin color. Each encounter tests of Yolande’s determination and skill. Some of her foes are not shadows lurking in the darkness, but frail and flawed people cloaked in self-righteousness and mysticism. At times, they are even more dangerous than the evils of the spirit world. With each ordeal, the attachment between Yolande and Geraint blossoms into a powerful love that binds them together against all trials. When it seems Yolande has completed her task and faces a bright future with Geraint at her side, a new torment awaits them, something stronger than Yolande and Geraint have faced before. Lindsay Townsend has a knack for writing about the unusual heroine. Her female protagonists are often uncommon woman and Yolande is no different. As a biracial woman of Ethiopian and English descent, working as an exorcist for the medieval Church, she faces constant challenges that would subdue a weaker-willed character. I enjoyed her portrayal. While her origins aren’t commonplace, Yolande is very much a woman of her times. She is spirited and spiritual, a character who exemplifies honor and duty, but she isn’t afraid to delve into the hearts of people and examine the fears, heartaches, hopes and loves, influencing their best and worst actions. Through her viewpoint, readers enter a world, which at the outset seems different from the modern period. Still the elements of humanity are familiar, emotions that drive lust and hate. Although Geraint doesn’t share Yolande’s uncanny connection to the spirit realm, he serves the purpose of keeping her grounded in the real world around her. His love bolsters her against each threat and aids her growth. Theirs is a wonderful partnership and a great love story.
In North England during 1350, Yolande, a dark-skinned woman, is lethal with the bow of Saint Sebastian, dresses like a man, and roams the countryside to follow in her father’s footsteps as an exorcist. Geraint, a Welsh jester, accepts the job of carrying a crucifix to Yolande at a convent. After meeting Yolande, he fancies her and decides to accompany her on her travels. As one quest leads to another for this duo, a doomed romance blooms. Yolande must remain chaste or the demons she exorcises will have sway over her. Also, an abbott said Yolande must remain a maiden for a time of seven to do her duty. With their lives on the line, Geraint and Yolande rely on each other and form a deep friendship. Their affection deepens, and they flirt with disaster as they explore each other’s bodies in all but consummation. Meanwhile, they travel the countryside, and Yolande exorcises spirits. She questions her need for chastity as her father was married while he was an exorcist. Geraint is determined to make her his. They decide to wed in a sacred place over Christmastime, and the spirits there approve, saying Yolande has fulfilled her destiny of freeing seven souls. They wed joyously, enthusiastically, athletically. In April, Yolande is called to an even bigger task in New Jerusalem, where a group of misfits and outcasts follow a charismatic man. With these being touted as the final days, great evil lays on the land. The stakes have never been higher for Yolande as she is with child. The troubles are labyrinth, the evil is insidious, and yet this exorcist rises to the challenge. An engrossing tale. Recommended.