A company of knights chosen to deliver a sealed trunk from the Templar treasury in Jerusalem to safekeeping in Paris. A group of pilgrims seeking the protection of the Templars to return home as the Saracens prepare to besiege the city. A mysterious treasure that someone will even kill to possess…
A pilgrimage to Jerusalem with her mistress has left the maid Radegunde determined to live every moment to the fullest. She dreads the return to routine and her inevitable marriage to a reliable man, so convinces the warrior Duncan to make merry with her while their respective masters linger in Paris. Dancing and singing are not the sole revels in Radegunde’s plans, for she means to taste passion with this man who snared her attention in Venice. Duncan is convinced his own heart is lost forever, but Radegunde’s allure cannot be denied. When he surrenders to her seduction, Duncan suggests a handfast, knowing that even this honor is far less than she deserves. Radegunde, however, is not interested in half-measures, and resolves to win Duncan’s love, no matter what the cost. Will she succeed in her quest? Or will their paths part forever, and do as much too soon?
About the Author
Deborah was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time TPL hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and she was honored to receive the Romance Writers of America PRO Mentor of the Year Award in 2012. She lives in Canada with her family.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Crusader's Handfast is book five in the series The Champions of Saint Euphemia. We met and got to know both hero and heroine in the previous books. Radegunde is the maid to Ysmaine, the heroine in book one, The Crusader's Bride. Duncan is the guardian/protector/friend/man-at-arms in service to Fergus, hero of book four, The Crusader's Vow. These two have been behind the scenes in all that came before, always there, always dependable. After all the excitement and danger experienced during their pilgrimage to the holy lands and return Radegunde does not want to settle for just anyone. She sets her sights on Duncan. Duncan who thought his heart was lost is a bit slow getting the message. He does however come around with an honorable offer--thus the handfast. As in any good story neither on these characters are what they seem. They both have backgrounds greater than their servant status. She not aware. He not accepting. Which creates two very interesting twists. This book also filled in some of the unanswered/not addressed issues from book one. I like the fact that the "servants" got their own story. Copy gifted by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This was a very well-written, wonderful book. Set in the time of the Crusades, Radegunde accompanied her mistress on a Pilgrimage and now that they are returning home she dreads the return to boring routine. She wants adventure. She speaks to the warrior Duncan about taking her dancing, and she hopes for more with him. Duncan finds her irresistible, though he knows he is not free to promise her all she deserves. I loved reading about Radegunde and Duncan, as well as the rest of the characters in the book. I couldn't put it down and finished it much too quickly! This book can be read as a standalone, though it is part of a series with related characters. Copy gifted by the Publisher. I am voluntarily leaving a review expressing my honest opinion.
The Crusader’s Handfast: (The Champions of Saint Euphemia Book 5) This picks up where The Crusader’s Kiss leaves off, following Ysmaine’s faithful lady’s maid, Radegunde as she tries to come to terms with her life as she perceives it to be laid out before her. The reliquary has been safely delivered to Paris, the great adventure is over, and Radegunde faces a future with a husband to be chosen for her by Gaston. She wants more out of life and begs Duncan, the faithful knight who accompanied them on the flight from Jerusalem, to give her at least one passionate night to remember all her life. Duncan, being the honorable knight, though inflamed by Radegunde’s kisses and joie de vivre, refuses to take what she is offering and concedes to take her out dancing, merely to protect her, after she threatens to go alone. Duncan eventually reveals more of his past to Radegunde as she challenges him to change the choices he has made in his life. He offers her a compromise as they embark on a mission for Gaston. When Gaston finally reveals himself to the man who had stolen his legacy, Radegunde and Duncan are suspicious of the interloper’s cooperation. As the romance of Radegunde and Duncan is finally revealed to the residents of Gaston’s holding, Gaston and Ysmaine set a trap to expose the spy in their midst. Eventually we find out why attempts are being made on Duncan's life and he comes to a decision regarding his and Radegunde's immediate future, a decision that Radegunde vehemently and vocally disputes. Finally the trap laid for the traitor who lurks at Châmont-sur-Maine is snapped shut. Villains are revealed, promises are made and kept, alliances are formed. All in all a satisfying resolution, with myriad sub-stories wrapped up satisfactorily. Can’t wait to see what more is to come in the awaited Crusader’s Vow. Excellent series! As always, this is beautifully written, the heroes are always honorable, the women always strong (even in an era when women had few rights)—everything you could want from a historical romance. Copy gifted by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.