Set in Nottingham, England in 1164, this tale picks up after three years have passed since Willian and his wife, Catherine have wed. William de Macon, battle-scarred and tired, is finally returning home to his wife and daughter, who he hardly knows. However he brings with him a secret he must keep from his wife. In tow is the King, Henry Platnagenet's, pregnant mistress. In order to protect her, he sets the mistress up close to where his wife lives so he might protect her through the winter from Welsh spies. As he conceals the woman's identity from his wife Catherine de Macon and in doing so casts doubt on whether the woman is his own mistress.
While I enjoyed Linda Cook's writing style rich in historical detail with good secondary characters, both real and fictional, it left gaps in time and development. William and Catherine share a daughter together yet hardly know each other. Budding passion developed over their first initial weeks together, but three years later they are virtually strangers. William is a worn-down warrior, scarred and limping, his glory days seem past.
The joy of seeing William as a doting father, and also as a fiercely protective loving husband still makes this a hero worth reading about. Catherine, a strong and devoted wife, also helps hold this story together. Though lacking in action and punch, this is still a good read with a definite uniqueness in its presentation.