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Stuart at her dazzling best - as always!,
This review is from: Lady Fortune (Zebra Historical Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
Anne Stuart has a habit of conjuring dark and dangerous men, men that are not your normal heroes, and makes you fall for them. She has given supposed killers, a hit man, a mercenary, even a cult leader. It's as if she likes to tweak our noses and say I can make you love the devil when you tell me you won't. And she does it like none other. This time the challenge was to make you love a fool. Not an idiot, but a real fool for the King Henry of England. Nicholas Strangefellow is the fool for the King, but being a contrary Stuart character he's not your average fool. He is tall, handsome and much brighter than anyone stops to see.
The King sees some of it, thus he trust Nicholas on a special errand for him, fetch back a holy relic - a challis of the blessed Saint Hugelina the Dragon - and he will reward Nicholas. Nicholas has long used the mask of the fool to his advantage, and sees the task as the end of the road. A son of a baron, he saw the family lands take and his father killed when he chose to fight on the wrong side of the struggle with Henry and his sons. He was forced to survive on his wits, and what better way to curry favor than by playing the buffoon? The Challis in the keeping of Lord Hugh. Hugh is to marry Isabeau, so Henry sends Nicholas to the couple to entertain at their wedding feast, giving him the opportunity of stealing the cup.
Nicholas travels in the company of Juilanna, the estranged daughter of Isabeau, and the young widow soon intrigues him. Julianna was wed when she was eleven years old to a sixty-year-old man. For ten years, she has hated her mother for allowing her father to marry her off, so returning for her mother's marriage is not something she is looking forward to. Her short temper is exacerbated by the irritating fool, who make jest of all, wears annoying bells on his sleeves, recites riddles that have deep meanings ¯ and is much too handsome. She cannot help but be attracted to the sharp-witted fool, and Nicholas sees something in Julianna he has not seen in the countless other women he has bedded.
Nicholas Strangefellow is a very complex man, not your typical hard as nails Stuart Bad Boy, but he still is a delight. Stuart writes with the realities of conditions and life for women in the Middles Ages without pulling punches, and gives you a rich set of characters for her merry tale. Stuart at top form - but when is she not?