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Once A Bride (Warner Forever) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Apr 2004
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Kenworth arrives with Hugh St. Marten, half-brother to Eloise's deceased fiancé who died on the church steps just prior to their wedding vows. Hugh opposed the marriage. As Kenworth becomes angrier over John's clever escape, Eloise turns to Hugh for protection though she would prefer Satan. As they fall in love, they try to expose a nefarious plot to condemn John and make Eloise daughter to a traitor.
The story line focuses on how easily a loyal lord can be named traitor in medieval society and how difficult it is to prove your innocence even if you have royal connections. With that as a backdrop fans receive a delightful medieval romantic suspense starring two individuals besieged by love, guilt over of a recently deceased loved one, and the fears for the safety of the heroine's father. While the lead couple is undergoing a stressful relationship, sub-genre readers will appreciate this wonderful tale of court intrigue.
The Sovereignty in the year of 1333 has charged a noble named Sir John Hamelin with treason and then holds him a prisoner. Sir John Hamelin waits in the Tower of London for the King's verdict. Sir Hamelin informs his daughter Eloise that he has not performed any of treacherous acts he is being charged of.
The Earl of Kenworth soon arrives, accompanied by a noble knight, Sir Roland St. Marten. The Knight, by the King has been ordered to handle the properties of Eloise. There is history between Eloise and the Knight. St. Marten happens to be the half-brother of Eloise's deceased fiancé who died on the church steps just prior to their wedding vows. While the Earl of Kenworth is out for revenge. Eloise summons her brother to help with their case. Sir John ultimately turns himself over to another Earl and winds up in the Tower of London.
This suspenseful medieval novel focuses on society's ease in the condemning of a loyal noble subject and the difficulty in proving one's innocence. Something not too far fetched from today's society!
Readers can easily relate to these characters: individuals plagued by love, guilt, influence, conspiracy and treason. Normally, I'm not a romance reader, but I can assure fans they will be satisfied with this underhanded plot of court intrigue. Well-done Ms. Anton!
Reviewed by Betsie
Eloise Hamelin is left in confusion, by the departure of her father Sir John, after his being charged with treason. The Earl of Kenworth soon arrives, along with Sir Roland St. Marten to pursue the matter. Kenworth obviously has a personal axe to grind and knows more about the affair. Roland is sent by King Edward to manage the estate in the interim.
Spice is added to the mix, by the earlier acrimony between Eloise and Roland from the non-marriage of her to his half-brother Hugh. The tale then trots along a bit bumpily to machinations and plots, as Eloise escapes to help her father and Roland pursues.
It's not a bad story, but the predictability overwhelms -especially as regards the spirited Eloise. She has the label 'feisty' written all over her and was the least medieval of ladies and allegedly perfect to all and sundry. Then there was the way the pair finally fell into each other's arms ...
Not unpleasant, but very creaky.
Nevertheless, this is a romance. Before long, desire attracts our adversaries to one other, but just how far should their relationship go? The author quickly reduces the reader's anxiety by allowing Eloise's fourteen-year-old maid and St. Marten's sixteen-year-old squire to give the worrywarts counsel -- yup, two young'uns who certainly know the score.
In this medieval tale, Anton tries to show society's ease in condemning a loyal noble subject. Furthermore, the author aims for romantic suspense by exposing our couple to conspiracy and treason. Yet in the end, Anton's tale has a flimsy plot and a diluted location. A tale relating to the middle ages? Sorry the occasional usage of 'Twould and 'Tis just didn't convince me.
Grace Atkinson, Ontario - Canada.