This was the first Ann Lawrence novel I read (second in her lord series), so this was my introduction to her works.
The story was fresh for the characters were down-to-earth, and did very wrong but human things. Ann is strong in historical element (which is amazing when you consider her other series of books for Dorchester are the Virtual ones where her characters keep finding themselves inside a Video Game World!!). She always gives you very touching heroines and men that are flawed, but rise above their mistakes.
In this Lord series, it is sort of a Sins of the father and how it carried on to affect everyone in the book. Gilles first meets Emma when her uncle drags her before his castle court to be judged impure because she is pregnant (with Gilles bastard son though he does not know this because Emma refuses to name the father of her child). Gilles admires her pride despite the uncle's humiliation and rules to help her. Two years later, they meet again when the hunts dogs try to attack her and her babe (his grandson). He takes her into the keep and as his mistress.
But trouble comes again, when his illegitimate son returns. Gilles is ageing, somewhat insecure about his relationship with Emma and fears she may be drawn toward his son as all the women are. His son wishes to cause problems between Emma and his father because he hates him, and she tries to prevent this, but Gilles fears often complicate this.
All in all the characters make this a very memorable work, and a book that caused me to be an Ann Lawrence fan.