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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful romance from the Middle Ages, 5 Sept. 2002
This review is from: My Lady Beloved (Mass Market Paperback)
"My Lady Beloved" is a charming first book of Lael St James's trilogy. The story is set in 14th century England and it's a beautiful tale of courtly love and women's life in those times.
Gabriella Redclift lives in a convent with her two younger sisters Meg and Elizabeth. They come from a good but impoverished noble family. They live their life in sheltered innocence dreaming about their happy future as a lady of a wealthy lord and his castle.Sir Cyprian Avendall decides to marry Gabriella and he sends his people to St. Swithin's Abbey to bring his bride home to Cornwall. Gabriella has her doubts about this marriage and she is sad to leave her sisters but she is strong and knows that her marriage to Avendall will help to marry Meg and Elizabeth as well. The journey doesn't start well. Gabriella and her chaperone Dame Johanna are abducted by Morgan Chalstrey who wants to revenge his fiance who he believes died because of Avendall. So the adventure begins. They travel long and the conditions are very hard as they were in the Middle Ages.
Gabriella despises Morgan from the beginning and opposes him at every turn. She is also attracted to him and she is starting to lose her innocence and ideology about the world. Morgan is a bitter hardened warrior just back from the wars with France.
He doesn't want to love Gabriella he just wants revenge but Gabriella's innocence and courage pulls him to her. He takes her to his castle and they make wonderful love. Their love is not an easy one.Gabriella gets to know the real Morgan when he opens his heart to her. She falls in love with the warrior who shut his heart for a long time. She wants to be his lady and she does everything for his love.Morgan hasn't got a high opinion on women and he doesn't care about Gabriella's feelings at the beginning.He fights against his feelings and he fights Avendall.
By the end of the book he finds out much from his past and he recognises his love for Gabriella. Avendall wants Gabriella for his mistress and out of revenge against Morgan.Their fight is in the middle of the story and I think it will accompany us into the second part as well.
The story is full of action, adventure, beautiful courting in the medieval style. Our heroes travel a lot and they encounter various difficulties on the way. The historical background is quite strong and the writer shows us the period in its own reality. I like many of the secondary characters. Especially Dame Johanna is wonderfully described and very alive.
MY LADY BELOVED is Lael St James's first tale about the life in Medieval England and about the helplessness of women in their men's hands. They were treated most of the time as pawns in exchange for lands and title. I like to believe though that love existed in those days as well as the author clearly shows us in her wonderful work.The second part of the trilogy is called "My Lady Wayward" and I have just started reading it. It is the story of Meg Gabriella's sister. I highly recommend both books to fans of historical romance.
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