This is actually the first book in a series. I read the third book in this series first (Wicked) by accident. It came up on a Kindle Daily Deal so I bought it. It obviously still made sense, but I think I would have enjoyed it more for knowing some of the characters better.
Clio is the ward of the king and promised to a knight and friend of the king. He is off crusading for six long years while Clio is left waiting for him after her father dies. Their first meeting is not love at first sight and it does not seem to be coming any time soon. Clio is head strong and Merrick is used to having his orders obeyed. Eventually they come to care for one another, but that of course is when trouble arrives.
One of my favorite scenes is right at the beginning when Clio and Merrick first meet. Clio is imagining all the nasty things she will say to him after he has left her to rot in a convent for 6 years. She is prancing around the room and talking about how big his head is, etc. Even before I knew Merrick was listening I thought it was funny.
“Aye, sir knight. I can see you fine thick muscles.”
Pausing, she widened her eyes in mock wonder.
“Would I like to touch them? Certainly, but you will have to kneel, since I cannot reach your fat head from here. I am but a small, weak woman, good for nothing but waiting for to wed.”
I love, love, love when the main characters banter back and forth. I don’t care for willful misunderstandings and non-communication that results in conflict, but good witty banter is quite entertaining, and this book is full of it.
I plan to read the next one in the series which is about Merrick’s friend Sir Roger.
Favorite quote: (This is Merrick warning Clio to be quiet)
“There are other things that should be worrying you.”
“Your mouth for one.”
“It did not seem to bother you, my lord, when you had your tongue in it.”