In 1352 in Glynval, England, Annabel must become the indentured servant of Lord Ranulf to pay her family’s debts. Ranulf is a man with a painful past who is searching for inward and outward healing. Despite Ranulf’s appearances and Annabel’s station in life, the two begin to fall in love. But many things threaten their relationship: his past, her plan to become a nun, and an evil bailiff.
I was instantly drawn into this story. The characters are compelling and the setting is interesting.
The story is inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I also noticed a little bit of Arthurian legend.
The two things I liked most were the history and Ranulf’s character arc. The setting in medieval England is fascinating, and I enjoyed learning about daily life at that time.
Ranulf’s compelling story was the main reason I gave the book four stars instead of three. The change in his character is the most dramatic of anyone in the story, and I’m glad Dickerson gave him plenty of point-of-view scenes. To watch Annabel fall in love with a guy who is in many ways unlovable provided conflict and made the story engaging.
Annabel is an interesting character because of her intense desire to read the Bible at a time when Bibles were rare and women were not supposed to read them.
On the downside, there are some repetitive elements from the first book. Parts of the plot and characters were blatantly similar to those in The Healer’s Apprentice, but I liked this story more.
As with the first book, I suspect more women will enjoy this than men, however, maybe to a slightly lesser degree than with the first.
I recommend this to:
- Romance readers.
• Her first day and already she’d gotten herself into an awkward predicament. More than one.
• She felt like someone running down a steep hill, unable to stop or slow down.
• Annabel thought the chorus rather ironic, since no one looked the least like they were actually rejoicing. Some appeared solemn, including Lord le Wyse, who stared straight ahead.
“Rejoice,” the song instructed. How would everyone react of she suddenly burst into an exclamation of joy? She imagined the rest of the crowd gasping in astonishment and Sir Matefrid’s face turning red with outrage, that purplish vein in his neck bulging.
But the song commanded it. Did God want her to rejoice? Was that in the Holy Scriptures?