From Publishers Weekly
Blake ( Wildest Dreams ) is at her best in this historical romance, a fine piece of unashamed escapism set in antebellum Louisiana. Katrine Castlereagh is dutiful wife to the mysteriously incapacitated Giles, whose mad desire for an heir leads to a dastardly scheme to mate her with the victor of his yearly medieval-style tournament. True-hearted Rowan de Blanc comes to the tourney for reasons of his own: believing Katrine to be responsible for his half-brother's death, he wants to learn more about her. Although attracted to each other, the pair refuse to fulfill Giles's plan--so he imprisons them, naked, in a tower on the grounds of his estate. They decide to cheat Giles by becoming lovers but avoiding pregnancy, thanks to Rowan's training in Arabian techniques of "self-control." True love and sensuality are awakened, only to be threatened by a fire in the tower. Blake's language is as lush and sensual as her protagonists' affair, although there are too many porcelain-edged teeth and coral-rose nipples, and the sex is so prodigious and frequent that it begins to bore. However, the intriguing combination of passion and intellect in both Katrine and Rowan gives some edge to a story satisfyingly capped by several neat plot twists.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Blake's latest clanking steam calliope of a period romance takes place in 19th-century Louisiana--familiar territory to the author of Love and Smoke (Blake's 1989 hardcover debut), Joy and Anger, Wildest Dreams and many paperback palpitations. Here, the cosmic coupling of a reluctant (married) virgin and the hero is brought about in the trappings of a medieval estate, complete with tournaments, a Court of Love, and a tower. Katrina has been wed five years to older, colder Giles Castlereigh; the marriage has not been consummated, but Giles desperately wants an heir. (What is the problem? Gay? Sterile? Incomplete? Nope. But the tell-all won't occur until the last few crowded pages.) Meanwhile, Giles enjoys playing the lord of the manor with a staging of medieval games and Court of Love discussions at dinner; he is also choosing a champion to sire his child with Katrina. Then arrives Rowan de Blanc--the great swordsman, archer, etc.--essentially to find the murderer of his brother. Katrina is appalled at Giles's plan, and after pages of talk about it all (a battle of wits with very dull blades), Giles, growing impatient, seals the pair, naked, in a tower room. Still, there are yards of doubt to go before the two do their Blakean soaring. At the close, there'll also be: a strangled young girl; a dual killing; a spate of confessions; and a final elopement. Compared with Amanda Quick's Deception (see below), this is sluggish and shows all its gears--on autopilot for the fans, then, who are legion. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.