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Lady of Valor Mass Market Paperback – April 4, 2000
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This is a sweet, lovely story about a tortured man beset by the demons of his past finding love unexpectedly in the arms of a woman who has been mistreated by life and abused by her husband. Both are hurting and distrustful and the slow unfolding of their love is one of the best I have read in all my years of reading romantic fiction. These characters leap off the page, the writing is brilliant, the authors voice perfectly able to convey its historical setting without boggling down the pace with too much detail. If you love dark tortured heroes who do anything for their lady read this book! Highly recommended.
Lady Emmalyn of Fallonmour has literally assumed charge of Fallonmour holding when her husband left three years ago to fight with King Richard in the Holy Land. Throughout this time she has matured from a domineered and mistreated young girl into a self-confident and successful "business woman" who is devoted to her people and in return she is deeply loved and respected by them. Of course she fears the moment of her husband's return, especially because she knows that she won't subordinate to any man again.
But then Sir Cabal arrives and surprises her with the news that she is a widow and that King Richard has imposed him as a guardian on Fallonmour and herself. Lady Emmalyn is determined to fight for her achievements on the estate, the people she loves and her freedom. Secretly she writes a message to the King's mother and asks for her support. In any case, meanwhile Cabal and she get to know each other better and soon they feel attracted to each other. But soon Cabal's past and Emmalyn's vision of her future clash. Is their love strong enough?
Lady Emmalyn and Sir Cabal were likeable main characters without being anything special. There were numerous sub characters that supported the plot nicely and made me smile towards the end of the book.
The story line was well elaborated and focused my interest. However, there were some points that needed according to my opinion further clarification but they just "drowned" in the rushed ending of the book. What happened with Lord Hugh who invaded Fallonmour and destroyed a very important document? Did Emmalyn try to contact the person who issued this document again? In any case, Cabal and Emmalyn would not be able to move on without it but I think this twist deserved some elaboration. Maybe some space could have been used to flesh out these issues and highlight less on the detail over Cabal's name, which according to my opinion was totally overrated and could have been dealt with using less space. Yes, the meaning of the name might not have had a positive connotation but I would have expected that a man with Cabal's life experience would react more maturely and not like a spoiled teenager.
Generally, a nice historical romance - unfortunately nothing special.