Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Hidden Honor by Anne Stuart

Is it too much to ask that a Stuart couple are actually shown to have a HEA with nice house and kiddies playing in the garden? Probably.

Oh well. Lovely lovely story. Basically a medieval road-movie with a couple of chapters of intense loving bookended by lashings of stolen kisses and smouldering looks.

I will hear no criticism of Elizabeth. After all, she is just 17 yo and likes to give some attitude. So what she has a number of TSTL moments. She’s allowed them. The story features another divine ‘Peter.’ Why does he fall for Elizabeth? Because she’s tall, beautiful, has lovely red hair, helps deliver children, and can run a large house. Nuff said. But if ever a heroine had a m.v. it is Elizabeth. (She on the other hand has absolutely no idea of her own appeal.) I mean, Peter has been a penitentiary monk for seven years, but he's just entranced by Elizabeth from day one. Too much is written about Elizabeth's lack of looks mainly because the reader sees her through Peter's eyes and to him she is always beautiful. I really enjoyed reading her feelings of confusion, awe and pain as she fell in love for the first time. Assertive ladies beware though. I don't think Elizabeth ever helps Peter throughout the whole story although he saves her life a number of times. (On the other hand she doesn't place herself in unnecessary danger either.) And as far as Peter is concerned, Elizabeth is so easy.

There’s a secondary couple. Presumably because in 2004 every romance had to have more than the main couple. Adrian and Joanna were ok, except that sometimes Adrian spoke with the same voice as Peter, and actually they both seemed to have a better HEA than Peter and Elizabeth. Peter had given all his estates to the church. So where would he and Elizabeth make their home? How did Peter get away with killing the King’s son? He’s a very very lucky man.

I recognised that Peter was the good-guy right away. But that didn’t spoil the enjoyment one iota. I kept asking myself, ‘So when’s Elizabeth going to find out the truth?’ The poor dear.

A very simple plot about a knight-monk pretending to be a degenerate prince while the evil handsome prince pretends to be a simple monk. And they're all going on a journey to a shrine so the prince can confess his sins and be forgiven. On the way the group pick up a maiden travelling to join a convent and 'a professional mistress.' Unfortunately the monk and the prince have a history and some mayhem ensues. A reader could imagine forever what William truely would like his relationship with Peter de Montselm to have been...even back in their Crusade days.

All the protagonists are single with no romantic bagagge. And that is probably why I liked it...a lot.

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