Thursday, September 4, 2008
OUT OF THE DARK by JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
Okay, let's get medieval.
Sorry, couldn't resist that joke but seriously, I love medieval romances. They are all about honor and chivalry and duty, traits we should celebrate.
As I'm in between my Margaret Moore fix (my fave medieval romance writer of all time), I was thrilled when Kimber An introduced me to Out Of The Dark.
Lady Lynette is nearly blind, a tough thing for potential suitors to overlook. How is the Saxon beauty going to care for a keep or meals or children? Fortunately, she is also wealthy, the wealth controlled by her domineering mother. Her henpecked father and strong willed mother are shopping for suitors. Literally. Any suitor they find will have to be swayed by wealth. Lynette wishes for love but that is unlikely. Her mom wants a powerful and well connected Saxon son-in-law.
One evening, Lynette loses her way in the King's castle's cellars and overhears a plot to harm the King. She can't see these evil doers, of course, but she makes out their voices. A sensible woman, she contacts London's Sheriff (none of that zany investigate on your own stuff – Lynette is too smart for that). Much to her dismay, Sheriff Basil sounds very much like one of the conspirators. Is he a good guy or a baddie?
Illegitimate and penny-less Basil is all about duty. The Norman is determined to protect the King and those around him. Although he is attracted to and fascinated by the fearless Lynette, he isn't quite sure he can trust her. Plus what is all this talk about her seeing ghosts (yes, an "I see dead people" moment)?
I enjoyed Out Of The Dark. I especially found the relationship between the tough mother and the intellectual father intriguing. At first, it had groaner potential. Yes, yes, yes, we know the mother will turn out bad and the father will sneak around, helping his daughter achieve her dreams. Actually, no. Check your stock characters at the door. The two have a solid (yet different) relationship with mutual respect for each other.
For a medieval, there is surprisingly little violence. There is one love making scene at the end of the novel (tame).
Check out JoAnn Smith Ainsworth's website for more info.
If you like this novel,
you'll like any of Margaret Moore's medievals
('cause she's awesome)
and my cyber buddy Allison Knight's long awaited Heartsong is out.