Reviewer: Danielle Mason
Title: Knight of Pleasure - 2nd in the All The Kings Men series
Author: Margaret Mallory
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: December 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: England 1417-1418
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Moderate
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Margaret's Website: www.margaretmallory.com
Back in the 14th Century marriages were arranged by the father's of girls old enough to marry. Though I do not agree with this it is the situation that Lady Isobel found herself in at the tender age of 13. Her father arranges her a marriage to a nasty older man to save the families name and lands. Everyone figured Isobel's husband wouldn't even live a year but finally 8 years later he dies and Isobel is sure that is now free and getting what she deserves, the house and lands. When Lord Hume's will is finally read Isobel isn't given anything. Her late husband without her knowledge had been tricked into thinking that Graham, a boy Isobel knew since childhood was his son and that is whom he left his house and lands to. This leaves Isobel only one choice contact her father, the father that put her in the marriage in the first place and she had not seen or talked to for 8 years. Together Isobel and her Father take the complaint of her inheritance to the King. The solution the King comes up with is to have Isobel marry a Frenchmen to form an alliance between England and France. Isobel of course accepts and that is when she meets Sir Stephen Carleton, one of the King's most trusted Knights. He is also to be Isobel's escort and protector to where she is to go and wait for her betrothed.
For me this is when the book got really good the parts where Isobel is waiting for her Frenchmen to show up and her and Stephen are playing a game of cat and mouse around one another and the feelings they have, try to deny but just cannot. The main problem with them falling for one another are the vows they made to the King. None of this comes to matter though when Isobel is finally face to face with her intended only to find out the King wants her to spy on him to see if he really is an ally or not. This puts Isobel in grave danger and leaves Stephen no choice but reveal his feelings for her, find her and save her from the death that is certain to come if found out.
I honestly love historical romances. Other than the arrangement of marriages and the no drugs during childbirth I think I would've loved to have lived back a long time ago. It seems to me that things were more real back then. The love, the friendships and even the enemies are more intense. It could just be the good writing of the historical authors but I would like to think this is how it really was. For Isobel and Stephen they both had to overcome a lot to get to where they could love one another. There’s Isobel with her kind of abandonment issues and Stephen the fact that before Isobel he was quite the ladies man. It took a lot of both of them to stand up for what they believed in. Especially since also back then you were told what to do and did not question it especially if you were told by your King to do something. Not listening to him could have you either beheaded or put in a dungeon to live out your life.
All in all though I think Margaret Mallory did a fantastic job writing about England and this time period. As the notes say in the back of this book she did a lot of research to make sure things were accurate and they are. She took me back into time and I love when an author can do that!
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