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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Book Review: Knight of the Red Rose by Cynthia Breeding

Knight of the Red Rose: The Rose and the Sword by [Cynthia Breeding]


French emissary Stephen Picard arrives a day early in London to attend King Edward’s masquerade ball in order to get a feel for how much support there would be to restore the Lancasterian King Henry to the throne.  Although he is on an official mission from King Louis to work on a treaty with England, secretly he’s on a double mission for his aunt, Margaret of Anjou, wife of the imprisoned King Henry.  He just doesn’t expect to meet a warrior maiden dressed as Boudicca—a Celtic queen even more formidable than his aunt— at the ball.

Luciana Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk and one of the Queen’s personal attendants, spots the handsome, mysterious man dressed as a pirate immediately, and wonders who he is.  She recognizes him instantly the next morning when he is introduced to the English Court, and when asked, she is more than happy to act as the official scribe to the treaty talks.

Only, she isn’t just a scribe.  She’s also been asked to spy on the emissary to make sure he does not secretly support Queen Margaret, who is in exile in France.

But spying becomes more difficult as she and Stephen are more and more attracted to each other, and she is torn between her duty to her York king and her love of a Lancaster knight.  Can there be a future for Luciana and her KNIGHT OF THE RED ROSE? 

My review:

I was delighted to discover I chose well when I picked up Knight of the Red Rose. I was needing another easy-to-get-lost-in story and the charm behind Stephen and Luciana's delivered all the feel goods I wanted.

I loved the history lesson and intrigue of the setting, even though keeping track of the who, why, and hows of royal political games and court drama kept me on my toes. But that fit in perfectly because even our hero and heroine were playing their own games, and not just with each other.

I adored Luciana and how she wasn't the typical female of the time. She was educated and wasn't afraid to show it, and had the smarts to hold her own no matter who she was verbally sparing with - but especially her brother, those were some awesome moments. She was refreshingly real and accepting of herself. She knew what she wanted, and due to how she was treated, found her bravery to grasp hold of the good.

Stephen, a undercover knight, quickly recognized the treasure and delight he found in Luciana and set about pursuing her the only way he could. I loved watching him fall for her and protect her. Their connection was a strong foundation for weathering the betrayals and political games swirling around.

I enjoyed watching how everything played out, especially since several twists were thrown in that I wasn't sure how they'd sort things out. But love is powerful. And it shines bright in this story.

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  1. Congratulations on a lovely review, Cynthia!

  2. I couldn't have said it better myself! I love this story! What a great review!

  3. Fantastic review. Many congratulations on your new release.

  4. What a fantastic review, Cynthia. I know you're walking on a cloud right now.
    I like the idea of an undercover knight...and French...Ooh-la-la!