Bound to Her Blood Enemy
Norman heiress, Matilda Comyn is desperate to escape her grasping guardian and reclaim her inheritance. After a lifetime of being let down by men, she wants to rule her lands on her own terms. She can’t escape without help and battles her mistrust when compelled to join forces with a Welsh spy.
Huw Ap Goronwy has a rival claim to Matilda’s castle and has sworn a blood oath against the Comyns. When his king rules they must marry, he struggles to reconcile his attraction with his need for revenge. But they must form a truce if they are to seize their castle.
Risking capture and death, they will only succeed if Matilda learns to trust, and Huw allows his love for Matilda to overcome his need for revenge.
The Wild Rose Press Catalogue
Author Bio –
Tora lives in Shropshire in the United Kingdom. On childhood holidays her interest in history was fired by exploring castles in Wales and the Welsh borders, and she would make up stories about characters living there. When she started writing, it seemed only natural to turn to the settings that inspired her as a child. In her free time, when she can drag herself away from reading, she enjoys walking and cycling.
Matilda Comyn is a Norman heiress who wants nothing more than to be in charge of her own fate and not dependent on a man. The men in life have all let her down, starting with her father and currently with her guardian, Sir Reginald Fitzjohn. Matilda knows that he has been syphoning funds from her inheritance, Coed Bedwen on the Welsh border and had made no effort to find her a husband. His wife is gravely ill and she knows once she dies, Fitzjohn intends to marry her and steal her inheritance! She has tried to escape, but Fitzjohn watches her like a hawk. But all that might change with the appearance of Huw ap Goronwy.
Huw has two goals in life, to reclaim Coed Bedwen and fullfil the blood oath against the Comyns who stole it from his family and killed his grandfather. Huw joined Owain, the king of Gwynedd when he was young and has been one of his best spies. He has been tasked with bringing Matilda to him. He hopes the reward will be Coed Bedwen and that he will finally get a chance to complete his oath. He is taken by Matilda from the first, she is nothing like he expected a Comyn to be and when he learns she is half Welsh, he questions if he will be able to harm her and keep his oath.
They easily escape her guardian and travel together to the king, but fear causes Matilda to act rashly and she attempts to drug Huw. Before he succumbs to the poppy she used to lace his wine, he grabs her and ties her up. The next day he is furious and regrets being kind to her, a Comyn – he should have known better. So when the king’s solution is for him to marry her – he is outraged and refuses. But when he learns it is the only way he will gain Coed Bedwen, he agrees.
Plans are made to retake the castle, which Matilda insists on being part of. They marry and leave to scout out the castle. As they spend time together, they form a truce and a friendship. He wonders how he will manage to keep the oath that has been his driving force for years. But he finally accepts that Matilda is not responsible for the sins of her grandfather. He wants a life with her and hopes she feels the same.
Matilda is falling for Huw, he may be the first man in her life to not let her down. But when the plan begins to fall apart and her life is in peril, Huw does what he must to save her and in doing so, crushes her heart.
Huw tries to convince her of his love, but Matilda refuses to let go of old hurts and may cost them both the love of a lifetime.
I thought this was a very good debut novel, the writing was good, but personally, I thought Matilda’s actions in the last 10% of the book seemed overly contrived and unnecessary. It didn’t ruin the book for me, but it was annoying enough to make it a 4 star read when it had been at least 4.5 up until that point. I found the story interesting, it had a fair bit of action, tepid-warm love scenes, wonderful secondary characters, a couple of twists and turns, as well as a couple of jaw dropping moments. Overall, I was happy with the book and would recommend it to medieval fans.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by the publisher*