An innocent maiden
And a legendary warrior
When captured and held prisoner in an enemy castle, Margery of Lyon is guarded by brooding mercenary Evrart, who’s been commanded to watch her—day and night. Margery’s determination to escape brings her closer to Evrart and the kind heart hidden beneath his granite-hard body. Now Margery is torn… Fleeing under the portcullis will mean leaving behind the man she’s falling for…
Nicole is the author of Harlequin/Mills and Boon Lovers and Legends Historical series. If she isn’t working on the next book, she can be reached at NicoleLocke.com, Facebook, and Twitter!
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Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Lovers and Legends, #12
Release Date: August 24, 2021
If you have been following this series, you will remember Evrart and Margery from The Maiden and the Mercenary, which featured Margery’s sister Biedeluue. In this installment, the timeline is similar to that book, and portions of the story run simultaneously – but this story is told from Margery’s POV and tells a much different tale.
Years ago to save her family, Margery bartered her stunning good looks for coin and became mistress to a man in their village, Josse, who was kind and taught her to read and write and let her see her family. But all that changed when Josse sold her to a vile man named Roul to cover his gambling debts. Roul was a brute with cruel friends, which caused her to hide as much as possible when he was entertaining, but that doesn’t save her when she happens upon Ian of Warstone in a dark passageway holding a blade to a woman’s throat and he insists on taking her with him when he leaves.
Once he has installed her in his castle as his “mistress”, Ian leaves but assigns Evrart – his personal guard to watch over her. Evrart is a huge man who rarely speaks, he was forced into service by Ian ten years ago, when Ian spied him working in his family’s fields. Evrart refused to join Ian, but soon realized he had no choice as Ian made it clear that he would kill his mother and sister if Evrart refused. So Evrart has faithfully served Ian but longs for the day when he can return to his family.
Evrart surprises Margery by not being awed by her beauty and she surprises him by not fearing him. Against their better judgment, these two explore the attraction they feel, knowing that Ian will likely learn of their indiscretions and the price for their indulgence will probably mean death. But when Ian returns, he says nothing, yet sends Evrart away, leaving Margery to wonder what has become of him. Later when he returns and everything with Ian comes to a dramatic close, can these two actually have a HEA, or will their self-condemnation and doubts ruin any chance they have?
This was another intricate, well-written story in the series, and though this one doesn’t offer as many surprises as the previous installments, it is still a well-crafted and detailed story in its own right. Told from behind the closed doors of the previous books, Margery and Evrart tale is just as complex as the other books and maybe even a little more heartbreaking. This is the twelfth book in the series and while it could be a standalone, I highly recommend reading the books in order – at the very least, reading books 9 and ten before this one.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*