To Win a Lady's Heart by Sian Ann Bessey
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to Review
Genre: Historical Romance
Book Description: For eighteen years, Lord Gilbert has been tortured over a grievous lapse in judgment. Bitterness has tainted his interactions with the people of Moreland and his relationship with his only daughter, Lady Joanna. With a wolfhound guarding her around the clock and no freedom to leave the castle grounds unattended, the only time Lady Joanna can be alone is when she sneaks out through an old castle tunnel to visit the healer Agnes in her cottage by the sea. One morning as Lady Joanna approaches the cliffs, she discovers an injured man. She immediately goes to Agnes for help. The wounded stranger is Sir Lukas, and while he recovers, he makes plans to identify his attackers and their motive. Upon learning that Moreland’s wool has been stolen, Sir Lukas comes to believe that the crimes are related and point to a much more sinister plot. When Lord Gilbert announces an archery tournament, the prize being Lady Joanna’s hand in marriage, it attracts noblemen from across the land, and suddenly Sir Lukas’s pursuit of the villains takes a different turn. As Lady Joanna’s and Sir Lukas’s feelings for each other grow, the stakes soar, and only Sir Lukas’s skill with a longbow can save them.
My thoughts: I love books that take me back to the time of Knights and Castles. There is always that imagery of chivalry that takes me back to childhood dreams of being a princess with a handsome knight (or two) to save and protect me. Now that I am older, I know that the dream had a dark side, that of vassals, outhouses, poverty, etc.
This book had a great mix of my childhood dream and the realities of the time period. Lady Joanna is the daughter of a Lord. She is kept in beautiful gowns and has servants to wait on her. While she may have comforts, there are many aspects of life she missed. She was not given freedom to roam away from her home. She is basically a prisoner to a small geographical area, mainly the castle. Her father is distrustful of most and doesn't give her time and attention. Lady Joanna is concerned with the vassals. She understands their concerns about paying taxes and does her best to try to help them not end up in the dungeon,.
Sir Lukas comes to Moreland to give thanks to a knight that his mother owes a debt of gratitude. He is immediately set upon by men up to no good and now has information that may help end a ring of thieves.
I loved the writing style of the book. I also love the time period and theme. Sian Ann Bessey gave me descriptions that helped me form images in my mind. I love it when an author can do that. She describes the story to me.
I also liked that there were dimensions to the characters. Lord Gilbert has demons from the past that effect the man he is in the story. Sir Edwyn made a decision that illustrate how a good decision can have impact on the future. Joanna shows a soft side, but she is a woman of determination and intellect.
This is a clean romance with adventure, mystery, and some violence.
About the Author: (Take from Deseret Book) Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, and grew up on the island of Anglesey off the north coast of Wales. She left Wales to attend Brigham Young University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
Traveling has given Sian a deep appreciation for a world full of diverse cultures. Through her writing, she introduces her readers to some of the places she has come to love— especially her Welsh homeland.
Sian is the author of several LDS novels and children’s books. She has also written articles for the New Era, Ensign, and Liahona magazines. She and her husband, Kent, currently reside in Rexburg, Idaho. They are the parents of five children and the grandparents of two beautiful little girls and one handsome little boy.Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, and grew up on the island of Anglesey off the north coast of Wales. She left Wales to attend Brigham Young University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
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