Black Lion’s Bride (Warrior #2)
I was pulled into this story from the very beginning with a premise that took us out of the usual locale in England and to the deserts of the Middle East. I had already fallen partially in love with Sebastian Montborne in the first book in this series, but it was locked in with his appearance here. I have never been a big fan of historical romance but I find myself loving these for some reason, though it is probably because they make me feel like a part of the action. I get a chance to know the people and come to care about them and the world they inhabit. The characters both new and old are very well written and make you feel that you would like to know them.
The Crusades have been raging and Sebastian of Montborne has ridden and fought with King Richard while his brother remains at Montborne looking after the estate. In the desert port of Ascalon near Jerusalem. King Richard has set up his encampment as they rally for their march on Jerusalem to take the city for their church. In the hills surrounding them is a guild of assassins who have sworn to kill all the infidels in their lands, but they really would like to kill Richard, feeling this will make the others less likely to stay in their country. To this end they are plotting to get an assassin within striking distance of him.
Zahirah has been taught to hate the Franks who have come to her land in order to bring their religion and wipe out the faith of those who have for centuries resided in these desert lands. Viewing them as no more than crude animals with no morals she is more than willing to kill in order to keep what they have. But while it is always easy to judge people from afar when she finds herself surrounded by these people and one man in particular it becomes harder to hate them and easier to see where they are more alike than different.
I knew what was coming for some of the story but there were a lot more twists and surprises than I was ready for. I really liked Zahirah because even though she was a bit of a villian, she was able to grow and see what was right and important. I had hoped that I would also get to see something of what had happened with Griffin and Isabel since they are the reason that I have found myself so wrapped up in this series. I laughed a bit, cried a bit, and was mad at all at one point or another but was very happy that things worked out the way I wanted in the end.
If you want a romance that is star crossed and seems unlikely then this is the story for you. I recommend to anyone who loves some historical accuracy with their intense romance. Hot enough to make you blush but tame enough for a beginner. Enjoy!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“I need to get out of here at once, Halim. The captain has already voiced his suspicions that the chase through the souk may have been some sort of trap. It won’t be long before he starts to wonder how I might fit into the puzzle.” “Then you must take steps to ensure that his suspicions do not focus on you,” Halim answered pointedly. “He is a man of some youth and virility from what I have seen; I doubt he’d refuse you. It should not require much to keep him distracted from your true purpose, even for a girl of your limited skills.”