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by Ida Curtis

Pub Date: July 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-63152-685-5
Publisher: She Writes Press

In this romance set in France in the early ninth century, an inexperienced nun and a sophisticated aristocrat wrestle with their mutual attraction.

Gilda and Lord Justin seem an unlikely, if simply impossible, pair—he’s a “worldly man” and she’s romantically naive, a nun who’s lived the bulk of her short life in a convent. She’s set to soon take her final vows. Nevertheless, despite their constant bickering, the connection between the two is an electric one, a truth Gilda cannot deny following their first kiss, tantalizingly described by Curtis: “There was a melting inside me. I forgot everything but my desire to continue the kiss. I wanted to get closer, but Justin pulled away.” They’re forced to grapple with their unresolved feelings when King Louis pairs them on a delicate, important mission: try to repair the rift that suddenly opened up between Count Cedric and his recently betrothed, Lady Mariel. Count Cedric sent his brother, Phillip, to represent him at the wedding ceremony, and now Lady Mariel claims she was deceptively led to believe that he’s her true husband. Now, she refuses to consummate the marriage, and Count Cedric looks to annul it, a thorny situation because King Louis is such an ardent advocate of matrimony. The author skillfully combines a love story with one more sinister—Lady Mariel has reasons to believe that her husband is so fixated on ending their marriage that her life is in danger as a result. Curtis paints a historically authentic tableau of the period in France, deftly explaining the religious and cultural context of the plot without didactic commentary. It is refreshing to see a tale achieve such titillating, erotic heights without resorting to a more unabashed, not to say lurid, style, a sign of the author’s novelistic subtlety.

An engaging love story, historically captivating and romantically gripping.