ROBERT AND ARABELLA by Kathleen Winsor


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Winsor (Forever Amber, etc.) offers up another story of obsessive, sexual love. It's A.D. 1315. Arabella, the King's daughter, returns from a ride with her ladies-in-waiting and spies a compellingly handsome--nay, heart-rendingly beautiful--blond gypsy camped in a luxurious wagon. She gets off her horse in a manner revealing to him that she scorns underwear, and sends her attendants home. Soon Arabella has been deflowered and the gypsy--Robert--has promised to meet her at an upcoming tourney. Dressing as Guise, Arabella's suitor, he neatly vanquishes a foe, then vanishes upon conveying a message to Arabella. She follows him, pursued by the King and Guise, and makes off with Robert in his gypsy wagon. For the remainder of the book, Robert and Arabella make love on practically every page, and so it is no surprise that finally she becomes Pregnant, necessitating that she take a ""potion"" to abort, which nearly kills her. They flee south, the King and Guise in hot pursuit, and visit The House of Dead Men, where POWs are kept in appallingly S&M conditions. As the situation deteriorates--and her obsessive love draws her deeper into the tunnel--Arabella remembers a seer's earlier warning: ""Let her beware of love."" Too late! Her own brother, Raoul, tracks the lovers down and runs a single lance through them; Robert dies first and then Arabella, in her weeping brother's arms. Quite dreadful--though compelling in one sense: it makes the reader as sick with Arabella's consuming ""need"" as she apparently herself becomes.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Publisher: Harmony/Crown