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THE MARRIAGE PRIZE by Virginia Henley

THE MARRIAGE PRIZE

By Virginia Henley

Pub Date: July 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-31823-5
Publisher: Delacorte

Closing volume in Henley's Plantagenet trilogy (The Dragon and the Jewel, 1998, etc.). Can it be excessive researchitis that prompts some romance writers to give their historical characters a paste language that bears no ring of human speech? When the naked Rodger comes to his resistant bride Rosamond's marriage bed, she greets him with “icy sarcasm”: “I have married you, and yielded my property to you, but I won't yield my body to you. At least not willingly!” At this, Rodger plucks out his naked dagger, cuts his thumb and lets three red drops fall onto the pristine sheets so that he will not be humiliated on the morrow. Rod sees that his “ice maiden” is a “stubborn little filly in need of a firm hand and a touch of the spurs!” Whereupon Rod, “allowing only his fingertips to penetrate her,” sends Rosamond erupting and dissolving “into a thousand liquid tremors” before sliding “his shaft into the valley between her upthrusting breasts.”

For those with a lower melting point than Rosamond’s, scenes like this should induce many pulse points of pleasure.