I love erotic historical romance but the pickings have been getting pretty slim. Jess Michaels was good but she no longer writes this sub-genre. SarahI love erotic historical romance but the pickings have been getting pretty slim. Jess Michaels was good but she no longer writes this sub-genre. Sarah McCarty is hit or miss (basically "icked" my way through the Hell's Eight series so far) and finding the oddball stand-alone (i.e. Passion) is a rarity. Then recently I discovered Julia Templeton and all is, once again, right with my literary world. She doesn't weigh her stories down with endless pages of description; instead, she focuses on great character development and involves said characters in some seriously steamy sexual situations.
"The Conquest" is set in the Scottish Highlands during the 11th century. Sir Adelstan Cawtor has been sent to Castle MacKay to retreive Lady Rhiannon MacKay and escort her across the country to Lord Malgor, the Norman knight her father betrothed her to. Malgor, too lazy to make the trip himself and preferring to stay with his leman, fakes an injury so that Adelstan must go in his place. But the deception backfires...Adelstan & Rhiannon meet and it's love at first sight.
Although she is still an innocent, Rhiannon is fascinated with the idea of sex and cannot wait to do the wild thing with Adelstan. He is every female's dream...hot looks, a hard body and a sizable package. (In fact, he is described as looking just like the guy on the cover . Trying to do the honorable thing, Adelstan refuses the bold advances of Lady Rhiannon. But she soon wears him down and Adelstan finally takes her virginity. After that, the two are inseparable...making love anywhere and everywhere without anyone being the wiser. The secondary characters (Elspeth, Rhiannon's maid and Jorden, Adelsan's best friend) also hook up sexually but with a little kink thrown in. H/h are exclusive with each other. Although it was love at first sight for the H/h, they really didn't know each other well so jealousy (on both sides) played a big part in the tale. I love jealousy, especially when the hero is consumed by it. Unfortunately, the time comes and Adelstan must escort Rhiannon to her betrothed. Will Adelstan declare his love for Rhiannon and risk treason or will he ignore his heart and allow the marriage to continue as planned?
I thought this was an engaging story...steamy as hell but the plot stayed on course. This was the 3rd book I've read by JT and I'm enjoying her style...especially those set in medieval times because she doesn't make use of faeries, magic or time travel to give the story "oomph"...she uses sex. It works for me!
This book can be read as a stand-alone but I would suggest reading "The Bargain" first...the story of Adelstan's twin sister Aleysia. It is just as good and just as steamy and leads you right into "The Conquest". The author has quite a few books making up her back list and I either have them on my tbr or on my wish-list at PBS. I'm looking forward to JT's continued writing...keeping my favorite sub-genre alive!...more