My Lady deBurgh
Would you like to read a funny, sexy story with enough atmosphere to transport you to the past, but one that deos not overdose you with period language or history lessons? If this sounds like something you’d like to read, Deborah Simmons’ latest, My Lady de Burgh might just fit the bill.
My Lady de Burgh starts off with Robin, the eldest of the unmarried de Burgh brothers, fretting about the “curse” that has obviously fallen on his family. Weren’t they doing just fine without wives? As Robin is determined to avoid the fate that has befallen his elder siblings, he asks his new sister-in-law’s relatives if they can point him out to someone skilled in the magic arts. Instead, they send him after a long-lost relative, Vala, a chase that leads Robin to a nunnery, Our Lady of All Sorrows, where one of the nuns has just been murdered.
As Robin examines the body of Elisa the dead nun, he can’t help but notice someone else, someone he begins referring to as The One. He’s struck by The One aka Sybil, her looks (as much as he can see of them), as well as by her sharp tongue. Could he be ready for wedded bliss? Robin’s sense of relief at realizing Sybil couldn’t possible be meant for him, because after all, she’s a nun, is short lived since he soon finds out that while she’s spent a long time in the convent, she has not taken vows. Sybil is also thrown by her attraction to the arrogant Robin, and she is irked by the fact that she is assigned to work with him to discover who killed Elisa. Sybil knew of Elisa’s attachment to an outsider, but never thought it would end in murder, and now her guilt is added to her curiosity, and more, where Robin is concerned.
Robin’s befuddlement at the effects of the “curse” and his attraction to Sybil start out being hilarious. He can’t help, however, to react to Sybil and want to protect her when he realizes that Our Lady of All Sorrows is far from the peaceful place he would have imagined a nunnery to be. Instead, he has found murder, thieving, and intrigue, not to mention a bond between Vala and the dead Elisa and another bond that eventually puts Sybil in danger.
What starts out as hilarious eventually reflects badly on Robin’s character because well into the book he is still blaming the “curse” and Sybil’s “scheming” for his reactions and feelings for her. I found this aspect of his character immature, which was too bad because otherwise he was rather sweet. In contrast, Sybil finds her passions awakened by Robin’s presence, but she accepts her feelings for Robin for what they are, even if they are confusing and cause her more grief than pleasure at times. After a lifetime at the nunnery, Sybil finds the smallest amount of freedom exhilarating, but she also finds that along with Robin’s investigation comes grave danger.
I’d heard a lot about Deborah Simmons and aside from that flaw in Robin’s character, now I know why. The book moved along quickly, the action was entertaining, and the characters were, for the most part, interesting and well rounded. Although this is the latest in the de Burgh series, My Lady deBurgh stands alone, I’m guessing it will send you looking for the previous books in the series, if you haven’t read them yet. At least it has for me.