The heroine is Catherine, who until recently was married to a cruel man who beat her. The only joy of her life are her twin children, Ian and Isabel. When Catherine’s abusive husband dies, her life only gets worse. Her brother-in-law Eduard takes up residence and beats her even more than her husband beat her. When King Henry proposes that Eduard marry his sister off to his enemy in order to keep the peace, Eduard sees it as an opportunity to exact revenge upon his adversary. Eduard’s sister has just died, but he doesn’t let that stop him; he simply decides to pass Catherine off as his sister. Catherine knows Eduard will make good on his threat to hurt her children if she doesn’t comply, so she feels she has no choice but to do as Eduard says. He wants her to gain her new husband’s trust, and then betray him.
Grayson de Camville has no particular desire to marry. Ever since his sister’s death years ago, he has sought only to fight valiantly for the king and dispense justice fairly. He doesn’t know what to make of his timid wife, who is covered with bruises but refuses to let him hurt her “brother.” Still he finds himself intrigued by his strange new bride, and he starts going out of his way to please her. He decides not to consummate the marriage until his wife’s bruises heal, so he spends time with her in other ways, teaching her to use a sword to protect herself.
When Catherine arrives at Gray’s castle, she doesn’t know what to think or who to trust. The evil Eduard has warned her that he has spies everywhere, and that one false move will result in a quick death for her children. Almost immediately, she can tell that Gray is not like the other men she’s had in her life. Still, it takes her some time to trust him. All her life she has been mistreated by men, beginning with her father and continuing with her husband and brother-in-law. She has no desire to kill Gray and is determined not to help Eduard, but she also doesn’t know if she can depend on Gray to protect her children, and she’s also afraid that Eduard’s spies will overhear if she tells Gray the truth.
Grade: BCheck Review