Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hidden Honor - Anne Stuart

Independent and headstrong, Elizabeth of Bredon wants only to become a nun, but her journey to the convent of St. Anne's threatens her choice. It's not the escort of holy friars who tempt her, but the man they are taking to do penance for his many sins. Elizabeth has heard whispers about Prince William's treatment of women — the king's only son is a man well schooled in deception, cruelty and murder — yet she cannot entirely resist his charms. But when the journey takes a
treacherous turn, masks of deception fall and there is no safe place but in the wicked prince's arms. With treachery drawing near, they are soon racing against time, murderous revenge…and their own sinful desires.

I think my last Stuart medieval had actually been the wonderful Lord of Danger, a very long time ago (before blog so I’ll have to reread and review one of these days), and so I was eager to start this one. I liked it, it’s Anne Stuart in the bad boy hero, in the secondary romance, but the end had a lightness that disappointed me a bit, I want those serious, dark feelings she made me look for.
Elizabeth de Bredon is a skinny, redhead young girl who is too smart for her own good. Since her father cannot marry her, he has decided she will go the convent. When they are visited by Prince William (bastard son of King John) and his men, who are doing penance and pilgrimage because the prince, known for his cruelty has murdered a young lady, Elizabeth’s father decides she will go with them.

From the beginning that there’s something between Elizabeth and the prince, it’s also obvious that the prince is not who he seems to be. Elizabeth, despite being very young (seventeen) is one of those outspoken heroines who just can’t shup up. If she has learned to control her tongue in her father’s presence she didn’t when faced with Prince William. Had he been what his reputation suggests I’m betting Elizabeth would be facing a none too pleasant fate but William is in fact Brother Peter, a knight who after returning home from the crusades has decided to become a monk and is now protecting the true William from being attacked on the road by changing identities.

When they are attacked William (Peter) and Elizabeth stay together and become even closer. The truth of who he is, revealed when they finally arrive at the convent, comes as a huge blow to her but the true Prince William, who has a score to settle with Peter, is quick to use Elizabeth for his own ends and Peter is unable to abandon her as was his plan.

Considering that we have a hero monk I think the story could have had much more anguish than it did, especially on Peter’s part, I think the end come about a bit abruptly and without any issues of his change of circumstances being addressed.. There’s also a secondary romance that I would really liked to see more developed.

Despite that, it was good and I enjoyed it.

Grade: 4/5

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