(Horsemen of the Apocalyse, #2)
Genre: Historical Romance(Regency)
War hero and Horseman of the Apocalypse William Tyler de Sayre, Lord Clun, happens upon love while intending to avoid the catastrophe altogether by arranging a marriage to someone he’s never met.
Meanwhile, Lady Elizabeth Damogan, whose father betrothed her to the baron without so much as a ‘by your leave,’ will be damned if she marries a man she’s never met, much less a man who refuses to consider the possibility of love.
Until she realizes, sometimes it’s the hero who needs saving.
I had high expectations of this book after reading THE DUKE’S TATTOO and I wasn’t disappointed. It is still witty and funny but with a slightly darker edge to it.
She strode from the shadowy depths of the stable and gave William Tyler de Sayre, Baron Clun, a bold, calculating look.
I liked Elizabeth from the very start. She is no simpering, timid miss but an intelligent, witty, strong-willed woman. She owes this to the influence of her free-thinking governess and chaperone, Mrs Abeel, her father’s cousin. She not only taught Elizabeth all the accomplishments required to be a lady but also to think for herself. She has managed her father’s household for many years and can cook, bake and milk a cow.
She wants what her parents had, a marriage based on love and will settle for nothing less. It’s not surprising then that, faced with an arranged marriage to a stranger who is most likely old and decrepit, she chooses to run away.
…men respected him, virginal women feared him and even experienced women treated him with trepidation . Put simply, he was too big, too dark and too daunting.
Clun is just the sort of hero I adore…big, gruff, stubborn but in desperate need of some tender, loving care from the right woman. How could I not love a hero with ‘a deep, melodic voice sweetened with Welsh (every time he spoke, I couldn’t help but hear the wonderful, rich voice of Richard Burton).
Thus, years of observation and empirical evidence informed Clun’s definition of a happy marriage as a union founded on sensible, unemotional expectations. As a result, arranging his marriage to a stranger suited Clun to a fare-thee-well.
Clun doesn’t believe in love. He watched his parents’ marriage descend into one of ‘disappointment, bitterness and irreconcilable marital strife’. It was heart-breaking to imagine the young, impressionable Clun subjected to the vitriolic outpourings of his embittered mother against his absentee father. He grew up believing himself to be cold and incapable of love, a belief subtly reinforced by his mother over the years.
…true love rarely progressed from start to finish on a straight without ruts.
Elizabeth and Clun’s journey was definitely full of ups and downs but I enjoyed every eventful moment especially Clun having a bit of fun at Elizabeth’s expense, some rather delicious misbehaving on a bearskin rug and Clun having a rather embarrassing moment in the privy.
Once again, there is a well-drawn cast of secondary characters including the other three Horsemen, Tyler Rodwell, Clun’s steward and half-brother, Lady Clun, his virago of a mother, and Elizabeth’s father. The Epilogue was unusually dramatic in tone but Clun’s actions and words at the end were just lovely.
I can’t finish this review without highlighting Ms Davis’s wonderful writing with a few of my favourite quotes.
He was rational, clear and consistent while she was female, full of fanciful delusions and therefore prone to spouting twaddle about a man divulging signs of phantom emotions and not knowing his own damned mind.
In the absence of soap, she felt herself ripening like a wheel of Stilton cheese.
If he hadn’t beaten his hasty retreat, he would’ve divulged yet another sure sign of a man’s affection: a display of happily-agitated man parts in protruding buckskins.
It happened at the castle when Lord Clun said ‘flutte Rrrby’ and rocked her back and forth in his arms, laughing. That was the precise moment Elizabeth knew she loved William Tyler de Sayre.
This is another winner from Miranda Davis and hopefully book 3, His Lordship’s Last Wager: A Regency Romance Between Bitter Enemies, will be published this year.
REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
Read January 2015
Horsemen of the Apocalypse series to date (click on the book cover for more details):