From captive to bride… Lady Aediva of Etton will do anything to protect her sister, Cille. So when enemies storm her family’s keep, Aediva assumes Cille’s identity…taking her place as prisoner of Sir Svend du Danemark.
Svend’s sole aim is to fulfill his service to William the Conqueror and rebuild the life a woman’s betrayal once lost him. So when he receives his new orders to quash the Saxon rebellion, he is stunned. To do his duty, he must vow to take the beautiful yet provoking Aediva as his wife!
Saxon, Lady Aediva is holed up in her little village of Etton with nothing but an old midwife and her sister; Cille who is in labour. She knows that the Norman’s are coming but she can do nothing but try to protect her sister as best she can, which does mean brandishing a warrior’s broad sword about. So when a gang of Norman Knights arrive in her village she is ready to fight, to the death if need be, but the only problem with that is when the she sets eyes on the Knight who storms her house. She has never in her life seen anyone like him and he wasn’t at all what she expected.
Putting aside her new and confusing infatuation with this handsome Knight, she soon learns that he has come for her sister Cille, for some unexplained reason he is going to take Cille away. Aediva isn’t going to let that happen, so she assumes her sisters identity.
Sir Svend since his traumatic past he has lived his life as a dutiful Knight, never letting his King down always performing his service to his King with every honourable fibre in his being. So when he get an order to collect Lady Cille he thinks nothing of the task untill he meets the little hellcat who on meeting him threatens to run him through with a sword. Lady Cille isn’t what he expected, the woman is wild and dangerous, why would the Kings cousin be interested in this maddening woman?
Once she is collected and they get back to base that the truth comes out about who she really is and Svend is given an order, an order that he never in his life would have thought of receiving. To squash the newest Saxon uprising and try to regain peace he must marry the hellcat; Aediva.
This has been on my to read pile for so long, in fact for way too long and I can only apologise to Jenni Fletcher for making her wait so long for my review. But it was well worth the wait, Oh, my goodness! This is why I like Medieval Romance. The story is fast, intriguing and beautifully written by an author who I can tell you now is going to go a long way.
It is so atmospheric and very realistic it is as though you are actually living in Norman Britain with our adorable couple. It is thrilling, sensual with so much historical fact.
“But…you don’t trust me.”
“I do. Deep down I always have. I know you’re not Maren.” he climbed out of the bath, standing streaming wet in front of her. “Don’t go, Aediva. I want you here, with me.”
I adore Svend what a terrific character! Cool under pressure, a natural leader honourable and protectively. Plus he is as handsome as hell, I see him more like a renegade pirate than a military man, he is fabulous. He at first comes across as a very sullen and moody man and a very serious man for his age, but once you get to know his story you understand completely why he is how he is.
Svend does have his suspicions about Aediva – or how he first knows her as Cille – once he meets both sisters, you can see the cogs turning in that intelligent brain of his, that something isn’t adding up. He knows there is something that she is keeping back and as he finds it difficult to trust woman in the first place, he is on high alert. On top of his suspicions, he is feeling things for this woman that he shouldn’t he can’t stand the thought of this beautiful, fiery woman being someone else’s wife.
He finds her maddening and intoxicating all at once, he is actually really scared of his feelings for her, he is confused as to what is happening between the two of them and conflicted because he is a dutiful man and his duty is to take her back to King William’s cousin, but she has got under his skin. When he does find out the truth about her he has a very hard time trusting her, so when he has to marry her, Svend finds himself in a confusing position. On one hand he is secretly over the moon that he has now got this little firecracker as his, but on the other he still sees her as a sly and cunning, dangerous woman who can’t be trusted.
‘He’d never taken advantage of a vulnerable woman before and he wasn’t about to start now. If she’d only stop wriggling…
“Scum! Son of a Norman bitch!’ She kept on thrashing against him, venting her anger in a torrent of what he assumed was Anglo-Saxon abuse.
L hazel hair tumbled over his chest like a silken blanket, stirring his senses, and his gaze fell to her lips. They looked full and soft and suddenly desirable. But her eyes…
I looks could kill he’d be dead a hundred times over. Her eyes were aflame with anger….’
Aediva is a fighter, she said like an alley cat unsheathing her claws at every opportunity, honestly I think if she didn’t find Svend so attractive she would have skewered him with her broad sword. Like Svend, Aediva is having an internal war, on one hand she hates him with a vengeance for just being who he is, but she can’t get away from the fact that she is hugely attracted to the large blonde haired blue-eyed Knight. He is a mystery to her, he keeps saying he isn’t a Norman and he definitely doesn’t look like one, with all that white-blonde hair and icy blue eyes. He doesn’t act like how she has always thought Norman’s acted, he is kind and generous and so caring, with that and his rough charm he has got under her skin.
Aediva too has a generous and kind personality, she cares deeply for those she loves not just her sister but her people and she constantly worries about Svend. She is so brave and hugely protective, she risks her very own life to save others and that is really commendable.
‘His eyes flashed with something like humour. How could eyes be so intensely blue? she wondered. It was a blue that seemed to change every time she looked at them, sometimes so pale as to seem almost white, sometimes a vivid, piercing turquoise.
People said that her eyes were unusual, but his were almost hypnotic. When they demanded she meet them, there was no way to refuse….’
I love the chemistry between our two leads, it just leaps out at you, even when they first meet and he has got a sword aimed at him by our hellcat, you just feel the sexual tension rippling off the page. You get a sense of intruding in on their private world, whether that be when they are bickering or when they are having a loving tender moment. Both with huge personalities, both very loyal, both fiery and stubborn and hugely protective. They are an absolute success as a couple.
What does amaze me about “Married to her Enemy” is that it is Fletcher’s debut novel, to produce something of this quality on the first outing is astounding and it speaks volumes of this author’s talent. She has an extraordinary eye for the details, not just of the area and the time but the detail she puts into the simplest of scenes, such as a coy look between our leads, it’s clarity is amazing. I can honestly say that Jenni Fletcher is going to be huge success, in the Historical Romance world and she is going to be on the scene for a very long time.
The whole development of this, from the dynamics between the character to the overall plot proves too me that there is something very special about this author. To me I found it such a shame that this is only a stand alone I think it would have made a sensational series.
A pure joy from page one!
This was a Complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Married to her Enemy can be purchased at Amazon.