He’s her enemy…
…and she must not fall for him!
When her mistress is claimed as an enemy knight’s betrothed, handmaiden Aelfhild knows it would be too dangerous for her lady; she must go in her place. But there’s more to the scarred knight than she first thought—she isn’t expecting to fall for him! As the line between friend and enemy blurs, Aelfhild realizes she might be protecting her mistress, but not her heart…
Firstly, I want to say; Thank you Elisabeth Hobbes for teaching us how pronounce Gui’s name properly. I am terrible pronouncing some names and at first, I was pronouncing his name wrong that was until I read the fabulous scene where Aelfhild learns how to say his name ‘properly’ so instead of how I was saying it ‘Guy’ it is actually ‘Ghee’. I love that Hobbes put that one paragraph into the book, it’s so helpful for the readers immerses you even further into the story, I found it very rare for an author to write that in.
My goodness me, this is good! When I say good, I a mean unbelievable good, I have been a fan of Hobbes’ work for a while now and this is a terrific addition to her CV. Hobbes’ knowledge of the era is absolutely spot, she never holds back with the history, her descriptions and detailing of this particular era is superb the author has a genuine fondness for this era, you get a sense of that through out her work.
Set just after the Norman conquest, this is a hard and brutal time when Saxons and Normans are at logger head’s just before the peace. This is a time where the North of England is a battle ground, I really like how Hobbes has brought attention to what was happening in Yorkshire at the time, the plight of the ordinary people and how they were suffering during what was a very bloody time. You see the both Saxon and Norman perspectives throughout the story.
Soldier and Archer Guilherm Fitzlannion; or Gui is charged by his Lord and friend, Gilbert du Respez to take on Gilbert’s identity, travel to the Priory in Byland and retrieve the woman who is set to marry Gilbert, on the King’s orders no less. So that the house of Haxby be joined with the du Respez name. I’d say Gilbert is a dandy, he is impulsive, spoilt and has a bit of a short fuse whereas his right hand man Gui is calm and diplomatic, he knows to pick his fight’s Gilbert doesn’t want to marry anyone which is why he get’s Gui to do his dirty work for him with the promise that on Lady Sigrun’s return Gui will have his reward in land of his own.
Gui isn’t keen on collecting the precious daughter of the shrewd Countess of Haxby any more than his Lordship is, but Gui want’s what is promised to him, he wants to be able to live out his lonely life on his own land doing what he was raised to do. He don’s the clothe’s of his lordship and sets out to collect this elusive Lady Sigrun and if need be drag her back to marry Gilbert. But as with all Historical Romance it all doesn’t go to plan.
Gui what a character! Oh, my word!! Getting to know him has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions, he breaks my heart, he intrigues me, and I have fallen head over heels for this rough around the edges, vulnerable and proud man. Gui is so strong and yet so he is so broken, he feels useless and grotesque he has resigned himself to being alone. I wanted to take him in my arms and try to bring him the peace he so desires and deserves. Yet, the little water sprite or how he funnily likes to call her; the human Gorse bush! You need to read it to fin out why 😊
Feisty and straight to the point Aelfhild, who is the life long companion to Lady Sigrun ever since she was taken in to the Haxby household as a child, because Sigrun has taken refuge at the Priory to be hidden away from the ‘evil’ Norman’s, Aelfhild had no choice but to go to. Sigrun is a mild-mannered little thing, who really wouldn’t say boo to a goose. She is very lady-like and has this aristocratic aura about her that shouts out who she is. Aelfhild hates the restrictive Priory life, she wants to be able to do what she wants to, to have freedom. But Sigrun is like a sister to her and she will follow her anywhere, so when her bridegroom; ‘Gilbert’ turns up to take Sigrun back, the two women decide that until they can escape him Aelfhild will take on her mistress’s identity.
From that point onwards both Gui and Aelfhild are in disguise as their master’s, both are intrigued by each other and yet as they both think that the other is someone else, they try to keep a wall between them. Only that proves harder than they planned.
There are so many great moment’s in this book, scenes that I know will stick with me for a long time. My particular favourite two have to be when Gui and Aelfhrild first meet – that is tense, sexy and equally as funny, especially when they he is telling her he is “all man” 😉. And when Gui is teaching her how to use a bow and arrow, who knew that Archery could be so sexy? I love that scene the chemistry is smoking and intimate while he teachers her. I am telling you now those scenes are scorching hot, sexy as hell moment’s that will make you rather hot under the collar.
This book is right up there with the best Medieval Romances I have read, from an author who knows her craft and isn’t ashamed to share that knowledge. ‘Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight’ is cleverly written, supremely romantic and engaging from that very first page. I do love a ‘Enemies to Lover’s’ trope and this has all the component’s that you would want in historical romance, a character driven story that is full-bodied, mesmerizing and sensual romanticism all wrapped up with a big bow of emotional angst.
This is too good for words and a book that I will happily pull off the shelf again and again. I absolutely love every page.
Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight is to be released on 31st May and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.