Untamed is Dominic le Sabre and Lady Margaret of Blackthorne (Norman-Saxon match)
Forbidden is Duncan (Meg's brother) and Amber the Untouched (she is a truthsayer)
Enchanted is Simon the Loyal (Dominic's brother) and Ariane
These can be read in any order but are more fun if you read them in story line order. The level of "mystical" increases through the three books.
4 stars. Ariane and Simon contract a political marriage that she is terrified of consummating because of a past rape. While the love story in this novel is almost overwhelming, there is a great fantasy plot in the background that keeps things moving. The excellent characterization and writing are what make the book in my opinion. Ariane is a surprisingly strong heroine, and Simon is easy to fall in love with. The only negative for this book was the final 2 scenes, which I thought fell a little flat.
Ariane the Betrayed is raped by one of her father's soldiers the night before she is to meet her betrothed, Simon the Loyal. To add to her pain, this same soldier accuses her to her father of seducing him and her father believes him. Ariane goes into the marriage despising all men. She can't bear anyone to touch her, especially her husband, nor will she discuss how her father and his men betrayed her. Ariane is especially fearful that Simon will find out that she is no longer a virgin.
Simon is distrustful of women because a woman he loved betrayed him. Her betrayal nearly cost his brother's life and he can't forgive himself for it. Her betrayal forced an oath from him: That he would never again give his heart to a woman. He, however, desires Ariane almost the moment he lays eyes on her and can't understand her coldness toward him. Simon eventually finds out Ariane's secret but doesn't believe that she was raped.
Ariane's father is a shrewd man. He decides to use Ariane's treachery to make war against Simon and his brother. After all, Simon will most likely murder his daughter once he finds out that she's no longer a virgin, and that would be a perfect excuse for him to make war on them and take their lands.
Ok, I have to say that I have rarely read a historical novel with a heroine as irritating as this one. She is constantly whining (in her head) about how no one will believe her so she keeps the truth of what happened to her to herself and causes lots of problems because of it. Even after she sees that other women don't fear men's sexuality, she's still somehow convinced that ALL men are beasts. She is either very naive or very stupid, I was never able to figure out which it was. And then there's Simon who is convinced she's lying (when she finally tells him the truth) even though she already told him her story in a round about way.
I know that authors need misunderstandings for their plots, but I think that Lowell could have done this in a little more intelligent manner.
I had read this series years ago and liked it so well that I wanted to read it again. Now that I am older, wiser..haha...the dialogue is a little too flowery for me, but I still love the story and I love the ummm...good parts!!!
Another of the Midieval trilogy by Elizabeth Lowell. Nice change of pace from her contemporary or western set works. Nicely woven, colorful story. Be sure to read Untamed and Forbidden too, as the characters are very much intertwined.
Bewitched - Simon the Loyal has vowed never to love, for love make a warrior weak. His arranged marriage to a beautiful Norman heiress would be duty and no more. But more than duty stirs his blood when he first sees Ariane.
Betrayed - She has known only coldness from men-and a betrayal so deep it all but killed her soul. Wanting no man, trusting no man, speaking only though the sad songs she draws from her harp. Ariane comes to Simon an unwilling bride.
Enchanted - They wed to bring peace to the Disputed Lands, but marriage alone is not enough. Simon must teach Ariane passion, she must teach him trust.
Simon the loyal has vowed never to love, for love has made great warriors weak. To bring peace to the disputed lands, he agrees to wed an unwilling Norman heiress who speaks only through the sad songs she draws from her harp. Marriage is his duty and nothing more. Ariane has known only coldness from men, and a betrayal so deep it all but killed her soul. And so she comes to Simon with resistance and fear.
Yet marriage in name alone can never b e enough, for it is more than obligation that flares Simons blood when first he sets eyes on his bewitching reluctant bride. He must teach Ariane passion and she must teach him trust. For all that is good within them will surely perish unless they surrender there hearts to love