In the fifth and final volume of her "Seasons" series, Domning (Autumn's Flame, Topaz, 1995) uses dual time periods in alternating (and somewhat confusing) chapters to provide a well-researched, intensely sensual story of the medieval merchant class that nicely completes the set. I confess, the switching time periods drove me so crazy that I skipped the past time periods so I could stay in the intense passion and drama of what was happening to the couple in their present time period. Those chapters were GREAT and make the book worth reading!!
Summoned home from her convent refuge by her greedy, vindictive husband, Johanna of Stanrudde is stunned to find her town starving, herself accused of adultery, and her husband plotting the destruction of the only man she's ever loved. Strong, vivid writing and compelling characters quickly pull readers into the harsh reality of 12th-century Britain, and a multilayered plot and well-handled sexual tension keep them entranced.
Johanna of Stanrudde despises her husband, a man her dying father pressured her to wed. Robert of Blacklea is the man of her heart, a man who cruelly abandoned her yet still haunts her dreams. When he finally returns, it is too late. Johanna is a wife and mother -- any hope of love she might harbor for him is not only foolish, it's dangerous.
But there is too much passion behind her pain -- a passion that matches his own. Defying those who would forbid their love, Robert and Johanna will choose death rather than give up the dream that heaven is within their reach...