I used to love Rexanne Becnel but I haven't read her in years. I really liked the premise of this story: lady saves condemned murderer by marrying him because she is in a bind and needs his help. He inturn wants her to love him for the degenerate common man down on his luck not the knight he really is. Good story but the author drags it out to long (437 pages) when it could have been condensed some and made for a tighter story
Sir Aric of Wycliffe vowed death to the treacherous enemy who sought to destroy him.
I really enjoyed reading this book.
I'm generally a fan of Becnel, and she doesn't disapoint here. The premise is a little different, and Becnel works it for all it's worth. It would have also worked as a shorter tighter story, but I don't mind the slow buildup. The extra length let enough things happen that when Rosalynde's father discovers that Aric is actually a knight, the father's reaction is believable.
From Publishers Weekly
When Lady Rosalynde is attacked and robbed en route to her home, Stanwood Castle, she looks to the nearest village for help and stumbles on a combination festival/public hanging. Moving among the crowd, Rosalynde hears that if a woman claims a condemned man for a "handfast" (a trial marriage that lasts a year and a day)51 , he'll be spared. Rosalynde selects "a fine specimen" called Blacksword and by promising him a horse and weapons persuades him to escort her home. Blacksword is in fact the honorable Sir Aric and has been framed; his reward will help him find his enemy, Sir Gilbert Poole. After this imaginative meeting, Becnel ( Thief of My Heart ) dumps her characters into a tediously formulaic relationship, and with so little action, the setting feels more like the doldrums than the Middle Ages. Back at Stanwood, Rosalynde cannot reveal her dubious marriage to her father. But Aric earns a place in the household while she dabbles in medieval housekeeping; the author seems to be killing time until Gilbert arrives to force a resolution.