Book Review of Always

Author: Lynsay Sands
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 1189 more book reviews

Fun book, with the author's trademark humor and bit of intrigue to spice up the romance. Rosamunde has been raised at the convent and is just hours away from taking her vows when her father shows up. He is determined to marry her off and has brought the groom with him.

Aric had just ended his betrothal to a woman who was unfaithful. He's seriously considering remaining unmarried when the king arrives. The king won't take no for an answer and Aric soon finds himself married to the beautiful but innocent Rosamunde.

The first part of the book deals with the beginning of their marriage. Rosamunde is incredibly naive and the marriage instructions she received from the nuns were heavy on the anything to do with the marriage bed is sinful. The consummation scene, where they are rushed through it by her father, was awkward for both of them and set them up for more difficulties to come. The journey to their new home is an exercise in frustration for both of them. Aric feels badly about what he did and isn't sure how to fix it, plus doing it on the journey is just too awkward. He's attracted to her, and increasingly frustrated by his inability to do anything about it. Rosamunde has gone from a life of purpose, working with the convent's animals and other participation in convent life, to being allowed to do nothing. She's bored and frustrated and wondering just how miserable her future is going to be.

Once they reach their new home, Rosamunde's frustration continues to grow. Aric is busy learning the land and people, and is gone all day. Rosamunde was never taught about housekeeping matters and feels totally useless, especially since Aric won't even let her go to the stables to help with the animals. The arrival of his father and his friend Robert, along with Bishop Shrewsbury, brings some changes. The king has died and there is the possibility that Rosamunde is in danger. She has also reached the end of her patience and is determined to return to her work in the stables. There is a hysterical scene dealing with Aric's reaction to finding her there, and the compromise his father helps him find. This doesn't work out quite the way he intended and between the horse in the hall and her veterinary practice Aric is ready to blow. It takes his father, Robert and the bishop to calm him down in a scene that had me laughing out loud.

All of this does start to open Aric's eyes to the differences between Rosamunde and his former fiancee. He has been taking out his loss of trust in women on Rosamunde, who does not deserve it. I really enjoyed seeing him try to repair their relationship. This brings them back together physically, and Aric finally gets a chance for a re-do of the consummation, only to run into the roadblocks laid by the nuns and bishop. The chemistry between them is hot, and once Rosamunde gets a taste of passion she's all in. It was pretty sweet to see the two of them begin to actually get to know each other and the feelings between them grow.

But things are about to get really complicated. There have been several attacks on Rosamunde and Aric is determined to keep her safe and discover who is behind them. Unfortunately for him, she doesn't believe that she is in danger and resists all of Aric's attempts to protect her, setting up some very frustrating times for him. Called to London for Richard's coronation, there is yet another attack, this time on Aric. When they finally reach court, Aric believes he will finally be able to get at the truth. It's really interesting that it's through an unexpected encounter that Rosamunde discovers the truth. The final confrontation is intense and nervewracking as Aric and Rosamunde have to work together to end the threat. I loved seeing them finally come together with all their issues finally overcome.