By Design Author:Madeline Hunter Bound by honor... — The moment Rhys saw the stunning young woman selling her exquisitely crafted pottery in the marketplace, he was captivated. But the wealthy freemason would never have guessed that just a few days later, a misunderstanding would land Joan in the town stocks and he would become her unlikely savior. After the grueling orde... more »al, Rhys tenderly cares for Joan's bruised body -- and her bruised pride. Yet he longs to do much more ... to satisfy the fire that sparks between the pair the moment they are alone.
Rhys could not have known that Joan once enjoyed a more privileged life. She'd had no choice but to become an indentured servant, but she is determined to avenge the crimes that ruined her family and destroyed her world. When Rhys meets with her employer to buy pottery -- and buys her instead -- Joan is furious. She vows to resist falling under the spell of the handsome, imposing Rhys. But she finds that her resolve quickly softens when tempted by Rhys's powerful charms -- and she can only hope to find a way to avoid surrendering to her potent desire....« less
A beautiful medieval love story about a patient and kind London merchant and displaced noblewoman. It continues to haunt me years after reading it. Rhys is every woman's dream of a good man. Part of a series: By Posession (Addis and Moira's story), By Design and Stealing Heaven (Marcus's story).
This was my first book by this author, and I must admit that it was much more than I thought it was going to be. Fairly complex and well-developed primary and secondary characters with a good bit of medeaval court intrigue and history thrown in. The author apparently really knows her period. Really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it.
The 3rd of Hunter's Medieval series(1st and 2nd are "By Arrangement" and "By Possession"). Like the others, it does not gloss over the harshness of life in those days especially for women. The heroine comes from a noble family, but has to learn to survive after losing everything. He rescues her, and they develop a great bond which is enhanced by their artistic creativity. Both are admirable characters who know what it is to make sacrifices for someone you love. I loved that this story took place among the middle/working classes instead of nobility. When Joan does get a chance to return to her former place in life, she finds she is no longer happy there. But of course they end up back together and there is an HEA!