How To Train Your Knight by Stella Marie Alden (English edition)

How To Train Your Knight: A Medieval Romance How To Train Your Knight: A Medieval Romance by Stella Marie Alden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A sassy, romantic read in the age of chivalry and medieval times. 1276, in the age of Edward I and the Ninth Crusade. A story with a sound knowledge, passion, love and intrigues.

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First of all:
I'm sorry that my new post is so late. I felt a bit weak because of the currently influenza, I guess, which is going around. I hope you can all forgive my late post.

To the story now:
Sir Marcus Damion Blackwell, or shortly called "The Beast of Thornhill" by his critics, has to marry the widow, Antoinette Veronique DeLaque.

From the beginning, the stubborn, but handsome Sir Blackwell and the enchanting, but opinionated Lady Ann have definitely one thing in common: they don't want to marry the other.

Just when Sir Marcus and his men, including his first-in command and adviser, Thomas D'Agostine, arrive in Lady Ann's ancient Roman fortress, Marcus is sure he met the most awful witch he ever met. And that without having seen her before.

When Lady Ann hears about Sir Marcus and that she should marry him, she was sure he was the "Beast" he was called and she rejected him of course immediately. Yet, without having met him.

Brother John, the young 16-old churchman of the town, shall wed them both against their wishes.
The question is: WHY?There is a rumour that Lady Ann murdered her first husband, the Knight Underhill, with a dagger she striked through his waist in anger while he slept peacefully. Moreover she is accused of having used witchcraft to do this.

And: Sir Marcus's father decided that his son Marcus can only show his worth by marrying Lady Ann and by investigating if she is guilty or not of the death of the Knight. When she is guilty, she will be hanged by the King's order.

But when he first lays eyes on Lady Ann, he feels instantly attracted to Ann's beauty and can't really associate her with the bad witch she is accused of being.

However Lady Ann isn't interested in her new husband's company which makes the Beast furious.
Furthermore after the formal wedding, she encloses herself in her chamber and the Beast threatens her with that she has to starve herself until she will meet him.

Thomas, his loyal adviser and friend, suggests the Beast only to bed her after the wishes of Sir Marcus father so he can get the land and a son, and afterwards going to London again.

Yet, Marcus wants to find out more and even though he is irritated of Lady Ann's passionate nature, he is also intrigued.

Though Lady Anne also has plans of her own and wants to serve her folk by nurturing and leading them behind her husband's back. She loves her people and so she decides to wear boy's clothes and to smuggle herself out by using the escape tunnels of the former Roman owners.

Yet, Sir Marcus has also more than one secret: King Edward granted him a favour for saving his life during the Crusade. He promised Marcus that Green Meadows would be his, although his brother rightfully should inherit it first. However because of his father's insistence, Marcus wanted to have something in return.

During the time, Lady Ann keeps things running as usual by wearing a disguise, Sir Marcus explores his part of Green Meadows. The Beast heard that someone steals the sheep of Lady Ann's lands and because he is also the ower of these lands now, he wants to find out who and why he succeeded in doing so. The first question is easily answered. The name of the man is Abernathy.

But why is he able to steal the sheeps when other men watch for the sheep? He needs to know!

Lady Ann, finished from her walking tour, confesses to Brother John that she fears to be treated badly by the Beast. Yet, the Clergyman, can calm her a bit and advises her to give the marriage a chance.

Nonetheless, she hears from Sir Marcus's loyal companion, Thomas, that Sir Marcus tortured other people in the past:

Why is Marcus' father so anxious to find out more about the murder of Knight Underhill?
Will Anne soothe Marcus by giving him a chance and open up to him?
Will Marcus be the Beast like the time before or can he also open up to Anne?

Other beautiful characters, I haven't mentioned:
- the good-hearted soul called Dame March, the heavy and grey-haired cook and quasi substitute mother of Lady Ann
- Sally: her maid and like a real sister of Lady Ann
- Stephen: the young, faithful steward

A fully convincing and amazing great read about the historical occurences during the time.
A blooming love which has apparently "started with the wrong foot", but a hopeful and promising one.
A story, full of passion, tension and wit.
And finally, an intriguing plot and end which make you wonder, how the story will go on :).

Kind regards,
yours truly

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