Genre: Historical Romance
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Besotted by the Princess
James Gunn knew his heart would forever be hers when she bested him in combat. Never had he met a formidable foe such as Emlyn. Mayhap it was the way her body felt above his when she pinned him and he had no choice to submit to her…
A love coveted but forbidden
Princess Emlyn would allow no man to victor over her on the field, especially the arrogant, sexy highlander. It would do well for him to know she wouldn’t fall at his feet and worship him. Aye, he was God-like in his appearance, strong, capable, and a protector: all the things she said she didn’t want in a man.
All it took was one kiss
Neither could deny their attraction. When Emlyn is betrothed to her clan’s enemy to save her people from being besieged, she beseeches James for help. The only way she can escape her ill-fated destiny and have the man of her dreams is to wage war and triumph. Not so easy a feat for a warrior such as her.
But once I got past that (as much as I was able to), I was sucked into the story.
Princess Emlyn was to be married, but he was killed. Princess Emlyn is a bit of an anomaly -- while she is a princess, she's a tomboy -- well, whatever a tomboy would be called in the 1200s. She prefers a tunic and bottoms, to gowns; would much rather wield a sword than keep after a man's house.
And all of this is to her mother's deepest chagrin.
Her father allows her to train in sword fighting -- Emlyn thinks that she'll go to war for her father. She wants to be a soldier. Beyond that, she's not exactly 'pure' in the way a lady should be -- no man is going to want her, regardless of her inability to be a true lady.
When she meets James, a guardsman who is to bring her to Marshall, of whom she is being betrothed to, she falls for him -- but he could never accept her. She knows that when she gets to Marshall, she'll likely be killed -- as Marshall and her father are at war. When her father gives her the ok to find a way out of this arrangement, she decides James will do -- for if she's going to lay with a man, may as well be one that she wants to be with.
They both go on this journey with a secret -- she goes with James as a way out of Marshall's hands and with the idea she'll return home and fight for her father's army; James is taking her with a handsome bride price, so long as she agrees to marry him. James, as much as he's enthralled with Emlyn and her ability with a sword... he's of the mind that women do not belong on the war field. He takes her weapons, and when she realizes that as much as she wants James, he'll never want her for her... she leaves him.
Half of the book was leading up to the climax of the story, and the second half of the book was them fighting their ways back to the other -- a bit different than most stories. Most stories take 75% to get to the big fight, and 25% is groveling.
I had a hard time choosing what would be good excerpts for this, but bottom line:
I like Emlyn. I love her fierceness. I love her mind. I love her ability to play people.
I like James. I love his loyalty to his beliefs and as much as he doesn't want his faerie fighting... he recognizes her fighter spirit.
I hate Emlyn's mother.
Yes. Hate her.
And even though it took me a great minute to figure out how to wrap my mind around the dialogue...
I'm pretty hopeful to read Griffen's book -- he's a good brother and I'd like to see where this betrothal of his and Anne's goes, because surely something happened during their two-day ride...