Book Title: To Tempt a Knight
Author: Gerri Russell
Publisher: Gerri Russell (Kindle)
Genre: Historical Fantasy/ Romance (14th C Scotland)
Heat Level: Sweet-Sensual
Length (either a page count, or word count): 26 chapters + epilogue (no word or page count available; roughly 50,000 words)
Reviewer: Erin O’Quinn
The year is 1331. The place, somewhere in Scotland.
Scottish Templar knight Sir William Keith is a warrior monk, much-scarred, a man who has given the last four years of his life to the service of Christ and the protection of Robert the Bruce. In his quest for justice, he meets Siobhan, the lovely daughter of elderly Templar monk Sir John Fraser.
The protagonists come together in a moment fraught with peril. Sir John has been abducted by the supremely evil man Pierre de la Roche, who means to capture for himself the legendary Spear of Destiny. This spear, supposedly thrust into the side of Christ as he lay dying on the cross, is reputed to bring untold power to him who wields it. The spear had been carried from hand to hand, treasury to treasury, over the past thirteen centuries. As the story begins, we find that Sir John is the only mortal to know its hiding place, along with a vast treasure than has been brought to Scotland and guarded by Sir John, treasurer of the now gone-to-underground Knights Templar. John has given the “treasure map” to his daughter, and he is in the grasp of de la Roche. Now even the recovery of the Spear may not save him.
It is up to William and Siobhan to locate the Spear and keep it from an evil master before de la Roche can use it to grasp power and use it to the sure destruction of all that is good in their world.
I wish that author Gerri Russell had called her book The Warrior Monk and the Lady. That would have captured far better the tension between William’s professed dedication to Christ and his undeniable physical yearnings for the beautiful Siobhan. And Siobhan, although a virgin and a lady, feels the same heady passion but holds back for fear of standing in the way of his vows.
Nevertheless, To Tempt a Knight moves fairly smoothly along its adventurous and sensuous path to a taut and joyful release of sexual passion somewhere in the mountains of the Cairngorm, as the two strong protagonists cannot escape the attraction that seems fated between them. As soon as their passion is consummated (roughly halfway through), the novel seems to lose a little of its bite and sensuality.
The action is fast-paced and the resolution very satisfactory. The heat level could be described as “moderate,” as their consummation is forthright yet handled in almost graceful terms. In fact, here and there the language ventures into the dreaded “purple prose” as the old tried-and-true “manhood” penetrates her shivering thighs.
Nevertheless, To Tempt a Knight is a satisfying read, better than just good. Lovers of Scotland romance will surely enjoy it.
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