by Patricia Ryan, historical (2000)
Signet, $5.99, ISBN 0-451-20032-2
Now this is a great medieval romance. It has a great mystery that, for once, doesn't overshadow the romance. And I do love both hero and heroine. Keeper? Yes!
Phillipa de Paris wants to be an academic and nothing else. She is an unusual woman who has taken lovers before and she knows how to take care of herself. And she once was wooed by Aldous Ewing, now a nasty piece of corrupt churchman. And since she isn't one of those virginal women, she would be perfect for a Mission Impossible-style plan where she would pretend to be spy Hugh of Wexford's wife while seducing Aldous, right?
At least that's what everyone but Phillippa believes. But nonetheless, this woman decides that she is up to it. To save the country and all that rot, you know. (Actually, she's dared into it.) However, Hugh and Phillippa start confusion their masquerade with real life. Will Aldous get his just desserts? Will Hugh and Phillippa's kiddies be pretty babies? Stay tuned.
Yes, Hugh and Phillippa are just amazing together - the air practically crackles with their sexual tension. And she is an unusual woman who can certainly kick ass in her own right, and she isn't above using some feminine wiles to get her way. Hugh is also an adorably roguish hunk who discovers that maybe he is a bit more noble than he thought he is. Used to getting things done his way, he is frustrated, bewildered, and maddened by this woman.
My only complain is perhaps the expected concessions to predictability as the story progresses. The love scene takes place under just the circumstances I would expect it to be (veterans of so many woman-spy-seduces-hero-so-that-she-can-then-face-the-villain's-lecherous-antics acts in spy movies like me can spot these things coming miles away). Despite the unusual and fun first half, the later second half progresses just like every other spy/thriller thing would. I am not second-guessing this book, mind you, but it is disappointing to read and realize that the story is taking a path I have ventured through again and again.
Still, The Sun And The Moon is still one of the better books out there. Its refreshingly interesting main characters and a suspense that blends well with the romance sure elevate it above the current deluge of mediocre books swamping the bookstores.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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