Bantam, $5.50, ISBN 0-553-58011-6
Historical Romance, 2000
Was it only January 1999 when Sandra Lee released her debut effort Love at First Sight? It seems centuries ago. Falling for Her is actually a prequel to that one, as it tells the story of how a married couple in the previous book meet and get married.
Lady Roscelyn is praying for strength not to murder her new husband Cerdic. The moron turns out to be an ugly, brutish lout who prefers her nine-year old sister to her and doesn’t seem to care whether the latter is willing or not. But deliverance comes in a form that – well, gone a little awry. Actually, a little is an understatement. Norman knight Verdin de Brionne storms the castle barely a day after the marriage, kills every male family member of Roscelyn and her hubby, and takes over as overlord.
King William, grateful, hands over Roscelyn – a Saxon maid – to his faithful knight. Roscelyn has a secret document that will aid her in her quest to make England the Saxons’ again, but her loyalties start to waffle when she gets a good look at her new hubby naked.
Falling for Her retains the bawdy, colorful humor that characterizes the author’s previous effort, and makeit stand out from the glut of medieval romances out there. There are lines that make me grin and even laugh. It’s fun.
But – this is a big but – there is a problem – Varian. Like the hero of the previous book, Varian is a loud, bad-tempered bull rampaging around the castle grounds, shouting and making hasty judgements, fie to innocent roadkill happened to get caught in his stampede. A lot of unnecessary comedic errors arise from his thick-headed reluctance to trust his new wife and his tendency to misjudge her at the slightest tendency. It says a lot about the author’s ability that while I do grit my teeth once or twice, I still can say I pretty much like this book at the end.
This one has wit, character, and feel-good stamped all over it. It’s just too bad the control freak with barely-restrained temper really creeps me out, almost ruining whatever enjoyment I get from this one.