Author: Jill Barnett
Publishing Date: 1997
Lady Clio of Camrose promised her father that she will willingly wed whomever King Henry chooses for her husband. When she is fifteen years old, he selects Merrick de Beaucort. Shortly after the betrothal, Clio’s father dies leaving her a ward of King Henry. She ends up living in a convent while Merrick is warring in the holy land. After six long years, he finally comes to claim his bride.
Lady Clio is a hoot. She is head-strong, proud, wily and mischievous. As a child, if she found herself in a difficult situation, she would create an idea and implement it without a thought for the consequences. Usually, the result of her “wonderful” idea would land her in a world of trouble. As she grows into adulthood, this propensity for trouble follows into her marriage. There are many funny scenes involving Clio’s mischief and Merrick’s reaction to it. Where Clio is free spirited, Merrick is rigid and structured. He is used to carrying heavy responsibilities, such as the lives and well-being of his men at arms. Even though Merrick is frustrated with Clio, he is never cruel to her. Deep down he likes Clio the way she is; faults and all. Barnett does a good job of showing how Merrick and Clio slowly fall in love with each other. Wonderful was a joy to read.
One little gripe I had with the story was one instance where Clio’s life was in danger because of her own foolishness. Merrick never really addresses the seriousness of the situation with her. I felt that this should have been dealt with in some way. This is really a minor grumble, because the ending of the story more than made up for it.
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