Templar Prize – Deanna Ashford
This is the first book by this author that I’ve read, and also the first erotic book I’ve read set in this particular era – 1191 to be precise. Deanna Ashford’s Templar Prize is set during the Holy War. The main character, Edwina de Moreville is recently widowed from her tyrant of a husband. Now freed from a loveless and abusive marriage, she is travelling with Richard the Lionheart, whose right-hand man, Stephen the Comte de Chalais, happens to be Edwina’s first and only love. They are soon reunited and secretly reignite their passion, meeting wherever and whenever they can. They wish to marry as soon as possible and cement what has been denied them so long, but they must wait until the official mourning period for Edwina’s husband is over. But it seems that fate intends to keep them apart a little longer.
Stephen is busy on various missions for his King and he and Edwina have little time to spend together, but they look forward to the end of the war and the chance to be together properly. In the meantime, however, they suffer storms at sea, kidnap and imprisonment. Circumstances and enemies conspire to keep them apart – until eventually Edwina is rescued from a powerful Saracen’s harem and returned to the King, only to be told Stephen is dead. Distraught, in her weakened state she is bullied into a marriage she doesn’t want. The only question is – will Stephen evade his captors and stop the ceremony in time?
I thought the plot was really interesting, a little different to the more modern-day Black Lace novels I’ve read of late, and a welcome change. I thought the sex scenes were really arousing and definitely made you wish you were in on the action! However, they were a little few and far between for my liking – the romping was so hot I wanted to read more of it! Definitely a very sexy book which I’d recommend to others, though the ending was a bit of an anti-climax.
Gotta love the cover of the book too – he could be my knight in shining armour any day!