Title: The Templar’s Seduction
Author: Mary Reed McCall
Review number: 53
Genre: Romance, Medieval
Stand Alone/ Series: It is book three of a series called The Templar Knights. I only read this one and had no problems following the story.
Summary: Only a lie will save his life . . .
Sentenced to the gallows for trying to sell the treasures of the Knights Templar, Sir Alexander de Ashby has one chance for survival. The scoundrel must impersonate the late Earl of Marston, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance, and infiltrate the lord’s border castle to earn his reprieve. But first he must convince the earl’s beautiful Scottish bride that his rightful place is in her bed.
But only love can save his soul.
Relieved that the story of her long-absent husband’s death was false–and enticed by a wild, sensuous side of him she had never experienced before–Lady Elizabeth cautiously welcomes “the earl” back into her heart, unaware that the breathtaking imposter intends to vanish once his mission is complete. But escape may be impossible even after his secret is revealed. For now Alexander burns for the proud, remarkable lady…and desires nothing more than to live–and die, if he must–for a glorious love born of deception and sin.
Why did I read the book: KristieJ lists it as one of her top 10 reads of 2007.
Lady Elizabeth of Selkirk is a capable young woman who has kept wannabe invaders to her castle at bay in the four years that her husband was captured. She is now relieved that he has returned as the burden of taking care of things is to be taken from her shoulders. But she can tell that something is not quite right with him….is he truly her husband?
The plot reminded me of the movie Sommersby with Richard Gere and Jodie Foster but with an interesting twist. The man that went away in this case, was a loving, honorable husband with whom Elizabeth had a good life (even good sex) .The man that came back was a rascal. Alex is not the run of the mill honorable hero – he is someone who had abandoned a pregnant lover in his youth, who had joined the Knights Templar but never kept his vows – someone who was out for himself : dishonest , with no sense of conviction, who followed whichever way was the least complicated. God only knows how he has managed to have such good friends as the ones he made amongst the Templars – one guesses that all that warring together and protecting each other’s backs served some purpose.
Alex has indeed a long way to go in his redemption – and it all starts with his increasing sense of guilt in deceiving Lady Elizabeth – a woman who is so spirited, practical and passionate that he can’t help but to fall in love with her. And it is only then that he starts to develop a sense of honor and considers doing the Right Thing. And the right thing is to tell her the truth and hope for the best. For the first time in his life, he chose the difficult path.
The game of seduction and the banter between Alex and Elizabeth was fun to read and their growing love and the sense of impeding doom to their story kept me guessing how things were going to be solved. Elizabeth was a great heroine, one that was not so easily duped and whose reaction to the truth was not one of a TSTL woman. I quite liked that.
This was a nice and enjoyable read but ultimately, nothing to write home about. Readers who like Medieval romance will probably enjoy it.
Notable quotes /Parts: I liked the parts where Alex became increasingly aware of his intense feelings for Elizabeth. How he tried to keep her away but couldn’t and how he was engulfed by the long lost sense of guilt and his reacquainting with these feelings was both powerful and frightening. For example:
“And as if that wasn’t shocking enough, he’d also realized that without bribery or coercion of any kind , he would be willing to lay down his life freely for someone other than himself. For her.
It was staggering. It meant that somewhere inside the hollow, selfish shell of a man that he’d thought himself to be, he wasn’t entirely bad. He could taste redemption without pronouncing it bitter. “
Verdict: Enjoyable yet not the best medieval ever.
Rating: 6, good.
Reading next: To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt