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    Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory
  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 29th, 2009

margaret_malloryReviewed by Buffie Johnson
Rating:  4.25 stars
Publisher:  Grand Central
Release Date:  July 2009

I am a romance reader who loves debut novels.  I think the reason I enjoy debuts so much is because of the possibility of finding a new author to follow.  As you all know, medievals are my first loves in the romance novel world, so when I had the chance to read Margaret Mallory’s debut novel, I grabbed the book with both hands.

On the eve of her wedding to a man she neither likes nor admires, Lady Mary Catherine sneaks into the stables to saddle up her horse and enjoy her last hour as a free woman.  But what Catherine does not expect to find is a shadow lurking in the stables.  Confronted by a stranger, Catherine does what every 16 year old girl in the 1400s would do . .  . pulls a blade on the stranger and threatens his life.  Amused by the young girl’s response to him, the young knight tells Catherine that he will ride along with her to insure her safety.   Catherine reluctantly agrees and the two share a memorable, yet innocent, few hours together.

Five years have passed since her wedding day and Catherine cannot believe she has survived the torturous abuse of her husband, Lord Rayburn.  But if her husband finds out she is the one who alerted the King of her husband’s involvement with the Welsh rebels and the movements of the rebel forces before the King’s men can capture him for treason, Lady Catherine may not face another sunrise.  Summoned to the gate of her castle, Catherine is nervous to find several of the King’s men waiting.  Upon receiving the news that her abusive husband was caught and killed, Catherine drops to her knees and cries her praises to God.   But her jubilant celebration is quickly squashed as she is told the King has given her now dead husband’s title and all his property to the man who defeated her husband in battle that very day, Sir William FitzAlan.  By the King’s edict, Catherine has two choices.  Marry Sir FitzAlan or be taken from her home and her son and placed in the Tower.

Sir William FitzAlan is one of the King’s men.  He is a knight with no home, no family (that he likes anyway), and no land.  He is an honest man among the throngs of dishonest ones.  After dispensing with a traitor to the crown, William is awarded Ross Castle and all of its land.  Being a man who hates to see women punished, William agrees to marry the Lady of Ross Castle without seeing her first.  As Catherine stands at the gate while Father Whitefield explains the King’s messages to her, William is shocked to silence when he discovers Catherine is the young woman he spent an innocent evening with several years ago.  The woman he could never get out of his head or his heart.  And now she is to be his wife.

Catherine and William have a long road ahead of them.   Both must learn to trust the other with their heart and their body.   William yearns to show Catherine the pleasures of the marriage bed, but must do so with a gentle hand as her experience with her mentally and physically abusive spouse has scarred her in more than one way.   Catherine wants William to trust her above anyone else, even though he has burned by women in the past.  Trust is a hard thing to earn as it doesn’t come quickly or easily.

This is a fabulous debut novel.  Margaret Mallory does a masterful job of focusing on the relationship of the hero and heroine while still having an underlying theme of treason, intrigue, and secrets which are woven intricately throughout the novel but yet never overpowering the love story.   Mallory also does a wonderful job of writing the mothering feelings of Catherine.  She is spot on with the descriptions of a mother’s love and the thoughts of a mother.   Several times I found myself shaking my head in agreement with the words on the page.

I am very happy to learn that Margaret Mallory is writing two more books in the All The King’s Men series.  I can’t wait to read about the secondary characters from this book as many of them will make excellent heroes of their own stories.  So if you like medievals and are ready to try a new author, then this is just the book for you!

9 Responses to “Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory”

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  1. KatiDancy
    on Jul 29th, 2009
    @ 1:40 pm

    Oooh! Sounds interesting, Buffie!

    I still wish you’d do a “My Favorite Medievals” post for RNTV. I know I could use your suggestions!

  2. Gannon
    on Jul 29th, 2009
    @ 3:48 pm

    Great review, Buffie! I love medievals, too and discovering a new author. 🙂

  3. PJ
    on Jul 29th, 2009
    @ 4:49 pm

    Great review, Buffie. I have this one in my tbr and am looking forward to reading it. You know how much I love medievals!

  4. orannia
    on Jul 29th, 2009
    @ 11:53 pm

    Ohhh, thank you so much Buffie! This sounds really good, and I’m always on the lookout for a good medieval 🙂

    I was wondering why the King didn’t threaten to send Catherine to a nunnery, but I think this book is set later that what I was thinking at the time 🙂

    still wish you’d do a “My Favorite Medievals” post for RNTV. I know I could use your suggestions!

    I second that. I bet your list would be amazing!

  5. Buffie
    on Jul 30th, 2009
    @ 7:26 am

    Thanks everyone!

    Kati — good idea. I’ll have to ponder that 🙂

    Orannia — There was no mention of the King sending Catherine to a nunnery. The other choices he gave her was to marry William or be send to the Tower. I personally believe that the King might have wondered about Catherine’s complete loyalty to the crown since her husband had been caught fighting with the rebel forces. If you pick this one up, please let me know what you think of it.

  6. Kelly
    on Jul 30th, 2009
    @ 9:31 am

    Wow, this one sounds great too. From PJ’s review, I HAD to go out and buy The Goddess of the Hunt. Now, I’ll have to chase down a copy of Knight of Desire too. After a bit of a lapse in good reading material, I’m excited to try some new authors. Thanks for the wonderful reviews and suggestions!

  7. Buffie
    on Jul 30th, 2009
    @ 12:11 pm

    Kelly, I just love finding new authors too. Especially when I know they have other novels coming out. I’m really looking forward to the next one in this series.

  8. Margaret Mallory
    on Jul 30th, 2009
    @ 3:07 pm

    Buffie, thank you for the lovely review! I am so glad the “mother feelings” rang true for you. (I made myself cry writing some of them.) You may be interested in knowing that Catherine’s son, Jamie, is in all three books. He’s a teenager in my next book, Knight of Pleasure, and the hero of Knight of Passion, which I’m working on now. That’s been very fun for me.
    And, by the way, someone does get sent to a nunnery in the third book. 😉


    Margaret Mallory
    Knight of Desire-Available Now
    Knight of Pleasure-Dec 2009
    Knight of Passion-June 2010

  9. Buffie
    on Jul 30th, 2009
    @ 3:28 pm

    Margaret!!! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. As you can tell I really enjoyed your book. And I am so happy to have found another medieval author to follow. YAY that Jamie is in all three books. That little boy tugged at my heart. I can’t wait for Knight of Pleasure.

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