Swords and Shields (Reign of the House of de Winter)

Le Veque

MEDIEVAL:  Following his northern quest with Cortez de Bretagne, Sir Drake de Winter retreats to London, where his heroic actions result in an unwanted bride as a reward. Even though the marriage should be a beneficial alliance, his wife, Lady Elizaveta, appears to be a bit of handful even before the wedding.

“Swords and Shields” starts out slowly with eighty-nine pages leading up to the eventual marriage that was spoken about on page one. The arranged marriage, while unoriginal, has an added twist because Elizaveta’s grandmother wants her to be a Scottish spy as a married lady. 

Ms. LeVeque creates a vivid historical backdrop drawing on textures, scents, and sounds of the period. Internal and external conflicts are evident in Elizaveta who finds herself torn between family loyalty and growing affection for Drake. Elizaveta’s behavior is erratic from throwing tantrums about being married, then reconciling herself, and ready to do the grandmother’s bidding. It is difficult to feel much sympathy since arranged marriages were normal at that time. While there is much talk about Drake and Elizaveta marrying, they only meet about a third into the book, then marry. The chemistry between them is non-existent at first, but improves over time. This romance novel should please historical romance fans with its historical detail and numerous handsome de Winter brothers. 

Morgan Stamm