Saturday, 27 September 2014

Review: The Red Wolf's Prize by Regan Walker



The Red Wolf's Prize
Author: Regan Walker
Release Date: 1 October 2014

HE WOULD NOT BE DENIED HIS PRIZE

Sir Renaud de Pierrepont, the Norman knight known as the Red Wolf for the beast he slayed with his bare hands, hoped to gain lands with his sword. A year after the Conquest, King William rewards his favored knight with Talisand, the lands of an English thegn slain at Hastings, and orders him to wed the heiress that goes with them, Lady Serena.

SHE WOULD LOVE HIM AGAINST HER WILL

Serena wants nothing to do with the fierce warrior to whom she has been unwillingly given, the knight who may have killed her father. When she learns the Red Wolf is coming to claim her, she dyes her flaxen hair brown and flees, disguised as a servant, determined to one day regain her lands. But her escape goes awry and she is brought back to live among her people, though not unnoticed by the new Norman lord.

Deprived of his promised bride, the Red Wolf turns his attention to the comely servant girl hoping to woo her to his bed. But the wench resists, claiming she hates all Normans.

As the passion between them rises, Serena wonders, can she deny the Norman her body? Or her heart?



Review


Serena is certainly a fierce Saxon lady. She's determined that she won't be cowed by the Norman impostors and wants to protect as many of her people as she can from the cruel, pillaging Normans who come to claim ownership of her home. Even when it becomes apparent that the Normans who arrive are not cruel or brutal, as she feared, she still defies the will of the King by posing as a servant to avoid marrying the new Lord of Talisand. I definitely admired Serena's spirit and will. When she starts to admire, and even care for, the Red Wolf she becomes confused and torn between her warring loyalties. I could well understand why she was so torn, but at the same time the bitterness she holds onto about the Norman invasion does tend to get a bit repetitive after a while. Nevertheless, Serena proves herself to be a very worthy heroine!

Renaud, the Red Wolf, is just what you want a hero from medieval times. He's a fierce and strong warrior who has gained favour with the King through the strength of his sword and his loyalty. He is also utterly honourable and makes sure that the men who follow him also adhere to his honourable standards. And I also loved how patient he tried to be with Serena, even when she pushes him and most men of the era would have just claimed what they consider rightfully theirs.

Eventually Serena realises the good she can still do for Talisand at the side of her Norman lord, and gives in to the desire she feels to stay with Renaud. Serena and Renaud may have conflicting loyalties, but together their love overcomes that divide.

Regan Walker has certainly done her homework. The history woven through the story was very interesting and well researched without throwing too much information at you as some historical romances can do. The conflict between the Normans and Saxons, as William the Conqueror made his mark on England, provided the perfect back story for our hero and heroine.
Overall The Red Wolf's Prize is a thoroughly enjoyable medieval romance, and I'm intrigued to see if some of the secondary characters mentioned will have their own stories to come- particularly Steinar, Serena's brother.

*I received a review copy from the author for my honest opinion. Thank you!

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