Title: The Gentile Knight (The Norman Conquest #2)
Author: Ashley York
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Length: 246 printed pages
Release Date: March 21, 2015
Source: Review Request
Rating: 3 ½
Heat Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Vashti
Brighit MacNaughton is an obedient daughter following her father's death bed decree that she take her vows and become the virginal bride of Christ. The hired men seeing her to the Priory at Tanshelf are more interested in the building resentment against the English king than her safety. But when the handsome Norman knight offers his protection against the lecherous mercenaries, he sparks her passion with his gentle touch and smoldering looks of desire, reminding her of dreams best forgotten. Can one night with him quench the intense need in her or will it cause the fire to burn out of control?
Peter of Normandy is a trusted knight of King William, sent north to subdue the unrest and rumblings of revolt at York. Giving aid to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he is quickly overcome with the need to possess her. With a body meant for a man's pleasure and an unrelenting stubbornness to follow her father's wishes, he struggles against giving her what she wants if it can only be for one night. Will one night of passion prove to be enough or will it unleash an insatiable need that makes him never want to let her go?
Ashley York has managed to bring forth another tale rife with danger, intrigues, false assumptions, heartache, love yearned for and love fulfilled.
The story initially had a slow start for me, and it took me a few chapters before I could really get connected with the many new and returning characters as well as the twists and turns of the plot. However, the story does pick up when Peter and Brighit meet.
While this can certainly be read as a stand-alone novel, I advise reading book one, in which we are first introduced to Peter. Other characters are also brought into this book and knowing the history and background will certainly help the reader understand the character connections and relationships in this book.
I was quite excited to read Peter's story. He ended up being my favorite character by the end of "the Saxon Bride" and he is still my favorite character at the end of "The Gentile Knight"
This "Gentle Knight" can certainly hold his own. Peter is a seasoned warrior, loyal, a protector, and above all a manly man! Which we certainly love. Yet Peter hasn't had a lot of happiness in his own life. He's been living with rejection, hurt and guilt over situations that he had no control over and couldn't have changed the outcome if he wanted to. Yet he believes he is cursed because of the mistreatment and abuse he has suffered at the hands of his father.
Brighit is obedient to a fault and it was frustrating at times to listen to her rationale, justifying her determination to keep her father's death bed decree that she become a nun. Although I don't know what kind of nun she would have been. She had quite the vivid imagination for one to be so innocent (apparently she'd been watching the sheep mating back on the farm in Eire)
Brighit's early interactions with Peter had me cringing and saying WTFudge was she thinking? I really do hate to give away spoilers, but Brighit's hand collides with Peter's face in what we would call a slap. Yes, she smacked the crap out of Peter's face, I won't say why, but then she attempts to do it a second time. Really Brig? Yet she is too afraid to stand up for herself against that jerk Ivan, she's like one of the sheep being led to the slaughter, just as dumb and quiet as you please. Not very realistic that she finally gets the nerve to stand up to this Giant Warrior but she doesn't open her mouth when little bald Ivan is grabbing her ass every chance he gets.
Aside from Brighit's temporary insanity, I like the interaction and relationship of our H and H. Peter is proud to claim what he wants and what is his!
Mort is another character that we first meet in "The Saxon Bride ". We see a lot more of his real character and nature. He is almost a completely different person altogether than from book one of the series. While he is still somewhat of a pansy and kind of foppish, we get to know that he too is a skilled knight who can hold his own. He even has a wife he adores and kids, who knew. I like the scenes that Mort was in. He was quite funny and made me laugh, but we see that he is also a caring and attentive man.
Some things that I wasn't overly fond of about the book was the ending, it ended rather abruptly, and I felt like I was left hanging. Secondly, the question is never answered or even a reference made to whether or not Brighit was molested while she slept by Ivan and the mercenaries? The idea and suggestion were so strongly implicated that this deserved to be cleared up.
In summary, I loved Peter, and I simply do not know how Mrs. York is going to top him but I look forward to finding out in the 3rd installment "The Irish Warrior"
The Norman Conquest