A Family for Carter Jones

Father for Keeps

Jeb Hunter's Bride

Lord of Lyonsbridge

The Rogue

Lady of Lyonsbridge
by Ana Seymour
(Harl Hist. #529, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-29120-5
Fans of Lord of Lyonsbridge might not appreciate a sequel that casts their beloved hero and heroine in the over-eighties category, but their grandson Thomas turns out to have a pretty good story of his own.

Thomas Brand, heir to the Lyonsbridge estate, is working in secret under the surname Havilland to raise the funds that will free King Richard the Lionheart from his prison overseas. It's important to Thomas and the nobles that are aiding him to get the king back to England as soon as possible because none of them care for the way Prince John (Lackland) is running the country in Richard's absence. When Thomas travels to Sherborne Castle with the hopes of securing more money for his efforts, he falls head over heels in love with Lady Alyce Sherborne's maid, Rose. Little does Thomas realize at the time that Rose is actually none other than Lady Alyce herself and she's in disguise because Alyce has an agenda of her own...

Lady Alyce Sherborne is alone in the world, save for her longtime caregiver Letty. After her father died a year past, the sadistic Baron Dunstan used his connection to Prince John to secure a betrothal to her. With King Richard gone, Alyce has no one to turn over the illegal proclamation for her and she can't afford to pay the tax to the prince that would free her to remain independent of a husband. Alyce is, of course, mortified by Dunstan and determines never to marry him. When a traveling knight named Sir Thomas Havilland passes through Sherborne Castle, sweeps her off of her feet, and offers his aid to end the sham betrothal, Alyce knows where her heart now lies...

Lady of Lyonsbridge is basically a good story. The plot is engaging, the dialogue is entertaining, and the book moves right along at a perfect pace. The only aspect of the novel that is trying to the nerves is that the heroine leaves much to be desired in the way of a leading lady. Lady Alyce is one of those cliché medieval protagonists that is far too stubborn for her own good and as a consequence she is forever embroiling herself in stupid schemes that end up getting her into trouble. In a few words, the heroine is exasperation personified.

Other than Lady Alyce's frustratingly juvenile behavior, Lady of Lyonsbridge is an enjoyable read. If you're a reader that doesn't tend to get bothered by quirks in the heroine's nature such as those described above, chances are you will find Ana Seymour's latest read quite entertaining.

--Tina Engler

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