Catherine Linwood is amongst the favored of Tudor Queen Mary–until her physician father dies mysteriously. She’s distraught, shunned and desperate for answers. Catherine's only ally is Sir Brandon FitzAlan...who is willing to risk his life to protect hers. While the handsome stranger’s courage and wit soon capture her heart, his true allegiance and purpose is uncertain.
Brand is well used to the lies and shadows of court. Yet nothing prepares him for his sizzling attraction to innocent Catherine, or the deadly plot she is tangled in, for her father took a secret to his grave that could tear Catholic England apart. With one chance at salvation, Brand and Catherine begin a cross-country journey that reveals the shocking truth...and a burning passion that could save or destroy them both.
Title: One Forbidden Knight (Novella)| Author: Nicola Davidson | Publisher: Scandalous, an imprint of Entangled | Release Date: October 19, 2015 | Genre: Historical Romance | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4
Catherine and Brand were just so good together that I could not put this book down.
Here’s what’s going on. Catherine was a favorite of Queen Mary until her father, the queen’s physician, dies under mysterious circumstances. Desperate for answers, she turns to her father’s friend Sir Brandon FitzAlan.
Being the bastard of a noble, Brand knows just how much of a viper’s nest the Tudor court can be and there’s no way that he’s leaving Catherine to fend for herself while she searches her answers regarding her father’s death. Although their inquiry has drawn the attention of the Queen’s guards who will stop at nothing to keep the truth from coming to light.
As Brand and Catherine search for answers, their attraction for each other comes to light. Yet the secrets that Brand harbors could cost both of them their necks before they can explore their new found passion.
Okay, so I’m going to be honest. While I really did love this book, it started off a bit slow. It wasn’t until Brand entered the story that it picked up its pace and held my attention.
I really loved Brand. He’s a bit damaged, broody, and surly but, blimey, that man was yummy. He has quite a few secrets ranging from his wife’s mysterious death to his true religion, plus he’s also dealing with being the bastard son of a nobleman who just recently decided to acknowledge Brand as his cousin rather than his son.
Catherine, while I liked her determination, was a tad bit naïve but for this era (Mary Tudor’s reign), it actually worked. She wants answers about her father’s death—and she’s ready and willingly to do what she must to get them—but I don’t think she was really prepared for what she was going to uncover. When Brand enters the picture, she’s more than attracted to him but he’s doing his best to put her off and she’s not going to let him.
The chemistry between Catherine and Brand was rather intense yet Brand, due to his past, was doing everything in his power to stay away from her, which only added to the sexual tension. I also liked that Catherine was the one who initiated their sexual encounters. She may have been a virgin but she knew she wanted Brand and wasn’t going to stop until he finally gave in. And when he finally did give in, it was rather steamy.
The suspense in this book was handled really well and seamlessly woven into the romance as they searched out answers and fled from the guards. While I was fairly certain I knew the ‘who’ and ‘why’, it was still a fun journey to take.
I really liked that this was set near the end of Queen Mary Tudor’s reign and dealt with her phantom pregnancies. It’s an era that really doesn’t pop up in fiction, especially historical romance, often, so it was a nice change. Although there’s one tiny problem that I had. Twice Mary is referred to as ‘Bloody Mary’ and it drove me a bit mad because she never received that moniker until after her death.
While this is a novella, the plot was well rounded, the characters fleshed-out, and the pacing was more or less steady. A few things could have been expounded further to stretch the story out a bit longer or to add more of the suspense aspect, but it wasn’t necessary to get the feel of the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novella. Brand and Catherine were just amazing together. Bits of humor were mixed in with suspense and a steamy romance making it nearly impossible to put down.
If you’re looking for a bit of Tudor intrigue mixed in with a steamy romance, give this novella a go.
Other Tudor Titles by Nicola Davidson
His Forbidden Lady