Merrimon Book Reviews

A Seal of the Knights Templar, with their famous image of two knights on a single horse, a symbol of their early poverty. The order was active from 1119 to 1314.

Medieval Trobaritz:
An example of the Trobaritz (women troubadors), portrait of Comtessa de Dia

From Medieval Book Reviews
Templar Knight, Forbidden Bride
Templar Knight, Forbidden Bride by Lynna Banning
by Lynna Banning

Suspenseful, exotic, action-packed with moments of descriptive brilliance!

As a Knight Templar, Reynaud has sworn a vow of chastity. He is devoted to God and yet, battle weary from the Crusades, he has seen enough of a senseless war that appears to be more a land grab pitting Christian against Christian. Now back in the Emir of Granada, he catches Leonor out at night. Clearly, she does not know her place as a woman! When he promises her father to protect her, Reynaud is torn between his attraction to her and his secret mission as a Templar, either one could throw him in peril of his life. Reynaud and Leonore have plans they do not share with the other --- but in one moment, she says words that will turn their lives upside down, increasing the danger several fold. Can these two escape with their lives and find love?

Leonor is an intelligent romance heroine, a woman not afraid to take matters into her own hands in a culture that places restrictions on women. When challenged by a man as conservative as Reynaud, she does not cower but rather sees to the integrity of her business. Reynaud is a Knight Templar, sworn to absolute values whether it be his Templar vows or his view of women's place in the world. At heart, however, he has seen enough warfare, greed and corruption to question the absolutes. Leonor has a few surprises that might complicate his secret mission and open his heart. Lynna Banning creates several nice twists in this medieval romance as Reynaud's vow to protect her collides with his Templar mission.

Lynna Banning gives readers a look into the Arabic culture during the Middle Ages from the view of a half-Arabic crusader, adding a more exotic yet moving portrait of the medieval world with its Moors and the Saracens and the different cultures. I have read countless saints' lives that are vehemently anti-Saracen but really give no feel for the Saracens themselves, so for me, I very much appreciated a modern author giving new insights through the inner conflicts of her characters. Within TEMPLAR KNIGHT, FORBIDDEN BRIDE, Lynna Banning descriptions and plot set a geography that readers can easily visualize alongside the influences between Spain and France on the landscapes during the characters' journey. TEMPLAR KNIGHT, FORBIDDEN BRIDE creates an atmosphere of of intrigue as spies and codes enter the picture. The action packed plot of TEMPLAR KNIGHT, FORBIDDEN BRIDE creates a fast read with more action than many medieval romances adding an exciting variety within the genre. Lynna Banning's TEMPLAR KNIGHT, FORBIDDEN BRIDE combines thrilling emotional drama with moments of brilliant descriptive detail. A highly recommended medieval romance read!

Publisher: Harlequin Historical (September 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Medieval Book Reviews
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