Merrimon Book Reviews

From Medieval Book Reviews
What A Scoundrel Wants
What A Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty
by Carrie Lofty

A stunning debut medieval romance and a new, passionate insight
into the world surrounding Robin Hood!
Haunted by thoughts of Sherwood Forest, Will Scarlett journeys through Charnwood Forest. Separated from Robin Hood and Marian, the forest is a reminder of happier days and the longtime rift between Robin Hood and his nephew. When a battle between Lord Whitstowe and Roger Carlisle, representative of the Sheriff of Nottingham and Will's superior, breaks out, Will hardly knows which way to turn until he hears the screams of a woman in the background. Protecting her by instinct from Carlisle's men's plans, Will knows not where to go amidst all the plots and double crosses. Will Scarlet turns to the woman as the only witness to the truth, the only witness who might stand in the way of his hanging. For Meg of Kentworth, the lie is easy. She needs protection and if Will Scarlett can help her get there faster, all the better. Blind from an illness, she is determined to save her imprisoned sister Ada. Arrested by Will Scarlett himself, Meg has every reason to hate Will but the closeness brought on by their uneasy pairing sets off sparks of desire in both Meg and Scarlett. Can Will and Meg's growing passion for one another be enough to see them through the dangers of their journeys and even more, set the past aright?

Carrie Lofty's debut medieval romance WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS blazes onto the scene with a new chapter of the Robin Hood tale, a tale that makes this classic come alive like never before with emotion, passionate romance, and suspenseful adventure. With a hero and heroine at cross purposes, the tension between them is palpable in priceless dialogue as the two banter, each standing up to the other. Despite her blindness, Meg is a defiant and brave woman, just the woman to tame the man known as a scoundrel, the man who betrayed Robin Hood. Clever and creative, Meg has the power to heal not only physical wounds but deeper injuries. Torn between families and their love, the passion between them has the power to heal or divide.

Carrie Lofty has a gift for both the action scenes and also vivid descriptive detail that makes one feel the passions and thoughts of her characters. The physical landscape captures the imagination not only by placing the reader right there but also as part of the inner lives of her characters as can be seen in Will Scarlet's relationship to the forest and Meg's relationship to fire. WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS is a sensuous romance, with a passionate, emotional romance as well as sensuous in the action scenes. The sights, the smells, the touch come alive in vivid detail.

One scene in particular towards the end, blew me away with a riveting tension-filled moment, a moment so close to heart-breaking. Carrie Lofty takes the reader right to the edge and then, at just the right moment, with the perfect twist, the romance expands into such a passionate, joyous moment. In the midst of that dynamic edge moment, the author reaches deeper with such insight into her characters and love itself that I fell in love with both Will Scarlet and Meg. WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS is a fine mix of intrigue, action and emotional depth. The transformation in the hero and the heroine as they love one another is just beautiful. Carrie Lofty captures in fiction and precise imagery the essence of a good man. Even though Will Scarlet is very much a scoundrel bad boy, in some ways, in love, he has a self-presence to put Meg's interest above what is expedient, to trust her and protect her without diminishing her. Although set in distant times, WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS captures in imagery, psychological depth and imagination, a timeless truth in the way only fiction can. WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS is an exciting book --- a book to read slowly in order to savor in all its details. Keep a hanky for the ending --- not for tears of pain but joyful tears.

Publisher: Kensington Zebra (December 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Medieval Book Reviews
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