Fearless men, their allegiance is to one another, to the oppressed, and to the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Sword -- and they must never surrender to the passionate yearnings of their noble hearts.We first met Stryder in Where's My Hero, where he was the target of many a fair maiden who wanted nothing more than to spend time in the arms of one of the greatest knights of their day. This pattern continues in this book, with the lengths that Stryder needs to go to avoid any of the maidens being almost slapstick comedy at times. Whilst Stryder is not averse to the pleasures of the flesh, he is not looking for any kind of commitment, and he most certainly is not looking for a wife.
A Lady of LoveBeautiful, peace-loving Rowena knows that Stryder of Blackmoor is a warrior, and is therefore a man to be shunned.
But something burns in the eyes of this powerful knight that she has never seen in others of his kind: a tenderness, and a need to love and be loved. Yet to enter his world would be madness -- against every principle by which she has lived her life -- so she must resist the yearning that would draw her into his arms.
A Man of WarDuty bound to battle for right, Stryder has never desired the comforts of home and hearth-- until he gazed upon the exquisite face and form of the incomparable Rowena. He dares not succumb to her sensuous charms, for Stryder is a man sworn to know no love. But when treachery and danger threaten, the noble knight must stand as the unsuspecting lady's champion -- though his actions could cost him his honor, his heart. . . and his forbidden dream of happiness.
Lady Rowena is a young heiress who holds for her husband to be a great amount of lands, with key importance to the safety of the crown of Henry and Eleanor. Rowena knows what she wants in a husband - she wants a peace loving troubadour who will sing her ballads of love...and mean them. She would prefer not to marry but if she is going to, she wants more than a marriage for political reasons or convenience. She wants love.
When King Henry sets them up to be married (somewhat implausibly it must be said!) Rowena and Stryder both resist, but when a murderer starts killing people, and attempting to blame Stryder, Rowena proves to be more than just a friend. She also starts to see that beneath the knight there is a man with a good and noble heart who only does what he does so that he can help others.
I liked Stryder...Rowena I wasn't quite so keen on but that's okay. It felt that there was quite a bit of background happening in this book - a lot of setting the scene for future books as well as explaining why Stryder is the way he is and whilst that is fine it did kind of take me away from the book at various points. The various other characters that are introduced are all presented in such a way as to make me want to read their stories. I'm not quite sure how many Brotherhood stories MacGregor is planning to right as she has a LOT of profiles up on the pages on her website!
One thing I can't get my head around is the series order of these books. On this page on the author's website, the reading order for the Brotherhood books is Born in Sin, Taming the Scotsman, Where's My Hero, A Dark Champion and then Return of the Warrior, whilst on this page the order is that the tie in books are Master of Desire then Where's My Hero, and then the actual Brotherhood books are Where's My Hero and then A Dark Champion and Return of the Warrior. So it seems that even the author is even confused about which books are part of the series and which are not!! I guess either way I just have Return of the Warrior to go at this point in time.
Why does that bother me so much....just does!! Okay?? I'm not pedantic about many things but reading a series in order is one of them!