Married to a perfect stranger
Reunited with her warrior husband
When Constance inherited her father’s lands she had no choice but to marry cold-hearted Matthew Wintour. He left her for the battlefield without even a wedding night. Five years later Matthew has returned—a valiant knight! But Constance is no longer a frightened girl. And this time she must reach out to discover the honourable man behind the armour and what pleasures await them in the marriage bed…
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
A lovely ‘marriage of convenience’ romance, set in medieval times. The historical setting is perfectly pitched, the time of ‘Robin Hood’ when King John wreaked havoc. There are historical notes from the author, which provide important information about the conventions of the time, and the political climate.
Constance and Mathew married five years earlier, when she was only fourteen, after a brief marriage service, nineteen-year-old Mathew went to fight for King John, in France. His return to claim his bride is a challenging time for both, but despite the awkwardness, there is a spark of attraction that gives them hope for the future for a marriage based on more than land and power.
Against a background of political intrigue, a gentle romance develops between the two strangers, that demonstrates their courage and compassion, for each other and those around them. The historical details and intrigue, give authenticity, and depth to the romantic story. The vividly written characters are in keeping with the historical time period.
Constance and Mathew’s story gives the reader a chance to escape to a time of rebellion and romance.
Extract – Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight Jenni Fletcher
Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight extract – Jenni Fletcher
This extract is taken from very early on in the novel. Constance and Matthew have just been reunited after five years apart (having met once, only briefly, for their wedding) and it hasn’t gone well. Matthew is on the verge of storming out when Constance calls him back.
‘Don’t!’ Constance waited until the very last moment, calling out as he lifted the door handle.
‘Why?’ Her husband looked back over his shoulder, his expression an unmistakable and somewhat intimidating blend of impatience and anger. ‘Was there something else you wished to accuse me of?’
She shook her head, wishing that she could go back and start the interview all over again. As it turned out, she’d guessed his identity correctly the previous evening, but meeting him in person had proven even more difficult than she’d anticipated. It had been hard enough confronting the man who’d usurped her inheritance and banished her from the home that she’d loved, but the sight of the daybed, drawn out from its usual place in the corner and set in the very centre of the room, had made things even worse. With her aunt’s advice still ringing in her ears, she’d felt like a condemned prisoner on her way to the gallows.
His appearance hadn’t helped. He’d looked just as stern as before, albeit less dishevelled in a pristine white tunic, dark breeches and black leather boots instead of the bizarrely pointed shoes the men in her uncle’s household had recently taken to wearing. Clean-shaven, however, his features had looked even sharper and more dangerous, while smiling still seemed beyond him, except for one small attempt which might easily have been mistaken for a grimace. The only softness about him was in his eyes, which seemed to belong in a different face altogether. They were a deep, almost black shade of brown, wide and soulful and fringed with lashes several shades darker than the rest of his blond-and-copper-streaked mane. There was something almost feminine about them, unlike the rest of him, which was undeniably, unequivocally, masculine.
She hadn’t been able to read his expression at first, but the way that he’d scowled as she’d crossed the room had made his feelings abundantly clear. Obviously, he’d been disappointed with his first sight of her, no doubt comparing her unfavourably to her cousins, though he might have tried to hide his reaction a little. Almost the very first words out of his mouth had been about her appearance and then all he’d said was that she’d grown! As if she wasn’t already keenly aware of the fact!
She’d entered the chamber determined to hide her true feelings and be ‘modest and obedient’ like her aunt had told her and then done the exact opposite, answering his questions with retorts and being generally belligerent instead. But how else could she have responded to his behaviour? ‘Modest and obedient’ were all very well, but surely that didn’t mean she had to tolerate disparaging looks and comments? Yes, she might have grown since their last meeting, but she could hardly do anything about that! And, yes, she might have been young when they’d married, but she certainly hadn’t been a child! She’d been more than capable of managing Lacelby! It was what she’d been trained for! Which her husband would have known if he’d actually bothered to speak to her on their wedding day. If he hadn’t just stolen her inheritance and left!
Jenni Fletcher is Scottish by birth but now lives in Yorkshire where she writes Medieval, Roman, Victorian and Regency romance novels. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull University and now teaches Creative Writing at a small university in the north of England. Her favourite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion and her favourite Brontë is Anne. If she had to choose a romantic hero it would be John Thornton, but maybe that’s just because she’s northern.
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