Avon, Feb 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
Though bandits killed his father and stepsisters, Josce FitzBaldwin blames the Knabwell Sheriff Reiner du Hommet for the dastardly deed. His stepmother Lady Beatrice Haydon obtains a vow of vengeance from the grieving and guilty feeling Josce. Josce and Beatrice ride into Knabwell Castle to ostensibly bring the bodies home, but really seeking revenge. Reiner invites Josce to stay at the castle to the shock of his daughter Elianne. Even more stunning Josce accepts the invitation.
Josce and Elianne are attracted to one another, but he does not trust the daughter of the man who he believes killed his sire while she mistrusts any male after the schemes where her father always used her as a disposable pawn. Josce quickly pushes marriage between them but is he wedding his enemy's daughter out of a need for vengeance or has somehow love entered the relationship of these star-crossed lovers? That is the question as far as Elianne is concerned because she knows she loves Josce.
Medieval romance fans wanting a complete feel for the era will find MY LADY'S TEMPTATION as the right read. The story line is filled with vivid descriptions of the period especially the role of single women as pawns to be used, misused, and discarded as necessary. Josce is a tormented antihero struggling between his vow to his stepmother and his split feelings of wanting to hate and love the offspring of the sheriff. Denise Hampton provides her audience with a darker but fuller picture that those medieval aficionados who demand total realism will relish.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner