Avon, Oct 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
In the middle of the twelfth century, six times in the recent past, soldiers conquered her castle, followed by the leader trying to force Lady Talia into marriage. However, the last victor came a bit to close to the alter as she only escaped holy matrimony when Alexander de Monteneau interrupted the ceremony as the wannabe groom flees.
Alex needs to prove to King Stephen that he is not just a loyal supporter, but can also manage an estate by turning this rundown keep around before giving it to another lord to run along with marriage to Talia. Alex's ambition is much greater than this land and its dowry poor lady that is until he falls in love with his intelligent, but belligerent hostess. However, though Talia reciprocates Alex's feelings, her work on keeping her people permanently safe from the constant conquerors that seem to never stop coming is more important to her than her heart's yearning.
THE BRIDE BED is an exciting medieval romance that shows the impact of the constant back and forth state of war had on civilians, but could have been any era as the medieval period never focuses into view. Talia is a nasty individual, but her motives are solid and pure so it is difficult not to admire her courage. Alex feels like he belongs to a past century as a kind person who believes conquering is more than just his job, it is his right. Sub-genre fans will enjoy the relationship war that highlights Linda Needham's historical romance.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner