Avon, Sep 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1072, Lord Radulf (see THE LILY AND THE SWORD) sends mercenary Gunnar Olafson and his men to check whether the widow Lady of Somerford has joined his enemies. When he arrives Gunnar is surprised to see the land surrounding Somerford Manor thriving especially in light of much of England being wasted since the invasion. He assumes that the Lady of the manor Rose has nothing to do with the golden fields.
Rose knows that she has numerous enemies who covet her land and simply want her out of the way either through legal means of marriage or by treachery. She has rejected several proposals and has kept under control the betrayals through strong leadership and solid land management since her husband died last year. However, when Rose and Gunnar meet sparks fly that quickly turns towards love, but neither trusts the other leaving both vulnerable to her deadliest foes.
THE ROSE AND THE SHIELD is an exciting first decade after the Normandy Invasion romance that provides sub-genre fans with an intriguing look at the transformation through the eyes of a lead protagonists who has seen much of the destructive side of the change. The story line hooks the reader from the start because of Gunnar's unique perspective. Rose is a heroine though a bit too perfect in an age filled with turmoil yet the audience will enjoy this exciting sequel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner