I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Winter of Solace by Kathryn Le Veque
Series: The Executioner Knights #5
Length: 352 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Caius d'Avignon, the knight known as The Britannia Viper, finds himself on the opposite side of William Marshal... and the Executioner Knights are caught in the middle...
Welcome to another Executioner Knights' tale!
When Caius d’Avignon is sent north at the request of a cousin of William Marshal to help in a dispute between neighbors, Caius couldn’t have imagined how his life would change.
Caius is one of the Marshal’s premier knights, a man who served in The Levant with many of the Marshal’s agents, but he had one distinct difference – he’d been branded The Britannia Viper by the Saracen commanders for his hard strike. There is no one fiercer in battle. Therefore, William Marshal has great confidence that Caius will solve the situation – if not by diplomacy, then by the sword.
But Caius is caught off-guard by the situation when he arrives. The Marshal’s cousin is an unscrupulous and cruel man who has all but decimated his neighbors and demands they be destroyed. When Caius goes to speak to the neighbors to demand their unconditional surrender, the first thing he sees is a woman of astounding beauty.
Emelisse de Thorington is that woman.
Caius is drawn into the feud whether or not he wants to be. He comes to discover that the Marshal’s cousin is wicked and has harassed a noble family for years while telling William Marshal something quite different. The man is a thief and a liar.
But Caius can’t tell the Marshal that without jeopardizing his relationship with the man. There’s also the not-so-small fact that he’s fallen in love with the strong but battered Emelisse.
Will the career knight choose love over his career?
Find out in yet another exciting Executioner Knights adventure!
This story is everything I love in a historical romance. We have knights, a classic “damsel in distress” trope, and a very obvious, black-and-white villain. It was exactly the escape I needed during a big ol’ social uprising. Give me ALL the strong, broody knights and ALL the “happily ever after”s. Immediately.
Caius d’Avignon is a strong, stalwart knight in the service of the infamous William Marshal. He has a history of fighting with King Richard in The Levant, and is known as The Britannia Viper amongst his compatriots and enemies. Upon hearing of a conflict between his niece’s husband and their neighbor, Marshal sends his most trusted men with his forces to settle the matter once and for all. Little did Cai know how complicated the situation was until he was in the muck of it. Covington de Wrenville turns out to be a greedy, manipulative man, eager to fight tooth-and-nail to gain his neighbor’s lands for its mysterious riches.
Emmilise de Thorington has been captured and abused at the hands of de Wrenville. Her father is dead and the key to the survival of her beloved Hawkstone Castle remains in her hands. She has found no kindness within the walls of Covey de Wrenville’s castel – until she meets his wife. Lady Alice de Wrenville knows her husband only married her for her ties to William Marshal. He has no love for her, or any care for her at all. She knows Covey and his greedy, braggadocious son Marius covet Hawkstone. She also sees and despises his treatment of Lady de Thoringong. After pulling her out of a dungeon and hiding her away, with the help of her paramore Sir Hallum Chadlington.
When Caius arrives and sees the mess de Wrenville has created and meets the beauteous Emmelise, he knows he has to help. What he doesn’t count on are his feelings for this brave beauty, who has been cracked…but not broken.
This was a super sweet story with lots of loooove and some strong, broody men (totes my favorite trope). I like how light the story is. There aren’t too many twisty-turns and the bad guys definitely get their comeuppance. There aren’t many grey areas, either. You don’t really have any good feelings for the antagonists at all. Your heart isn’t broken too badly before it gets put back together and we all live happily ever after. *swoon* This was a sweet romance!