His Conquest
by Diana Cosby
(Zebra, $5.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-1-4201-0991-7
**
His Conquest is an historical romance set in medieval times in Scotland. What I hoped would be an appealing and adventurous story missed the mark

Linet Dancort has been promised to the neighbor earl by her brother Fulke in an effort to gain more power. Fulke is part of King Edwardís efforts to overtake Scotland and Linet wants nothing to do with it. She wishes to escape to her motherís clan in the Highlands, but she canít do it alone.

Seathan MacGruder is the Earl of Grey and a Scottish rebel high in William Wallaceís ranks. He is currently being held prisoner at Breac Castle by Fulke Dancourt, the Viscount of Tearlach. To his surprise, a small woman enters his cell and announces that she is there to set him free. Seathan is sure this is a trap, but all she asks in return for his release is to be escorted to the Highlands. He is scheduled to be killed in the morning, so he has nothing to lose and decides to make the deal with her.

After using secret tunnels and escaping the search party already looking for them, Linet and Seathan make it out of Breac Castle. Seathan needs rest for he is greatly injured from his imprisonment, but they are on the run and Linet does everything she can to help keep him going. After hours of travel, they make it to a secret cave where they are finally able to rest. Linet and Seathan are both attracted to each other, but both are trying to keep their priorities straight. Linet needs to get to her motherís clan in the Highlands and Seathan needs to find his brothers and report to William Wallace to relay the critical information he learned prior to being captured.

His Conquest is not what I had hoped. The story jumps right into the romance without giving much character development, which leads to several uncomfortable moments for the reader. Their first kiss, just moments after they meet, has Linet already thinking about love. Really??

Many parts of the plot are just not believable. Seathen is a warrior, a knight, but he sure is weak. When he first escapes with Linet, the story describes an injured Seathan about to pass out and unable to go on. He seems to be near death, but once Linet can tend to his wounds, it reveals a shallow cut. And even with that Ė the injury continues to be a problem and a focus in the story line.

The writing is also disjointed. The point of view changes from time to time without a break to indicate such. This makes the story hard to follow and I had to re-read several sections in order to follow what was going on. There is also more description than necessary and I found myself bored at times waiting for more dialogue or a change in scene.

I can tell Diana Cosby loves this time period. Iím not as familiar with medieval history, but this book taught me a lot. At times, I did enjoy those parts but the amount of history included is a distraction from the plot. This book is fiction, but felt like a lightweight textbook at the same time.

His Conquest needed less history, more substance, and less disjointed writing I was disappointed in this one.

--Nichole Howell


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