Seduced by a Rogue


To Tame a Renegade

A Taste of Sin

A Touch So Wicked

A Knight’s Honor by Connie Mason
(Leisure, $6.99, R) ISBN 0-8439-5463-9
Mariah of Mildenhall has a sickly, aging husband and no children. She needs to give her husband an heir, or when he dies their home will go to his wicked brother. Mariah’s husband tries repeatedly to get Mariah to take a lover, but Mariah resists the idea of such a sin until Sir Falcon arrives at their castle. After being attacked and injured, stripped and left for dead in the road, Falcon is brought to Mariah for healing. The amnesia he suffers as a result of his injuries causes Falcon to forget his identity, his betrothed, and the purpose of his journey to join her family for their wedding. By the time Falcon regains his memory, he has won Mariah’s heart, and she is carrying his child.

Does this sound familiar? It should. Although it’s the plot of Connie Mason’s medieval romance, A Knight’s Honor, it’s also the plot of various other historical romances. Some are better than others, but unfortunately this book falls at the lower end of that scale.

The heroine, Mariah, is apparently some kind of medieval super-woman. When the villain abducts her son in an attempt to force Mariah to marry the villain’s son, she rides to the rescue and retrieves her son all on her own. She feels deeply responsible for the plight of her servants and villagers under her wicked brother-in-law’s rule when he takes her castle by trickery, and her many schemes to rid herself of his presence always work without fail.

The hero, Falcon, on the other hand, is pretty ineffectual. While Mariah is rescuing her son (several times!), Falcon is either toodling along following a false trail, or in London pursuing another woman, or sending his squire into danger to check out the situation at Mildenhall. He dithers around waiting for the riches that Mariah does not have to fall into his lap, and denies his feelings for far too long in hopes of attaining someone else’s wealth. He’s a disappointment.

The love scenes are pretty passionate and there are a lot of them. Unfortunately many of them occur at the wrong time. It felt as if the recipe called for “x” number of love scenes and they were just tossed into the mix at random. On several occasions they seemed inappropriate and after a while became rote. Falcon also likes to talk during sex and he says the same things over and over. When the reader is skimming over the love scenes something has gone terribly wrong.

Also, there are too many characters with major roles to play. I got so confused at one point between Sir That-Guy and Sir So-And So that I had to flip back a few pages to make sure that Falcon wasn’t having a conversation with a dead man.

As a romance writing veteran, Ms. Mason is obviously skilled. The dialogue, other than the sex-talk, is good and the pace is fast. Regrettably, that is all the praise A Knight’s Honor rates. I advise giving this one a pass and reading one of the many other novels where this plot device is used more successfully.

--Wendy Livingston

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