To Tempt A Knight
by Geri Russell
(Leisure, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-8439-6259-8
To Tempt A Knight is an adventure story, with a wonderful hero and a few great qualities.†Unfortunately, as the story unfolded I lost interest as the epic tale continued on.

Sir William Keith is indisputably our hero: tall, strong and brave.†William had a good childhood, beloved by his parents until one day his uncle murdered them so he could take over the castle, the staff, and their life.†William managed to escape and was taken in by the Brotherhood of the Scottish Templars.†At first, he studied with them until he made the decision to take his vows.†While William has taken vows, he is a warrior who fights on behalf of the Templars, and has experienced profound grief after losing battles.

Now, the Templars are in real trouble.†A Frenchman named Pierre De la Roche has gained support in Scotland and heís hunting the Templars and burning them at the stake as heretics, and De la Roche is enjoying his success.†William comes to the rescue of his brother Peter, too late, at the opening of the story.†De la Roche tells William that he intends to hunt the Templars to extinction and find the Spear of Destiny, a mythical artifact that the Templars have kept hidden for years.†It is said that the Spear gives superhuman powers to its master, and De la Roche lusts for power and control.

William heads to Sir John Fraserís home, for he is the keeper of the Templar treasure.†Heís too late, as the De la Roche has taken Sir John.†Unknowingly, De La Roche has left Johnís daughter Siobhan behind, and she has the map to the Spear and the knowledge to find it.†Siobhan cannot be sure that she can trust William, but she feels like she has no other choice.†She desperately hopes that she can retrieve her father once she and William have located the Spear.

William and Siobhan head off on a grand adventure to find the Templarsí hidden treasure. Neither of them have much trust in the other and they have an inexplicably strong attraction, given Williamís vow of chastity and Siobhanís sheltered life.†They must find the Spear, defeat the bad guys, save Sir John, reunite the Templars, resolve Williamís childhood betrayal by his uncle, and find a way to fall in love despite their very serious differences.†Thatís a tall order, even for an adventure story.†

To Tempt A Knight has some good and bad points, and I really couldnít decide whether I liked the story while I read it.†The good points were the well-written adventure scenes, and the likeable hero.†There was a series of actions sequences that held my attention, and some promising plot twists that made my interest deepen as the plot developed.†William Keith is a unique kind of hero, being a monk and a tragic figure.†While he started out orphaned and alone, he has trained himself to be the kind of man that anyone would respect.†Williamís inner struggle between his vows and his desire to be with Siobhan make him especially compelling.†I was disappointed when he gave in to his feelings, because his honorable character was one of the things that made him so likeable.

I didnít like Siobhanís character; she seems to be a fairly silly, sheltered girl.†Maybe William is blinded by her pretty face, because there does not seem to be much else to recommend her.†Thereís a scene near the beginning where itís written that Siobhan has just lost her home and her father, sheís alone on an uncertain quest with William, a man she doesnít trust, and she laughs out loud for pure joy, knowing that she has nothing to be happy about.†Thatís just pure silliness.

While I said that there were some great action scenes and plot hooks in To Tempt a Knight, the story seemed too dry but certainly long enough to be epic.†The interest-grabbing moments are too few and far between to truly keep the reader into the story.

If you are a fan of Gerri Russellís previous books, you may be pleased by this latest offering if you are willing to overlook the bland moments and the heroine acting like a twit. I canít truly recommend To Tempt A Knight without warning you of its pitfalls. †

--Amy Wroblewsky

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