Seeking temporary shelter in Jaufre's abandoned castle, Winterbourne, she is unprepared for the fierce, angry warrior who returns to confront her. He is a man as rough and unforgiving as the Welsh border lands he rules--and she is as gentle and innocent as a new day. But neither Jaufre's dark heart nor Melyssan's innocent one can resist the love that is their destiny--nor protect them from the danger drawing ever closer...
When Melyssan was 9 years old she was being taunted by boys at a fair due to the fact that she had a crippled foot. Jaufre de Macy came to her rescue and was her knight in shining armor. Melyssan had loved him ever since.
8 years later and he is getting betrothed to her sister. He seems to be a harder man than he was when Melyssan was a child. But little does she know that he is quite taken with her innocence. When Melyssan’s sister spurns Jaufre and high-tails it to the convent Melyssan is very relieved. Unfortunately she is accosted by the king and in an attempt to dissuade his interest she tells him that she is married to Jaufre. The king then has her escorted to Jaufre’s castle. Posing as his wife Melyssan stays at the castle, planning to leave before Jaufre returns. Unfortunately for her she doesn’t and when he returns he tries to “punish” Melyssan by having her continue with her posing.
Eventually Melyssan and Jaufre are married but not until after some severely traumatic events occur. Jaufre is constantly off doing the kings bidding, even though he does not want to any longer. It is a time of great strife in both England and in their personal lives.
This is such a simplified version of what happens in this wonderful book - but if I went on in greater detail it would truly ruin the reading experience for you. It’s an epic story of love won, and the extreme trials and tribulations of the middle ages. Melyssan’s insecurities and Jaufre’s absolute belief that no woman can be trusted, much less loved, makes this a fantastic love story. The coming together of these two people is amazing. What they have to endure, both together and separately is heart-wrenching and horrifying.
I read this book about a year and half ago and absolutely loved it. I have to say I was a little worried to re-read for this challenge for fear that my thoughts on it had been skewed back then for some reason. I’m happy to say that I was absolutely correct in my memories. This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.