knight of passion book coverReviewed by Rachel Mann

The thing I probably enjoyed most about Margaret Mallory’s Knight of Passion was the way she sprinkled real historical figures into the action. When you hear a name like “Owen Tudor,” you know you’re coming across a historic power player. Sadly, Owen is a minor character, and even though he seems handsome and good-humored, he didn’t appear in the text as much as might be desired. (Mallory helpfully provides a historic note at the end of the book, though, so it’s possible to find out what happened to him in real life.)

Overall, Mallory made it easy for her readers to pick up a few incidental facts about this historic period while also providing them with the entertaining story of Jamie and Linnet. The book’s characters are modern, though, despite their medieval setting; Linnet’s a successful businesswoman on a quest to salvage her family’s honor. Jamie… well, at first Jamie is reluctant for his wife to work outside the home and insists she put her family and relationship above old grudges. Maybe he’s not that modern after all.

One note of caution for more delicate readers: this book’s hero and heroine get busy. A lot. It’s a lot even by the standards of the genre. They start on page one and, even when they’re furious with each other, they can’t keep their hands to themselves. Plenty of conflicts threaten to derail their love affair: just in case Jamie and Linnet’s relationship didn’t put them in enough turmoil, their lives are thrown into jeopardy when Linnet inadvertently comes across a bad magic cult. While that section is surprisingly frightening, in fine thriller style (it’s a bit graphic, too), there aren’t too many surprises. And there shouldn’t be–that’s not what these kinds of books are about. Achieving lasting true love is always the real theme at hand, and Jamie and Linnet have a great connection. The question isn’t whether they’ll make it out alive, it’s whether they’ll get together, and the reader hopes they do.

Postscript: For those who have read the first two books in Mallory’s Knight of… series, you might see some familiar faces, like James’ mother and uncle. For those new to her series (as I was), you’ll encounter a few allusions to characters’ backstories that, while intriguing, aren’t fully revealed in this book–you have to read Mallory’s first two books to find out what happened to those lords and ladies.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Rachel, who has a Ph.D. in English, is a freelance writer/editor and a voracious reader. You can talk to her about books at http://twitter.com/writehandmann.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Hachette Book Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.