Review of “My Lady’s Favour”, an ABNA 2013 Award Candidate

The setting: Hampshire, England, 1338

The characters: A lonely young woman, trapped by her past and not looking forward to her future; her husband-to-be, who scorns and belittles her, wanting to wed her only for the lands she would have inherited; and the rescuing knight on his sturdy steed, who swoops down and makes everything alright.

EXCEPT!!!!! Elena is not your typical maiden-in-distress, fall-into-a-faint kind of girl. She is adventurous, outspoken, and anything but demure.

Her husband-to-be, Gilbert, is the handsome but horrible son of Baron Humphrey, lord of the castle and Elena’s protector (read that “beneficent jailkeeper). Elena feels that it is her lot in life to have a miserable existence with a man who doesn’t love her.

All of this changes when Richard, Gilbert’s cousin, saves Elena’s life by literally swooping in on his horse. (Actually, she falls out of the ceiling onto him.)

So now the picture changes for Elena. She can’t help but notice Richard, and he has eyes only for her as well. So–will she be the wilting wallflower and stay helplessly attached to Gilbert? Or will she apply her intellect to getting what she wants out of life? At the end of this novelette, the reader leaves Elena to scheme and plan. Who will be her golden knight? Richard? Or possibly herself?

Romance stories are not my usual genre, but this was just so…right. Elena is a girl after my own heart–not taking the put-downs, living her life without giving too much mind to what others think of her.

The author does a fantastic job of creating the world of the 1300s. There isn’t a lot of detail, but enough to get the flavor without disrupting the story. The language used seems very true to the times also. I certainly hope this novelette becomes a full-fledged book. There is a lot to like about it!

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