Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Novice Bride - Carol Townend

Title: The Novice Bride

Author: Carol Townend

Line: Historical

Release month: UK - March 2008/USA - August 2007

The S-Factor: Sweet



As a novice, Lady Cecily of Fulford’s knowledge of men is nonexistent. But when tragic news bids her home immediately, her only means of escape from the convent is to brazenly offer herself to the a bride!

With her fate now in the hands of her husband, Sir Adam Wymark, she battles to protect her family. Suspicions and betrayal are rife, yet their convenient marriage offers Cecily much more than comfort in her knight’s arms...


Set during the Norman Conquest, The Novice Bride takes a familiar conceit – having as its hero one of the invaders and its heroine a Saxon. This type of set up is a popular one as conflict between the characters is inevitable from the word go, and in some instances, authors using this type of plot let the stories write themselves. Not so Carol Townend! The tale that plays out in The Novice Bride is an utterly engaging one, and the author’s skill is so great that she effortlessly weaves the backdrop and central story together in such a way that the reader becomes enveloped in her historical world.

Indeed, it was the historical background that I found most enthralling in this story. The research is so thorough that everything seems real and authentic, and the experiencing of the sights and sounds of 11th century England is a joy. I really didn’t want the story to end. Taking her reader through a poverty-stricken village, a post-invasion Winchester struggling to come to terms with its new masters and the bleakness of an unforgiving English winter, Carol Townend is a confident, enthralling historical writer, one who never lets the backdrop overshadow her central romantic story.

And what a romance! In Cecily, the author has crafted a lovely and lovable heroine whose innocence and inherent goodness are her defining qualities... I defy anyone who reads this not to fall in love with her from the start. Cecily’s journey from prim and proper nun to loving wife is thoroughly engrossing. As for the hero, Adam Wymark is a little sterner and his character is the more complex of the two, and he’s a hero I could really identify with. His growing love for Cecily is always believable and makes for great reading. The romance scenes are well handled and full of subtlety and sweetness.

The rest of the story is populated with interesting supporting characters and tension between both the protagonists and everybody else. Carol Townend really puts across a feeling of what it was like to live in these harsh, violent times which is why I loved the book so much. In fact, it’s my favourite historical romance yet!

Reviewed by: Gray

Hero Hotness Factor = ♥♥♥♥

Heroine Lovability Factor = ♥♥♥♥♥

Awww Factor = ♥♥♥♥

Stickability Factor = ♥♥♥♥♥

Weepy Factor = ♥♥♥♥

Did you know that Carol's first novel, set in 11th century England, won the RNA New Writers' Award? To find out more about Carol why not visit her website ...

Have you read this book or others by the same author? Leave a comment, we'd love to hear from you!!!

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