Joyce DiPastena - The Lady and the Minstrel

Saturday, June 27, 2015

26. The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena (2015)
Length: 613 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Started: 3 June 2015
Finished: 27 June 2015
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kathy at Ebooks For Review for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 8 April 2015
Why do I have it? I like historical romance and Joyce DiPastena is a new author for me.

During the reign of King John - in thirteenth-century England - Robert Marcel chafes under the law that holds him bound as a villein on his lord's manor; serving at the whim of his master and denied any chance at freedom. He attempts a daring escape, determined to leave everything behind - his family, his security, the only life that he's ever known - to seize the only viable chance he can see to determine his own fate. He is very nearly caught by his cruel master, but a young girl's quick thinking actions allow him to slip away.

Several years pass and Robert takes up trade as a minstrel; traveling around England and earning a living through plying his musical talent. Invited to play at the betrothal banquet of the notorious Earl of Saxton, Robert is stunned to come face to face with the one girl he's never forgotten - the girl whose single act of kindness towards him quite literally saved his life. She is now the Lady Marguerite of Winbourne, and she is betrothed to the earl. Robert is determined to find some way to show his gratitude to Lady Marguerite for the assistance she gave him so long ago, but her status as a noblewoman puts her completely beyond Robert's reach - yet he is completely smitten by her shy smile.

Lady Marguerite has often thought of the young man she helped escape. Over the intervening years since she crossed paths with the runaway serf, Marguerite has fondly remembered their brief encounter. She had always hoped that the small service she provided to the desperate young man might have helped him in some way, but was unsure if what she had done was actually successful. Marguerite has absolutely no idea if Robert remembers her, although she has never forgotten him.

Marguerite's tender feelings for Robert quickly turn into so much more when they are finally brought back into each other's lives. Despite the difference in their stations, Robert vows to himself that he will win Marguerite's hand, come what may - he knows they are meant to be together. Marguerite herself, longs to be free to marry Robert - her one true love - but that will require her to sacrifice all she holds dear.

Robert and Marguerite share a forbidden love and a past they just can't leave behind. They are tested at every turn by those who would do everything in their power to drive them apart - people whose every intention is to destroy what Robert and Marguerite have found together. Yet, can their love survive and truly conquer all?

I have always enjoyed reading historical romances - particularly those set in the Middle Ages. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. At 613 pages, The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena is certainly long and very richly detailed - but by no means is the story dull or in any way over-written. The story itself was very well-written and strongly grounded in the medieval time period. I was quickly immersed in the plot and found myself wondering what would happen next.

This is the first book by Ms. DiPastena that I've ever read, but it certainly will not be my last. I have placed this author's name at the top at my Wish List, and give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often