It’s been a while since I’ve read a book written over twenty years ago. Desire, first published in 1993, brought me back to my teenage years when all the romance books I read were chalked full of passive voice, purple prose and clever euphemisms for sexual body parts.
Set in Medieval England, Lady Clare needs a husband to help protect her home, the Isle of Desire, and the prosperous perfume business she and the townsfolk run. The man her feudal lord sends her is not the type of man she requested but, alas… What is a noble lady to do? She needs the Hellhound of Wyrcmere’s skill as a successful and dangerous knight to protect her people and the Hellhound, whose given name is Gareth, needs a home and land to call his own.
They strike a bargain that results in marriage, but is love in their future?
The beginning of this was amazing. Fun, fast-paced, beautiful scenery and the reader really gets a feel for both the hero and heroine. We read in alternating POVs, learning more and more about the main characters and the people in their lives, and I found myself doubling over with uncontrollable laughter during the ‘wedding night’ scene.
The middle of the book dragged, however, and became repetitive. For example, we learn something important in the heroine’s POV and then, in the very next scene, we learn the exact same thing from the hero’s POV. The repeating of information wasn’t needed in the least and sometimes I’d already guessed what was going on before the main characters did, so I wasn’t surprised when I read it. Still, the story kept me interested and I kept turning the page.
The ending seemed drawn out and unnecessarily long. I mean, the bad guy is defeated long before the book ends and nothing else of importance happens except for Clare meeting Gareth’s parents which could’ve been done off-page.
I’ve debated on rating this book 3 Stars or 4 but I really did enjoy it despite a few boring scenes and repetition of information. It’s full of emotion, love and intrigue, detailed descriptions of the environment, a feisty heroine and moody hero, and fully-developed secondary characters who added extra flavor to the book.
All in all, it’s a great book and I definitely recommend it.
Disclaimer – I am a reader. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.