A Cold Wynter’s Knight by Kathryn Le Veque

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Spellbound by Wynter and Her Knight

Wow, what a wonderful, action-packed, unputdownable read! A bit of a surprise for me, simply because this was my first Kathryn Le Veque and I’ll admit I didn’t expect to be so blown away. I love it when an author’s writing bears the hallmarks of someone who not only can write but has wisdom–and from the very first pages including the “Note to Readers” (which amused me with its necessity of reminding readers that yes, England had coal in the middle ages), Le Veque really shone in that regard.

In many ways, this book reminded me of something by Julie Garwood, like The Bride. You have the lively, bold heroine and the exciting plot. But I found Wynter to be an even more loveable heroine than some of Garwoods. She was quirky and original and stubborn, certainly, but she was also very intelligent and made rational choices. Besides her stunning beauty, she was very easy to identify with and that was refreshing in a romance genre where that is not always the case.

Gage de Reyne is a strong, handsome, and broody hero. Just enough alpha to satisfy most readers, with a healthy helping of compassion and strong respect for women weighed in. There’s an excellent back and forth tension between Gage and Wynter that begins as soon as the intro to the novel ends and the plot skips ahead six years. Suddenly, the girl who was in love with a handsome young knight, at least ten years her elder, has grown into a mature and lovely woman who is capable of making her own decisions. There is a real “brother’s best friend” quality to the romance, which is funny because there are no brothers–just four sisters! But we are told that Wynter and Gage grew up in close proximity, so when Wynter blossoms and Gage is abruptly falling head over heels for her, it really feels like we are watching a “brother’s best friend” type of guy who has been forced to see the heroine in a whole new way.

Le Veque also has created an excellent villain who is basically a more fleshed-out Prince John character from Disney’s Robin Hood. Whiny and spoiled and confused as to why no one likes him or will do whatever he wants, Gage’s older brother is very enjoyable to hate!

The only thing that irked me a little was the constant meanness shown towards Spring because she was “plain” and rather silly. At first Wynter’s failure to defend her own sister from her aunt’s spite had me riled, but as the plot continues, the two sisters become much closer. I had to trust the author to develop their bond and do her thing!

Ultimately, I am more excited for future Thorington Sister novels than for de Reynes. Le Veque has created a fantastic family of girls, each with their own unique personalities and each with a prospective love interest that will have you excited for the others to get their own books.

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