Historical Romance (Medieval / Viking 947 AD)
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins
Lady Eadyth of Hawk's Lair is no stranger to scandal, as an unwed mother and a keen business woman, she has learned to strike when an opportunity presents itself. She shocks Eirik of Ravenshire with a frank proposal upon their first meeting. She is prepared for rejection from the loathsome lout, but she knows just how to sweeten the pot, the offer of revenge against his old enemy.
THE TARNISHED LADY is probably Sandra Hill's most serious book. It's not missing any of her characteristic humor, but it's definitely more toned down than her other books. She tells Eadyth and Eirik's story in a more dramatic style, with their misunderstandings not turning into great laughs. It made me speculate more on how their match would work out in the end. It also made it a more emotional read for me. I could feel how Eadyth's and Eirik's decisions twisted them up as they tried to move forward.
I liked how Eadyth inadvertently fooled Eirik in the beginning of the book, as I think that it allowed his character's growth to start to show when he began realizing his attraction to her. Of course it also showed how sensitive he was to his own faults when it became apparent that he was tricked. Their passion lit up the pages and they had a great deal to learn about each other, which kept the story going.
I enjoyed the brief bits the children played throughout the book, never did they overpower the storyline. Also, Eirik's brother Tykir is a sexy riot, luckily we can find his own tale in THE BEWITCHED VIKING. Eirik and Eadyth's shared enemy had an interesting development that created a bit of sympathy, as unlikely as it seemed. All in all THE TARNISHED LADY finished as one to defiantly stay on my keeper shelves, because I will visit these guys again.