While reading Lady At Arms, Tamara Leigh kept dropping breadcrumbs, hints for the reader to continue reading Baron Gilbert Balmaine’s story. Why did Lady Graeye (pronounced Gray) Charwyck give him so much trouble? I could not wait. I had to find out why in “Lady of Eve, Book 2,”.
The scene opened with Lady Graeye Charwyck about to take vows to become a nun at Arlecy Abbey. She had a faith in God but didn’t want to become a nun. That was decided for her. She had been sent to the abbey as a child when her mother died. Graeye’s prayers seemed answered when the ceremony halted. Graeye’s father Baron Edward Charwyck requested she come home to Medland after her half-brother Philip’s death. Sir Philip had been a cruel brother to her as a child, so she didn’t really grieve. Baron Charwyck forced her to stay cloistered with Philip’s rotting corpse to say prayers over him. Gross.
And then Lady Graeye went from one kind of wedding to another planned. She did not want to marry Sir William Rotwyld, but her father Edward sought an heir and that is who he chose. He thought his daughter was the spawn of the devil because of a birthmark on her face, so there is no fatherly affection in the man.
Now, he did give the choice of pitting Sir Michael against Sir William for her hand, but Lady Graeye did not want bloodshed. She wanted to please her evil sire, and she persisted in finding ways to do that for quite a number of pages. I could not stand the man and was ready to put him in the stocks and set children to beat the daylights out of him.
But then Baron Charwyck learns his land are no longer his. The King had given Medland to the new owner, Baron Gilbert Balmaine. That is when Edward said he would send Graeye back to Arlecy Abbey. She told him of her desire to stay and help him, but he would not hear of it. She had been treated poorly by Mistress Hermana there, so she didn’t want to return. Lady Graeye plots a course for herself to avoid that end, which leads to…ahem…interesting consequences.
It is quite a story of measured gains and losses for the reader as the story unfolds. If I didn’t have other things I had to get done, I think I would have read this all-in-one sitting.
And there was a dog in the story — his name was Groan. Perfect name. He became Lady Graeye’s companion and protector. He reminded me of Demelza’s Poldark’s dog, Garrick.
Tamara Leigh is such a great storyteller. As a reader, I can see the plot take form and I think to myself — how does she do that?! lol The female protagonists in both books showed quiet strength that seemed to grow exponentially. Their faith grew and their courage did as well. Both Lady Graeye and Lady Lizanne became warrior women, which I loved so much.
I requested this book through an inter-library loan, but it is available online at Amazon.com and Christianbook.com. To read my review of Tamara’s first book, “Lady At Arms, go to this link.