Roberta Gellis – "Roselynde"

18 Apr

GENRE: Romance / Medieval
PUBLISHED: Harlequin Books, 2005

The back blurb:
“After her grandfather’s death, Lady Alinor Devaux was alone – proud, beautiful, impossibly wealthy … and vulnerable. In order to protect the young heiress, the queen of England charged a warden to protect Alinor. Sir Simon Lemagne was a fiercely intelligent, loyal and seasoned knight, determined to do his duty. But he found himself stirred by this dark-haired young woman with lively eyes …
An honorable man, Simon tries to stifle his passion for the lovely Alinor. Except, of course, that Alinor’s never allowed the object – or person – of her desire to slip through her fingers … until Simon is called upon by King Richard to join the Crusades. Now Alinor must fight for what she wants – even if it means marching into the Holy Land herself!”

How nice to meet a heroine who is a grown-up!

I really liked Alinor, the heroine of Roberta Gellis’s Roselynde. Alinor is a grown-up women despite the fact that she’s just sixteen at the beginning of the story. Despite that, she has many responsibilities and duties and doesn’t take them lightly. She cares for her people. It’s the way she was brought up and taught to do by her grandparents.

Simon, the hero in this story, is much older than Alinor. I normally don’t care much for a great discrepancy in age between the hero and the heroine, especially if one of them is as young as Alinor, because I find the falling-in-love questionable, but Gellis pulls it off convincingly here. It works because Simon is much like Alinor’s grandfather in character which makes her falling in love with Simon more understandable. She even says so herself (p.145). Nevertheless, the age difference is a big obstacle between the two and I found the way Simon and Alinor reacted to and dealt with it convincing.

Simon sums up their problems like this:

“He was poor, she was rich; he was old, she was young; they had nothing in common – nothing. He had nothing to offer the King or Queen for which they might barter such a prize. Even if he had, it would be a sin and a shame to take the prize – a sin and a shame to bind a blooming girl to an aging hulk like himself.”


I very much enjoyed to read how Alinor set out to make her dream come true. Her actions are believable and intelligent. Alinor is not one of those “supposedly intelligent” heroines – she is intelligent. Of course, there are also some minor misunderstandings between the two, but they are handled reasonably and, thankfully, cleared up before they got annoying. No: “you-talked-with-that-woman-you-must-love-her” nonsense here.

I had a small problem with the way the story is written. There is (much) more description than dialogue which very often slows the story down. It kept me from getting completely lost in the story and from really being engaged on an emotional level.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Probably not. (it’s because I didn’t like the way it was written; see above)

Grade: 4 / 5


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