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Lord of the Mist    by Ann Lawrence order for
Lord of the Mist
by Ann Lawrence
Order:  USA  Can
Love Spell, 2001 (2001)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

While the genre is not one I normally read, (only because I dote on mysteries) Ann Lawrence has created unforgettable characters that I find very appealing. She also has a wonderful knack of being able to set up scenes so well that she literally drops the reader right into the action along with her characters ... 'He rose and went to the window, propped his arms on the wide stone sill, and looked out. Cool air washed over his bare skin. Men worked through the night to see everything was in readiness for the king's invasion of Normandy. He could see the glow of the forge and hear the ring of the hammer on the anvil. Thunder rumbled over the distant hills as if God, too, readied for war.'

Lord of the Mist is the second of the author's series of medieval romances, Lord of the Keep being the first. She also writes a fantasy series that is utterly delightful. Durand de Marle, the Lord of the title, has discovered his wife's infidelity after her death, which left him with a child that is not his own. Christina le Gros is summoned to Ravenswood Manor to wet nurse that child. The ensuing romance circles around the political events of the early 1200's, and the unpredictable, salacious and sadistic whims of the then monarch, King John. I found it intriguing to read of the conditions of living at that time. Life in the Manor was hard and raw. The aristocrats used the common person for their own benefit with little regard for the well being of their subjects. Privacy was at a minimum, even for romantic trysts. Fidelity seemed to me to be almost non-existent.

Life in the village surrounding the Manor must have been indescribably hard. Ms. Lawrence manages to paint the scenes without prejudice, allowing the reader to view the indomitable will of humankind to survive against unbelievable odds. Handling of the anticipated love scenes is done with grace and delicacy, while they still remain sensuous. This was a good read and I look forward to the next book with pleasure.

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