What's a knight to do when his cousin, also known as the King, commands him to escort a friend's sister into the clutches of a monster? Sir Rand Montague has a job to do and can't allow his feelings for Rose to cloud his judgment.
Rosalyn is just starting to find some peace after the death of her abusive husband, Bertram. When the King decides to betroth her and turn over control of her son's estate to one of his knights, he doesn't realize the turmoil he will put Rose and Rand through.
Now, to save her from a repeat of the past, Rand will have to marry Rose. She may be reluctant and refuse to consummate their vows, but danger and passion will lend a helping hand in bringing our two together.
Sir Rand Montague has a duty and obligation to his cousin, King Edward I. Escalating hostilities between England and Wales has the King strategizing and fortifying his holdings for an imminent attack. One estate which is close to the Welsh marches along the English border-which is the perfect place for the Welsh or English to strike-belongs to the barony of Ayleston. With the previous Lord and master, Lord Bertram, dead, the widowed Lady Rosalyn Harcourt (Lady Ayleston) and her son, Jason, are unprotected and vulnerable to any attacks the Welsh choose to initiate. Rand being a friend of Alex, Rosalyn's brother (and hero of the previous book; 'Vow Of Seduction') and secretly smitten with Rosalyn, see the question of her safety as his to answer.
When King Edward decides to marry off Rosalyn to one of his knights so that the estate is under 'stronger' control, he send Rand as her escort to court. Rosalyn suffered through an abusive marriage which tore at her self-esteem and sensual freedom. She wants nothing more to do with men and now only lives for her son. She decides she wants to make a vow of chastity so that she will never have to be under a man's control ever again, but she gets derailed from her plans when Sir Rand Montague shows up at the King's insistence to escort her to court.
Rosalyn's King-selected betrothed, Sir Golan de Coucy, is a vile man who is similar to her late-husband, and Rose can't suppress the dread and dejavu as Sir Golan tries to force his attentions on her before they are even wed. Rose sees the marriage to Sir Golan as a prison sentence all over again and will do anything to be released from it.
Rand can't bare to see Rose go down the path of misery for a second time and offers to marry her and save her from her fate. She agrees, but only if the marriage is in name only. Her late-husband made her feel inferior and disgusting for having natural reactions to carnal pleasures, so even though she is attracted to Rand and knows he is a good man, she finds it difficult to indulge in her marital bed or open up to Rand.
Slowly, Rand will have to break through Rose's defenses to make their marriage one they both deserve. Little does he know, Rose holds a secret that will soon change his life forever, and all the while, Sir Golan is furious at being duped out of a wife and lush lands, so he vows revenge. Lives are in danger and passions rise to a boil as Rand battles to save the one he loves and give them both a chance at the happily ever after they've both been denied in the past.
Rating: 3 1/2 Red Roses
My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Rose is assaulted by Sir Golan and Rand swoops in and saves her. I thought this scene was intense and sweet because you saw the years of torment Rose went through with her first husband rush to the surface again and Rand is there to help her through it. And then, Rand goes one step further and offers to marry her and save her from marriage to Sir Golan! The scenes were well-written and the made me itch to find out what would happen next.If you're a fan of good medieveil romances, than you are a fan of 'Vow of Deception'. Whenever a plot deals with an abused heroine, the progression of the story is somewhat centered around her recovery. While reading this book, you'll be pulling for Rosalyn and swooning for Rand's gallantry. I would have liked that progresson of recovery to move/develop just a bit faster and have some of that extra page time devoted to the sub plot of the Jason's paternity, but there was enough interesting plot line to move you along in the story. I was sataisfied with the action-packed ending and will be reading more Angela Johnson books in the near-furture.
[Special Thanks to the author
for sending a copy for review]
* Want more Johnson novels? Try 'Vow Of Seduction', Rosalyn's brother, Alex's story!