Book: Desire by Amanda Quick
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 Stars
Sometimes, I just want to escape reality and get lost in a good book. August was definitely one of those times. I wanted and needed to believe in happily ever after again, so I turned to one of my favorite authors from years ago. If you are looking for a witchy historical romance novel, check out Desire by Amanda Quick. Here are my thoughts on the book.
First, I want to be clear that there are no witches in Desire. The heroine, Lady Clare, is an herbalist. She earns her income from the sale of herbs, potions, ointments and sachets. Wicca is a new religion. Its history doesn’t span centuries. When I think of witches in times past, I think of herbalists and healers like Clare.
The story is set in medieval England around the 1100s. As one would expect, there are Knights, Ladies, minstrels, and alchemists in the book. It is definitely an escape to a different time. I wish more novels were set in this era.
After the unexpected death of her father, Lady Clare is the sole heir to the Isle of Desire. For the protection of her land and people, she must marry. Although she is reluctant, Clare writes what she believes is the perfect recipe for a husband.
However, it turns out that Clare’s guardian has other plans. He wants Clare to marry his illegitimate son, Gareth. Unfortunately, Gareth only meets one of Clare’s recipe requirements since he can read. As a trained knight well known for his abilities with a sword, he is the opposite of everything else Clare wants.
As you would expect, Clare is less than thrilled. However, she doesn’t see any other option. So, Clare sets out to negotiate marriage terms with the Hellhound of Wyckmere.
While Clare and Gareth are busy navigating their new relationship, a recluse is found murdered on the Isle. Who would want to murder a nun who took a vow never to leave her residence? Since Desire is an island, is the culprit one of Desire’s residents? Or did someone sneak onto the island? Clare and Gareth have to find the truth before the culprit strikes again.
My Overall Thoughts
Desire is not an epic piece of literature, but it is a good historical romantic suspense novel in my opinion. It is a light and fun read. The romance scenes are spicy, but there are only a few scenes scattered throughout the book. The mystery kept the story interesting. I didn’t figure out the murderer’s identity until right before the reveal. The romance and mystery were woven together in the plot well.
I personally didn’t care for the subplot involving Clare’s virginity. I think it was an effort to inject humor in the story. For me, it missed the mark a little bit. Since the book was originally published in 1993, perhaps it is a reflection of that time.
(Gareth) “I am not certain what you hoped to accomplish, madam, but one thing is clear. No one who views this sheet will believe for one moment that I made love to a virgin last night.”Desire by Amanda Quick
(Clare) “And just what will they think, sir?”
(Gareth) “That I sacrificed one.”
I love the fact that Clare and Gareth negotiate as equals. Gareth truly respects Clare and her thoughts. Clare acts without thinking at times, but Gareth doesn’t belittle her. He treats her with respect from the beginning.
I like the fact that Clare isn’t perfect. Sometimes heroines are described as basically flawless. That is not Clare. She has a temper and speaks before she thinks. I believe it makes her more relatable.
Clare and her herbal products generate enough income to support the island. She truly is independent. She didn’t inherit a fortune. Clare earned her wealth through her skill and talent. I love that aspect of the plot.
The cast of supporting characters is thoroughly enjoyable. I wish there was a sequel featuring Clare’s best friend Lady Joanna. I would love to read a story from her perspective. Or perhaps a story from the perspective of Joanna’s son William many years later.
About the Author
Amanda Quick is a pen name for best selling author Jayne Ann Krentz. To date, Krentz has published over 120 novels. Over 50 of those novels are New York Times best sellers.