Gabriel “Gart” Forbes is the most powerful knight in the arsenal of David de Lohr, Baron Thornden, brother to the mighty Earl of Hereford. When Julian de Moyon, Baron Buckland, summons Thornden for critical support, Gart travels to Dunster Castle to meet with Buckland.
Upon arrival, he is set upon by three young boys who try to rob him, all sons of Baron Buckland. Gart discovers that their mother, the Lady Emberley de Moyon, is the sister of his long-dead best friend. Remembering the lovely young girl from the days of his youth, Gart quickly realizes she has grown into a woman of magnificent beauty. He also comes to realize that Julian is a monster who beats his wife.
At first, Gart is protective of an old friend but soon, he cannot control the emotions he is feeling for Emberley. A beaten and emotionally starved woman, Emberley cannot help her feelings for a man she has loved most of her life. Succumbing to a forbidden love, Gart and Emberley find powerful allies in Baron Thornden and the Earl of Hereford as they plot to convince Julian to divorce his wife.
Adding to the chaos is the fact that Julian has taken up in a love affair with Queen Isabella. When the queen begins to find interest in another man, Julian is furious and wants to use Emberley to make the queen jealous. Gart, however, keeps Emberley well hidden from her husband, even as the Church seeks to intervene.
Through trickery, Julian discovers where Gart has hidden his wife and traps the woman, intending to kill her for her treachery. Gart is unable to help her, listening to her screams of terror, when aid comes from the most unexpected of sources. Divine intervention comes in many forms in this deeply passionate love story.
My Thoughts: What a performance! Between the exquisite story and the dynamic way delivered by Narrator Daniel Dorse, I am speechless! (but not so much I can’t write this review!) After the horrific event close to the end of the book, you’ll regain your equilibrium with humor and another of Le Veque’s epic happy endings.
First of all, Le Veque’s Medieval romances capture history as well as the emotions of mankind – what tie us together and what pull us apart.
The situation is this story is extreme for the heroine, Lady Emberley, with four children she loves dearly married to a crazed, on-the-verge lunatic husband. Marriage in those days didn’t leave much of a life for a woman. Equally, if not married, she may become a burdensome spinster aunt and a ‘nanny’ for life. Then again, she may end in a convent. Such poor choices which make these stories even more emotional for present-day readers.
Our hero, Gart Forbes, is a knight of chivalrous and honor intent, who falls in love with a married woman, the Lady Emberly. How can love survive in this environment? How can Gart tolerate seeing Lady Emberly brutalized by her husband? And what of his own code and that of the law?
The husband, Julian de Moyon, Baron Buckland, has his own agenda. He’s been bedding the queen for a year, but times are changing, and finds himself loosing ground with her. He intends to make the queen jealous by bringing his wife and children to London. Nothing quite works the way he wants.
The narrator’s voice totally fascinated me. I put the speed of the audio on 1.25X; otherwise it was too slow. His depiction of Julian held the overpowering moments of this tragic story. I do believe Dorse must know someone as demented as Julian, for he is totally convincing!
If you haven’t read any of Le Veque, you are in for such a treat. Her stories are full of grit, brutality, honor, greed and passion! Archangel, which tells the story of Gabriel and Emberly, is no exception.