Published March 31st 2011
by Colleen Gleason Inc.
Madelyne de Belgrume has lived in secrecy in a hidden abbey for years. Her mad, abusive father, Fantin, believes she is dead.
Lord Gavin Mal Verne wants nothing more than to seek revenge on Fantin de Belgrume...and he has the king's blessing to bring the man to heel.
After a battle with Fantin that leaves Gavin nearly dead, he accidentally comes upon a hidden abbey...and the beautiful, serene nun who helps to heal him...and touches his heart in more ways than one.
When Gavin discovers Madelyne's true identity, she is forced to leave the sanctuary of the abbey and appeal to King Henry for succor.
To her horror, Madelyne learns she must either marry...or be returned to her father's custody.
I fell in love with the cover. And you know all know how much I love historical romance. And it's been a while since I read one set in medieval times. Could I resist this? Naturally not. I think I have discovered a gem in Colleen Gleason who seems to write a wide variety of genres and spun a beautiful story in Sanctuary of Roses.
Gavin: I love it when big, tough warrior men turn out to to be kitty cats in tiger's claws. Gavin seems very hard and unyielding to Madelyne, and he is very much that way. Very much bound by duty and honour and the past which was not very kind to him. But underneath that is a sensitive soul who longs for peace. It's not surprising that he should he find it in Madelyne who is beautiful and kind. I liked watching Gavin battle his heart with his head, but in the end it was his heart that won out and I loved seeing him melt a little. The scene in the garden before their marriage is one of my favourites.
Madelyne: She would have made an intriguing sort of nun I think. She's independent and she doesn't let her status as a woman keep her from saying what's on her mind. To Gavin or even to the king. While it at times irked Gavin, there were times I wondered at her tenacity--how does a nun in training come across such determination? I truly liked that about her. She was completely at peace with herself but she could and would rise up when treated as though she was an object to be taken care of, instead of a person with a mind and feelings of her own. I was also quite impressed that she had no difficulty in letting Gavin know how she felt about him--once he decided that he was marrying her himself.
This novel's plot is largely driven forth by characters and the madness of Madelyne's father. I was tickled pink at the smart way in which characters are used throughout the novel, and thought it had enough action to keep the reader guessing as to whether or not there would be a HEA--I have to say, I was concerned at one point about that HEA, and usually I have faith that the HEA will come to pass. But I was worried this time around (though my anxiety proved unnecessary). A character driven romance, Sanctuary of Roses left me yearning for more romances set in this era.
4 glittering stars