Two Souls in Need of Healing. . . Shadow of the Swan by Judith Sterling and @WildRosePress #historic
Title: Shadow of the Swan (The Novels of Ravenwood #3)
Author: Judith Sterling
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval Romance
Lady Constance de Bret was determined to be a nun, until shadows from the past eclipsed her present. Marriage is the safest option, but she insists on a spiritual union, in which physical intimacy is forbidden. Not so easy with a bridegroom who wields unparalleled charm! But a long-buried secret could taint his affection and cloak her in shadow forever.
Back from the Crusades, Sir Robert le Donjon craves a home of his own and children to inherit it. From the moment he meets Constance, he feels a mysterious bond between them. When she’s threatened, he vows to protect her and agrees to the spiritual marriage, with the hope of one day persuading her to enjoy a “real” one. She captivates him but opens old wounds and challenges everything he thought he believed.
Two souls in need of healing. Two hearts destined to beat as one.
Lady Constance is a woman haunted by the past and when she comes face-to-face with her nightmare, she runs away. Desperate to escape, she pleads with Sir Robert to take her to her sister’s home. He agrees to protect her at all costs. She’s not sure she believes him but when in his presence, peace fills her. When her past follows her to her sister’s home, she has no choice but to align herself with Sir Robert in matrimony.
Something has put the fear of God into Lady Constance, Sir Robert would stake his life on it. He agrees to a spiritual marriage but the more time he spends with his new wife, the harder it becomes to keep his hands to himself. He made a vow, though, and he’ll keep it. She challenges his mind and his agnostic beliefs, so much so, he wonders if she’s his other half. Can he convince her to share her dark secret, so they can become one or is he doomed to a loveless marriage?
This is, by far, the greatest of the three books in this series. From the first page, I connected with Constance. Her self-loathing touched me deeply, as if she was reliving events in my past. Her disbelief in her own beauty and her pushing away Robert so he wouldn’t discover how tainted she is sprung emotions in me I haven’t felt in years.
The antagonist (I won’t reveal who it is so you can be as shocked as I was) is one of those characters you hate with every fiber of your being. Their abuse of their power and esteem to punish women like Constance rang true to history and was accurately portrayed.
This is more than a historical romance, it is a story of faith lost and restored once again. Shadow of the Swan will transform you and reaffirm the power of love.
Favorite Character/Quote: Sir Robert. I loved everything about him but especially his patience with Constance. He takes it slow and in the end, their love is well worth the wait.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven, Soul of the Wolf, and Shadow of the Swan are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.
Social Media Links:
Website – https://judithmarshallauthor.com/
The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2212_judith-sterling
Reviewed by: Mrs. N