Title: Uncommon Vows
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Genre: Historical Romance
Review Rating: Five Stars
Reviewer: Linda Hays-Gibbs
What an outstanding romance from the dark ages. I couldn't stop till I devoured the whole thing. I love Mrs. Putney's work and she did not disappoint.
It's hard to write romantically about the dark ages. Most of the men had to be brutes to survive and women were not treated well. This story does the impossible. It takes two people in a savage age and land and makes them real people with genuine problems filled with exciting emotions.
This romance opens in 1137 with a girl about to take vows to be a nun and a boy ready to be a monk. There world is war torn and savage but their religious beliefs have protected them.
Tragedy strikes the boy, Adrian de Lancey. His whole family is slaughtered except his base born half brother Richard Fitzhugh. Richard goes to the Abbey and tells his brother he is now the heir and cannot take his final vows. Adrian leaves to take up his responsibilities at fifteen.
Later years, after a battle Adrian sees a beautiful little nun that stirs his heart as he and his men stop for rest after a battle. He feels very guilty about it too, since she is a nun. She is so beautiful to him and he doesn't forget her even after years of warfare.
Ten years later, Mariel de Vere is out flying her falcon when her horse is almost gored by a wild boar. She is thrown from her horse and left alone.
Adrian finds her and won't let her go. He takes her back to his castle. Meriel loves her freedom. She couldn't become a nun because it was so confining. She can't stand being held against her will.
Things come to a head and Meriel fights with Adrian with horrible results.
There is enough guilt to choke a horse in this tale from both of them. There is also a lot of lustful tension as well as adventure. I think it all keeps the action engrossing.
I loved the characters. They lived before my eyes. It was like I could see it all happening like a movie.
I won this book in a contest and was thrilled to read it. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading this book I heartily recommend you do. I gave it Five Stars for excellent plot and characters. I lived it. Thank you Mary Joe Putney for a wonderful, exciting, and engrossing read.