Series: Langlinais #1
Published by Avon on July 26, 2011
Genres: Historical Romance, Medieval Era
They call her the Langlinais Bride—though she's seen her husband only one time... on their wedding day, twelve years ago.
For years, naive, convent-bred Juliana dreaded being summoned to the side of the man she wed as a child so long ago. Now her husband, Sebastian, Earl of Langlinais, has become ensnared in his villainous brother's wicked plots—and has no choice but to turn to his virgin bride for help.
Juliana now finds herself face-to-face with a man so virile and so powerful that she's fascinated by him—just as he asks her to go against everything she holds true. Sebastian never counted on being enchanted by the beauty of this innocent angel he intended to keep as wife in name only—and he dares not reveal to her the secret reason why their love can never be . . .
My Beloved by Karen Ranney was a classic medieval romance with a writing style that I have missed so much over the years. Its definitely has a old school feel, and it is part of the Avon Romantic Treasures line, so if you loved that line of romances, you will have a good time with this one. Karen Ranney has always been such a fun author to read over the years and picking up this classic of hers, made me remember why I fell in love with her writing many years ago in the first place and man I miss reading historical’s like this. Full of depth and emotion and drama and a great plot of mystery. This one definitely packs a punch, and yeah its not a perfect read but quite an enjoyable one.
It starts off with our hero and our heroine when they get married as children. Its an arranged marriage, and afterwards Sebastian has left to Europe to join in the wars and fighting and Juliana has been sent to the convent. Juliana has spent years in the convent, and barely remembers her husband. But now he has returned and wants her as his wife, but not in the ways that she expects or looks forward to. Sebastian had been imprisoned, and he hides a great secret that no one but his squire knows the truth….a truth that keeps him from being close to Juliana….the one woman he wishes he could show his love and affection. But their lives are in danger from the Templars who are after a treasure.
Aristotle was once asked the definition of a friend. He answered that it was a single soul dwelling in two bodies. What is love? I think it is the same. Be my soul, my dearest Juliana.
This is a slow burn romance that builds very gradually and nothing happens as far as sex scenes until the end of the book. Of course, once you understand Sebastian’s secret, you can definitely see why they can’t be intimate. (But of course, its Karen Ranney, so you just know it will happen) but I felt like sometimes it’s nice to build up the sexual tension in the ways that Karen Ranney handles her books. I felt like the bedroom scenes in the end were so much more satisfying and sensual because you feel the build up more and more with each chapter. I loved seeing Sebastian and Juliana become really good friends and seeing emotional intimacy build stronger that eventually matches the physical intimacy between these two. There is a plot of danger and intrigue of course, which wasn’t a super strong element, but a element that adds some intensity to the story line. I did feel that the romance was the primary focus which was so delightful. At times the story is slow going, but due to the set up of the story and the how story evolves….you can see why. But I did get a kick out of reading this one for sure. Highly recommend for historical romance lovers, especially those that love medieval era themes.