This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
Eighteen years ago, Sir Richmond le Bec, a knight in the service of Henry of Bolingbroke, was tasked with a mission of great importance. Young Henry had an affair with a married woman who bore him a child, and the woman’s husband vowed to kill both his wife and the child she birthed. Richmond was charged with taking the baby to safety and acting as her protector. Even though Richmond has risen to become Henry’s greatest knight, the protection of his illegitimate daughter has been his most important task. For eighteen years he has watched over the girl, ensuring her health and safety, as she is raised by another family, unaware of her true identity.
The Lady Arissa de Lohr has always loved Sir Richmond, the man who she believes is only a family friend. The powerful, handsome knight has always been in her heart and on the day of her eighteenth birthday, she can no longer keep her feelings to herself. Although she has been pledged to Whitby Abbey since infancy and knows that, upon reaching maturity, she will be delivered to the abbey as a novice nun, she has no desire to be sequestered away from Richmond. She loves the man, and she will have him.
Richmond, too, is deeply in love with the young lady he was assigned to protect. As she became a woman, his feelings turned from friendly concern to romantic admirer. Confessing their feelings to each other is only the beginning of their adventure, for dark forces are at work against both Arissa and Richmond, threatening to tear the lovers apart.
King Henry goes to battle against Owen Glendower, who has been made aware of the king’s secret illegitimate daughter and seeks to claim the girl to use against her father. Richmond is caught in the middle, protecting Arissa from the Welsh Rebels even as he fights Henry to keep her from being committing to Whitby.
Intrigue, battles, life, death and love blend in the greatest story yet of true love and the lengths Richmond will go to in order to have his beloved Arissa. He is more than willing to risk his life for the her in this epic tale of ultimate romance.
Great Protector is the last book in her “Lords of de Royans”, but it can easily be read as a standalone. As I haven’t read this series or the previous books so it doesn’t really reflect on your reading experience as most of her books are written like this except for her Wolfe family. I will admit that I had grabbed this book as a kindle freebie, and I just started reading it. What I really like about this author is the way she can pull you into a story so quickly and captivate your attention. She builds a rich medieval setting, in this case, we are dealing the House of Lancaster era in England. This also is dealing with the time period of the battles involving Wales. I also was intrigued by the setup of the story as we are dealing with a forbidden romance, a touch of taboo, and age gap. So if these tropes aren’t your thing, then this story will probably not work for you. I was really intrigued by how she built up the story here and the way in which it developed.
Great Protector starts with a promise made. King David has had a child with a married woman, and her husband has threatened to kill the babe. So David asks his close friend, Richmond, to be her protector and to defend her and care for her, no matter the cost. Then we jump ahead 18 years, where that one babe has now turned into a beautiful young woman, Arissa, who is destined for the Abbey. Arissa is a woman of life and passion and to be around people. Ever since she was sixteen she has been in love with Richmond, and their friendship has turned into something more very recently. Richmond, knows that his feelings for Arissa are forbidden but he can’t help but want to hold her and embrace her and give into the passion and love that he feels. But he also knows their relationship is forbidden unless he can convince her father to let her marry him instead of going to the Abbey. Richmond and Alissa go on a journey of challenge, and growth, of learning what their relationship is capable of and conquering against the odds that are stacked against them.
What I Loved
Great Defender was a solid romance of a read. I really had a fun time with this one. I was highly intrigued to see how these two would be able to find a way to be together. I had seen some mixed reviews so I was a bit worried about where this story would go, but I did find myself capitalizing on the romance and the tropes that come into play. There is such a level of affection and respect that grows between the characters. I also felt like the taboo theme was handled pretty well, I mean he has had a father-like role in some ways or her, but from what I could gather, it was closer to a friendship than a “father-daughter” like of a role. I really loved how alphamellow our hero is. He is protective and a warrior, but he was so tender with Alissa. His treatment of her was so endearing, and they had these sweet intimate moments that were so arresting. I found the story to be engaging, and the author really captivated well on the history without it affecting the romance. It’s what I adore about Kathryn Le Veque, and why I respect her way of writing medieval romance. She can write well about historical events without it being too heavy for the reader. It’s such a natural flow. The romance was beautiful and even though I had some issues, it was a solid read for any historical lover.
What I Struggled With
First off—ignore these covers haha I have never liked them so just ignore them because the writing is very good, I do wish the covers could be more polished as it would attract more readers. As for the story, the main issue I had with this book that kept it from being a higher rating is the ending. It was super abrupt and needed an epilogue. Its a HEA but not satisfying in any way and I felt like Richmond and Alissa deserved more.
I found Great Defender to be a majestic and poignant story that fed my heart and rocked my soul. It’s a romance that delivers many beautiful aspects and will pull you more into this intriguing world that the author has created.
Title: Great Protector
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Medieval Romance
Length: 532 Pages
Storytelling Quality: 4
Story Itself: 3.75
Character Development: 4
Writing Style: 4
World Building 4.5
Feels + The Romantic Heart 3.5
Cover Art 2.5
Overall Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
Lords of de Royans
To The Lady Born-Pub 2013 #1 in the Series
Lord of Winter-Pub 2016 #2 in the Series
The Centurion-Pub 2019 #3 in the Series
Great Protector-Pub 2014 #4 in the Series
About The Author
Juggernaut Indie author Kathryn Le Veque is a ‘tour de force’ in publishing.
Kathryn is a critically acclaimed 21-time USA TODAY Bestselling author, a charter Amazon All-Star author, an Indie Reader top seller, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance with over 100 published novels.
Among her many accomplishments, she is the CEO of Dragonblade Publishing, the #1 Historical Romance e-book publisher on Amazon. In 2020, Kathryn collaborated with Sourcebooks publishing for a Medieval Fight Club series set in Scotland.