Take one supposedly spoiled goddaughter to a medieval king, add a feudal lord desperately in need of funds to restore his plague decimated village and castle, stir in a handful of well-meaning friends and relatives, spice up with superstitions aplenty, garnish with a true romance, and voila, you have The Brat by Lynsay Sands.
This tale is refreshing within the genre of historical romance. Captivating at every turn, I found myself wanting to dislike Murie (aka the brat) but soon learned to love her as the layers of her personality were revealed. Directed by the king to marry, she chooses Lord Gaynor since he was the one she dreamt of on St. Agnes eve. At least that's what she believes.
When Murie first sets her eyes on her new home, Gaynor Castle, she does something many other romantic heroine's don't do - she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. I was happy to see an unromanticized description of what a castle was like - sooty, dirty, smelly, drafty, and drab. Not the wonderful kind of place that we see reflected in stories of Camelot.
Throughout their journey from the king's court and their first few months at Gaynor Castle Murie is taken aback by the repeated attempts on her new husband's life. Neither she nor Balan can quite figure out who would want him dead. But at long last Murie uncovers the culprit and of course they can now live happily ever after.
The humorous romps are thrown in at just the right places and in just the right amounts. A quick and interesting read. I highly recommend it.