Review: Lord of the Keep by Ann Lawrence

Lord of the Keep by Ann Lawrence
Series: Medieval Trilogy (# 1)
Re-release Date: March 7, 2014
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Pages: 300
Source: book provided by the publisher for review

When Lord Gilles invites Emma to join his weavers, she sees it as her salvation. Emma lives at the base of Hawkwatch Castle, barely making a living with her weaving for herself and her daughter.

But when she comes to work for Gilles, she weaves far more for the Lord of the Keep than the finest fabric, she weaves a spell of love about him.

Lord Gilles cannot deny his love for Emma or the jealousy he feels that other men want her. And when her life is threatened, Gilles knows he has only one true gift to offer-his life for hers.


Review: Emma first meets Lord Gilles when her uncle drags her before him with the accusation she has lost her virtue and is most likely with child. This is Lord Gilles first day in this position and he feels sorry for Emma. She exchanged vows him a man that didn’t stand up for her now. Her uncle is furious that she has blown the chance to wed a man he picked for her. Lord Gilles sends them home to wait out the possiblity of pregnancy. To his utmost horror, he and his men discover Emma nearly starved to death and with a newborn daughter clinging to her.

Since Emma is an excellent weaver, Lord Gilles gives her a position as his personal weaver. It’s no secret to anyone looking close enough that Lord Gilles is quite smitten with Emma. Emma, however, is now a mother and must think of her child. She doesn’t want to be known as a fallen woman and she doesn’t want to make the same mistake that put her in this position in the first place. But, Emma can’t keep Lord Gilles at bay for long and soon the two are secret ( and not so secret) lovers.

Complications arise when Lord Gilles puts it together who fathered Emma’s child- a much younger man than he, and also connected to him personally. Lord Gilles is now in his forties and perhaps unable to father a child. He is consummed with jealously , to the point where he drives Emma away from him, if not in body, then in spirit. Just as things are smoothed over and Emma convinces Lord Gilles she only loves him, they are blindsided by a shocking announcement from King Richard.

As Lord Gilles tries to figure out how to please the king, but keep Emma as well, Emma is taken into custody for a crime she didn’t commit. Can Lord Gilles save her from the gallows?

This is one of those novels written back in the late 90’s when historical romances were written in much different manner than they are today. This book has been reissued by Ellora’s Cave in digital format and again I am just loving this trend. This is an outstanding medieval historical romance that has a May- December romance, a class difference, scandal, action, adventure, suspense, and plenty of drama and steamy romance scenes. Emma is a woman with her own mind and that is seldom a thing women dared to have in those days. Standing up to Lord Gilles was no problem for Emma. While he is formidable, an Alpha personality, ridden with human traits like jealously and pride, he is also honorable and gentle, can admit his errors and make amends for them. He has made mistakes in his life for which he is very sorry, but did the best he could to do the right thing.

Lord Gilles loves Emma in every way, deeply and passionately, so much that he is willing to pay the ultimate price for her freedom. * Sigh* I wish they still wrote ’em like this!! This is one of the best medieval period historical romances I’ve read in a good long while!