Back Cover Blurb:
This Is All I Ask is a sweeping, emotional novel capturing all the passion and majesty of the medieval period. Set near the Scottish border at a rugged castle on the edge of the sea, this is the story of a courageous lord who lost everything he held dear. Of a strong young woman willing to sacrifice everything for happiness.
Since the blurb is cryptic, here's a quick description: Gillian is a young woman who is heavily abused by her father. Christopher, the fearsome Dragon of Blackmour, marries her because he promised her brother William he would give her a safe place to live if William died. However, he doesn't wish to love her because his first wife betrayed him before she died. He's also afraid Gillian will despise him if she discovers his secret: he's blind. Neither expects how their lives will change once they marry.
The book is a historical romance set in the medieval period. The characters are well-drawn and act in realistic ways. The pacing is good, and every scene serves a purpose. There are no explicit sex scenes, but the main characters do have sex after they're married. There are three witches (of the "brewing potions" kind) that are minor characters, though no actual magical potions are consumed. One of these witches can see the future because she has "the Sight," and she helps move events in subtle ways. I'd rate this as "good, clean fun" for those who like a little heat in their clean romances.
Excerpt: Chapter One
The twigs snapped and popped in the hearth, sending a spray of sparks across the stone. One of the three girls huddled there stamped out the live embers, then leaned into the circle again, her eyes wide with unease.
"Is it true he's the Devil's own?"
"'Tis the rumor," the second whispered with a furtive nod.
"He was spawned in the deepest of nights," the third announced. She was the eldest of the three and the best informed on such matters. She looked over her shoulder, then looked back at her companions. "And I know what happened to his bride."
Gillian of Warewick paused at the entrance to the kitchens. She didn't like serving girls as a rule, what with their gossiping and cruel taunts, but something about the way the maid uttered the last of her boast made Gillian linger. She hesitated, waiting for the girl to go on.
"'Tis said," the third began, lowering her voice and forcing the others, including Gillian, to edge even closer, "that his lady wife found him one night with his eyes as red as Hellfire and horns coming out from atop his head. He caught her before she could flee and she's never been heard from since. 'Tis common knowledge that he sacrificed her to his Master."
Gillian felt a shiver go down her spine. Her knowledge of the world outside the castle walls was scant indeed, but she could well believe that England was full of witches and ogres who wove their black magic in the dead of the night. Her brother had told her as much and she'd had no reason to doubt his tales.
"He never leaves his keep, or so I'm told," the second girl said suddenly, obviously trying to sound as important as the third. "He has familiars see to his affairs."
"Perhaps he fears someone will learn what he truly is," the youngest of the three offered.