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Romance Review – Roselynde

Roselynde by Roberta Gellis

Review by Jerelyn (I-F-Letty)


I have gone through a bit of a reading slump lately.  I have been anxiously awaiting the releases of several of my favorite author’s new books.     So when this happens I go back to my comfort reads.  Now I have been here at PBS long enough to know that there are those who never re-read anything; The too many books so little time group.  Then there is the group who has books that they read once a year for whatever reason.  Then there are those who have comfort reads.  I have comfort reads because quite honestly I am uncomfortable when I don’t have a book on the nightstand.  These books are invariably romances, something that is just a love story with a happy ending.  So I decided to write a series of reviews on older books but they might be new to someone.  They are also readily available here at PBS.

Roselynde by Roberta Gellis, was first published in 1978.  The story begins in the summer of 1189, after Henry II dies and just before his son Richard’s coronation.  Richard’s mother Queen Eleanor has spent 16 years in close confinement after leading her sons to rebel against their father.  In this story of a young woman fictional Alinor joins the ranks of real life heiresses that had been wards of King Henry II, he was in no hurry to marry these girls off not while he had the use of their money, and the power of the knights, sworn liege men of these Countesses to bolster his own army while he was at war with his son Richard and King Philip in France.

Alinor doting Grandfather has raised her to be Mistress of Roselynde’s vast holdings, not to be someone chattel.  But Richard has to raise a great deal of money.  For he has promised to go on Crusade and must get all his ducks in a row so to speak before leaving for 3 years in the Holy land.  He has sent his mother to Roselynde Keep to assess this young and powerful Countess.  The Queen upon meeting Alinor realizes she is in the present of a kindred spirit, a young woman just like she had been at that age, intelligent, capable, and nobody’s fool.  Often times Royal wards fortunes we stripped from them by those who were supposed to protect them. Alinor fears this is just what the Queen intends, when she is introduced to Simon, a man who was, at age 40 is a minor Baron unsuitable as a husband for Alinor and completely and utterly loyal to Eleanor and to Richard.

As Alinor’s warden Simon fights against his attraction to his young ward, as he protects her from fortune hunters who often used abduction and forced marriage, to get around the Kings intentions for his wards.  But she looks very like the young Queen Eleanor, whom he has loved with and unrequited passion for 25 years. He being nearly 20 years older than the 16 year-old Alinor makes it almost more than he can bare.  It is not honorable to have these feelings for a girl he is supposed to protect.  It doesn’t help that Alinor has developed the same passion for him, and has decided that here is a man whom she can trust not to ride rough shot over her, and her duty as Mistress of Roselynde, and she will have him.   Navigating the Court of Richard and then to the holy land Alinor and Simon’s love story is a joy to watch.  And with all of Gellis’s works, her history is well researched.  With some forgivable errors considering the time they were written.

This is one of those books that you really need to over look the cover; there is enough history to make H/F people happy and enough romance to make most romance readers happy.  Also for those who just don’t know if romance is for them they should give it a try.  What sex there is, is restrained and it is making love not just sex.  This is one of my 5 star reads.   It has been re-published into e-book format.  Be warned this is a family saga and if you read this there are 5 equally excellent books that follow,  Roselynde. In order, Alinor, Joanna, Gilliane, Rhiannon and Sybelle. There is another book called Desiree that chronologically falls between Roselynde and Alinor but was written years later and in my opinion the weakest of the books.  I have to wonder if Gellis’s heart was in it.  It is hard to come by and I only suggest it to those who really love the series.



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6 Responses to “Romance Review – Roselynde”

  1. Cathy M. (misfit) says:

    Desiree is very dire, I wouldn’t recommend it at all, although Harriet loved it 😀

  2. Jerelyn H. (I-F-Letty) says:

    She would. 🙂

  3. Susan F. (scoutmomskf) says:

    The Roselynde books are among my top favorites. I had to replace a couple books (thank you PBS!) because they were falling apart . I’m long overdue a re-read on them.

  4. Ani K. (goddessani) says:

    I’ve heard of Roberta Gellis but have never read anything by her. I see I’ll have to rectify that because I find the Plantagenets fascinating. Thanks for the review!

  5. Deb B. says:

    Terrific review! I’m embarrassed to say that this book has been sitting on my TBR stack for some time — approximately 1-1/2 years when a kind PBS member (i.e., Jerelyn) sent it to me. OK — I promise to get to it.

  6. Jerelyn H. (I-F-Letty) says:

    Just spreading the love Deb. 🙂

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