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In the Master's Bed
Sep 1, 2009 - 4:03:30 PM
Young Jane de Weston fearfully dreads the life laid out for her – marriage to a respectable man, birthing babies, and heaps of womanly duties, the likes of which Jane lacks terribly. The illegitimate daughter of King Edward III, Jane’s only hope of her dreams meeting fruition is to become a man. The plan seems easy enough – pose as a man, get accepted into a Master’s program, excel to the level that would make King Richard II take notice, and be appointed a clerk in his majesty’s noble service. All totally feasible, provided Jane could pull off living as a man among men... for pretty much forever. Too bad she didn’t calculate falling in love with her Master; she “might” have had a chance.
Duncan is a man of the north lands, an instructor of grammar and rhetoric, a student of Medicine, and young “John’s” new Master. Northlanders, stereotyped as barbarians incapable of civility, know all too keenly the sting of marginalization. Such was the reason behind Duncan taking John into his care, friendship, and tutelage. But nothing in his studies could’ve prepared him for when he found out John was actually Jane; nor could he have foreseen how Jane’s presence would simultaneously complicate his life and give him new meaning, especially in his darkest hour.
Blythe Gifford’s IN THE MASTER’S BED, is a sweetly seductive, subtly spellbinding sequel to THE HARLOT’S DAUGHTER.
The saga continues some time after THE HARLOT’S DAUGHTER, permitting a brief glimpse of the perfect life Solay and Justin have made for one another and introduces our new heroine, Jane, Solay’s younger sister. And what a heroine she is! Her journey from a frightened young girl into that of a daring young man with promise, to a burgeoning woman of intellect, bravery, and grace is a privilege to behold. That she thought she could survive the rest of her life living as a man in a man’s world could be construed as laughable to some; but the zeal that fuels her single-minded determination of making her dreams come true is inspiring. Inspiring and enviable. Forgetting that if she’s caught, her life is forfeit, the mere idea of a woman endeavoring such a task is humbling and puts to shame any person afraid of finding their own star.
And as heroes go, Jane couldn’t have done any better for herself in the form of Duncan. The only man capable of honing young John’s intelligence and awakening Jane’s womanly soul, Duncan is, quite simply put, fascinating. He understands all too well the torturous nature of being torn between who you are and who you want to become. Separate, Jane and Duncan are mere characters in a book, never knowing their true destiny or where they belong; but together, their characters sing in perfect fated harmony (both figuratively and literally).
IN THE MASTER’S BED is so cunningly bewitching that readers will unknowingly lose a whole night reading. While rewarding reads are perpetually sought, a more satisfying read cannot be found.
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