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The Unveiling by Tamara Leigh was one of those books I picked up for a fun read after heavy non-fiction books. I'd read a review, and since it seemed interesting, I got it for my Kindle.
The Unveiling is set in the year 1149, when knights guarded their lords’ castles. The story begins with a hanging, from the viewpoint of the man being hung--his last breaths, and his last prayer. It quickly shifts to his sister, Annyn Bretanne, who decides she must avenge her brother’s death by penetrating the enemy’s castle and killing its lord, a man only known as Wulfrith. She decides to masquerade as a boy. Annyn involves her loyal Rowan, and she begins her search for vengeance.
Soon, Annyn is crossing swords with Wulfrith, who personally trains all the boys. Little by little she discovers that Wulfrith is a fair man, tough but kind, and she doubts he would have killed her brother in cold blood.
I really enjoyed the first part of the book. The plot moves along, and the language is delightfully medieval. “She might have laughed if not that it boded ill . . . .” But after that, the plot is predictable, and I only finished the book to finish it.
My biggest problem with The Unveiling was with the steamy physical relationship between Wulfrith and Annyn. He is so in control of himself in every aspect of his life except with her, and it’s just ridiculous that he kisses and paws her and then apologizes. It doesn’t fit with his character—which is noble—or with the medieval times. When Wulfrith finds out that Annyn is a girl, the novel turns into a trite love story. “Does he really love me?” Oh, please!
Wulfrith and Annyn marry, and frankly, I didn’t appreciate some of the details about the wedding night and morning after. Too much information! I am not a prude, but this book was too detailed and a little crude. I certainly would never recommend it for young women (or even for older ones).
The Unveiling is supposed to be a Christian book. It’s the first in the series called “Age of Faith.” Well, except for a few reference to prayers, chapels, and a priest, there’s nothing Christian about it. It’s called “clean,” and it is, in that most of the steamy, touchy romance is done by married partners—but it’s not devoid of some groping and energetic kissing beforehand.
I do not recommend this book, although the author has obvious talent. I only wish she had written a truly clean book, which would have upheld her characters’ nobility and honor. I don’t plan to read her books again.