Always was a fun, romantic read that left my heart full.
Rosamunde was raised in a convent and prepared to take the veil to become a nun. But her father, King Henry, had a different path in mind for his illegitimate daughter. She was his favorite after all, and he would see that she was well cared for and loved.
Aric, just ending his engagement to a cheating harlot and left with major trust issues, had absolutely no desire to ever marry. King Henry, however, gave him no say in the matter. Aric was always the king’s first choice when thinking of a husband for his daughter. And thanks to Aric’s recent single status, the king gets what he wants.
Of course it isn’t exactly marital bliss for the newly wedded couple. There are plenty of bumps to smooth out. Which is to be expected from two strangers unexpectedly thrown together.
Rosamunde may be the king’s daughter, but she is in no way spoiled. Raised to be fully self-efficient and reliable, she is used to caring and tending to her own matters. Her main responsibility and passion at the convent was working in the stables with the animals. Aric, however, still feeling the effects of his ex-betrothed, lets his jealousy and fears consume him in regards to Rosamunde. He stifles and tries to control her actions, thinking that by limiting her he can prevent her from being unfaithful. Sadly, he misses the point that Rosamunde is nothing like his vile ex or other women from his past. But, he will learn.
There were quite a few times throughout the story that had me shaking with laughter. Obviously, Rosamunde is naïve when it comes to matters of the bedroom, and one really shouldn’t get sex advice from a nun and a bishop. Just…no. I felt for Aric during those times. He actually feared bedding his wife at one point. Then there was her affinity for caring for animals. There’s a scene where she’s nursing a horse back to health that you really need to read for yourself. It was hilarious.
Best of all about this book though was seeing these two people slowly come to trust in each other and love one another–to the point where they’d risk their own lives for the other. Watching Aric come to learn what is was to be truly loved and cared for and feel those things in return is pretty heartwarming. And seeing Rosamunde bloom from a young woman out of her element into a strong, fierce protector and lover is pretty amazing.
This was a 4 star read for me.