Raised as a scullery maid in Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood. When she is forced to defend herself against the unwanted advances of an influential man, she flees the castle and finds refuge in Sherwood Forest. It is then she learns a powerful secret: she has a destiny as a guardian of Sherwood, charged with the responsibility of defending its ancient magic.
Since Robin’s death many years before, his supporters have kept his legend alive. Now one of the three guardians holding the spell has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new bond strong enough to protect Sherwood and continue her father’s fight. Drawn equally to Martin’s warrior spirit and Sparrow’s gentle strength, she finds it nearly impossible to choose between duty and love.
Laura takes us on a journey into the world of Robin Hood’s daughter, where we experience her struggle to accept her identity and the demands of her father’s legacy. Along with Wren, we learn that what is loved in life can never be lost, and that great love is worth the price paid. For at last, when Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, the path becomes clear for Wren and she finds the strength to become the woman she was born to be, the Daughter of Sherwood.
Daughter of Sherwood is book one of The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy.
Today we’re delighted to welcome author Laura Strickland to Romantic Historical Reviews, to talk about her exciting new historical romance – Daughter of Sherwood.
THE PERFECT HERO
Is there such a thing as a perfect hero? As a Romance writer, you might say I’m in an enviable position. Not only do I have the task of creating the man of every woman’s dreams, but I then have the added delight of describing him in a variety of situations … and positions. Like facing off against treacherous invaders with a sword in his hand. Fighting for the honor of the woman he loves. Stripping down at the end of the day, sprawling across a bed and running his fingers down his heroine’s naked shoulder …
But there’s a catch to penning a man meant to ramp up every woman’s hormones. Women are as diverse in their tastes as in their appearances, and what might fire one woman’s jets may well leave another cold. Some of us melt at the glimpse of a pair of warm, chocolate-brown eyes. Some of us are attracted to a mop of fair hair. Some of us become breathless at the glimpse of well-developed muscles and some prefer a man whose body is lean and supple with whip-cord strength. Some grow heated at the thought of burnished, brown skin and others harbor hidden desires for a Viking marauder. Some of us find our heartstrings tugged by a military man; some are enthralled by a powerful executive.
So what’s a Romance writer to do? How to capture the interest – and desire – of the variety of ladies who read my book? I’ve discovered there are male characteristics that cross all lines. Women like their men a little bit dangerous, especially in their fantasies. They want a man who knows he’s a man, and isn’t afraid to demonstrate his masculinity to his heroine. At the same time, women want a hero with just a hint of vulnerability under it all. Whether he wears a kilt or a suit, he has to be a good kisser because his heroine always feels his true emotions in his kiss. And he has to be willing to risk everything for the woman he loves. Wrap all these characteristics up into a single hero in any time or place, and he’ll be darn near irresistible.
My new Historical Romance, Daughter of Sherwood, has not one but two irresistible heroes. When our heroine, Wren, comes to Sherwood Forest she learns she is destined to be one of three guardians charged with preserving the magic of Sherwood. The other two guardians are the sons of her father, Robin Hood’s closest companions. Wren discovers she will need to bond with both of them, and choose one upon whom to bestow her heart.
Martin – son of Will Scarlet – with the daring blue eyes and mop of golden hair, is rough and always ready. He has a wicked tongue and wicked hands as well, and he’ll put them anywhere Wren allows. He’s neither a safe nor a tame choice, but he calls to something heedless and daring inside Wren.
Sparrow – son of Robin’s right-hand man, Little John – gives his heart to Wren the moment he sees her. Every time Wren looks into his wild, dark eyes she senses all the magic of Sherwood. When she kisses him he calls to her soul; when they’re apart he whispers in her mind. She could easily loose herself in Sparrow, but dares not. For, not only her happiness but the fate of Sherwood rests on her decision.
Wren’s ultimate choice is not an easy one, but she does follow her heart in the end. I’m not giving away any secrets here, but if you’d like to walk in Wren’s shoes for a while and have the fearful, enjoyable dilemma of deciding along with her, we’d love to see you in Sherwood. Does Wren make the choice you would? Could she have chosen differently? Oh, what’s a woman to do when there’s not one perfect hero, but two?
Publisher and Release Date: Wild Rose Press, 23 July 2013
Time and Setting: 13h Century England
Genre: Historical Romance with fantasy elements
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Jenny Q
This book had me at “daughter of the legendary Robin Hood.” I couldn’t resist a story that revolves around the next generation of the outlaws of Sherwood, the children of Robin, Little John, and Will Scarlett, who must come together to keep the legend and the magic of Sherwood alive, and to continue the fight for the rights of the poor and oppressed.
As the Sheriff of Nottingham lays dying, Wren toils away in his kitchens, scrubbing pans, hauling water, and dodging the advances of the sheriff’s lieutenant. It’s the only life she’s ever known, so she’s more than surprised when a handsome stranger arrives bearing an urgent message for her, and she discovers she’s actually the daughter of none other than the Robin Hood of legend — a legend she hadn’t even believed in . . . until now. Hidden under the sheriff’s nose until ready to fulfil her destiny, she is suddenly pulled from her dark and dreary world into one of green and dappled sunlight, of whispering spirits and ancient magic, and of two men as different as night and day yet both powerfully and irrevocably bound to her. As the sheriff’s men hunt them down and seek to quell the re-emergence of the Sherwood legend by punishing the villagers who support them, Wren must find the courage to take her place in the new triad, to lead her band of followers, and to choose which man will be entrusted with the keeping of her heart.
Daughter of Sherwood is a very imaginative and well-told envisioning of Robin Hood’s legacy, engrossing from the first page and darn near unputdownable. Robin Hood purists may take issue, and Maid Marion gets a bit of the short-thrift in this one, but I thought it was a great spin on the old tales, and I really enjoyed the story. For those of you who don’t like love triangles, a good portion of the story is devoted to one. But it is a good triangle, full of angst and difficult decisions. I don’t think the characters experience a whole lot of growth, but they’re bold and interesting, and I was particularly drawn to Sparrow. His quiet strength was a good complement to Wren’s impetuous naivety and Martin’s hot-headed brawn. The story is full of action, but it is nicely tempered with moments of reflection and tenderness, and I loved the way Ms. Strickland combined the legend of Sherwood Forest with the magic of nature and the mythology of the Green Man. It’s a fairy tale, coming-of-age story, and sensuous romance all rolled into one, and very well written with some beautiful descriptive passages. A good read for those who like a little fantasy and swashbuckling in their historical romance. I’ll be on the lookout for more from Laura Strickland.
WE HAVE ONE KINDLE EDITION OF DAUGHTER OF SHERWOOD TO GIVE AWAY – ENTER AT RAFFLECOPTER BELOW
About the Author
Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Currently she is at work on the third book of the Guardians of Sherwood series.
You can catch up with Laura at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/760146.Laura_Strickland or at her website: http://www.laurastricklandbooks.com/