Widowed Kate is once again at the mercy of her father's match-making, and her prospects aren't very promising. If only she could marry her father's steward, a gentle young man who seems smitten with her.
Rafe has his sights on Kate as soon as he learns who she is. Her father's sworn enemy, he's determined to marry her and reclaim the lands that were stolen from his family. But Kate has feelings for another, and getting her out from under the watchful eye of her father isn't going to be easy.
The Verdict: While I enjoy historical romances, I especially like those that take place in some time other than the last couple hundred years, which is why I thought I'd give this one a shot.
Like was common for women in her time, Kate is looked upon as property, someone to marry off to a good match as a favor, a way of advancing the family, or means of gaining something. Still young but newly widowed, she's back under her father's care, and there's not much care to be found in him. He's not the least bit interested in her happiness; he simply wants to find her a husband that suits him, and so far it looks like he's about to make a terrible choice for her.
Meanwhile, Kate is completely smitten with Warin, her father's steward. He's good-looking, well-mannered, and kind to her, and while she knows that match will never happen, she fantasizes about the kind of romance all women want. Rafe is determined to have her for himself, a means to getting her property back for his family, and while she's certainly intrigued by him, she's not entirely swayed. She can't deny her rather passionate feelings for him, though. What follows is drama, intrigue, and a bit of adventure as Kate learns that Rafe is really the only one invested in her happiness, and Rafe finds himself falling for her, despite his initial intentions.
While some things were certainly romanticized (which is exactly why we read romances, right?), the story also felt accurate to the medieval time period. Women were entirely at the whims of fathers, brothers, and husbands, and anyone with status was married off for profit and favor rather than love or happiness. Kate's experience with her first marriage wasn't altogether horrible, but it wasn't about love, and from that marriage she learned that intimacy is an uncomfortable burden at best for women. Of course, by the happily ever after, she learns differently.
Since there's some intrigue and a swift twist in plot partway through, it's really impossible to say more about the story without giving everything away, but I will say that The Warrior's Wife has just about everything I look for in historical romances. It's dramatic, fun, and certainly romantic, and it offers a heroine that, while true to the era, has a will of her own. If you love your romance back in time, you won't want to put this one down.