Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Christina Dodd -- Candle In The Window

Christina Dodd -- Candle In The Window

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ . ♥   {4.05}
Action: ♠♠♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣.♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥.♥ / Sensuous: ♦.♦ / Suspense: ♠♠♠.♠
Action: 3.0 / Emotion: 3.5 / Romance: 3.5 / Sensuous: 1.5 / Suspense: 3.5  //  Historical Flavor: 4.5 / Laughter: 1 / Grins: 2 // Tears: 2 / Teary: 1

  1990 : Golden Heart Award -- Best Historical
  1991 : 1992 Rita Winner -- Best First Book
  1990-91 RT Reviewers' Choice -- First Medieval Romance
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Setting:   England
Era:       1153
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This is a very difficult review to write simply because Candle In The Window, the first book in The Medieval Duet (or 'My First Series' Duet) by Christina Dodd did not rock my world.   Being in the mood for an exciting, action-packed medieval 'knight in shining armor' romance, choose to read this book.   And while Candle In The Window was an enjoyable, entertaining read, it was not a book that inspired a deep emotional connection to the characters and an unquenchable interest.

Those readers who are fascinated by a handicapped hero or heroine will probably love this book because Lady Saura of Roget was born blind.   Dodd did an absolutely phenomenal job at portraying how Saura 'saw' through sounds, touch and smell.   It must have taken a lot of extensive research and/or a lot of conversations with a blind person for Dodd to so vividly paint a picture of how Saura could 'see' the world around her.   It seemed so realistic, so genuinely probable in spite of the improbability of such a heroine surviving in medieval times.

Saura currently lived under the domineering, hateful rule of her stepfather, Theobald.   Saura was able to very competently perform the role of chatelaine of Pertrade Castle with the aid of her maid, Maud, and the support of the servants who were loyal to her.   Saura was able to act as chatelaine because she had been trained by her mother, Lady Eleanor, to do so.

"My mother was a canny lady, and if she ever worried about me, I didn't know of it.   I did the things she told me because I never knew I couldn't, and if I had ever given in to the despair, she would have disciplined me out of it."   (Saura, page 7)

Lord Peter of Burke literally begged Saura to come to Burke Castle (a three-day ride from Pertrade Castle) to show his son, Sir William of Miraval, how to navigate his new world of darkness.   Peter was worried about William's despair and despondency since he lost his sight in a mild skirmish two months ago.   Peter, Maud and Saura discussed the best way to remove Saura from under the thumb of Theobald and install her as the supposedly elderly housekeeper at Burke Castle so she could bring William back to life.

"Please Lady Saura," Lord Peter took her hand in his trembling grasp, rubbing his calloused fingers across her chilled skin.   "Please come.   I know my William is there somewhere, buried beneath the mountain of anger and disgust.   My son is still there, but only lost.   Please help me find him."   (Peter, page 17)

Since Saura realized that treating William like spun glass was a detriment to his well-being, she wasted no time in raising his ire when she and Maud arrived at the smelly and unkempt Burke Castle.   Dodd showed her talent when it came to writing the kind of dialogue that would draw readers deep into the lives of the characters and keep them engrossed in the story just to see what would happen next.

Seeking to perpetuate his proud defiance, she snapped, "But what will you do afterward?   Come back and sit next to the fire and stink?"   (Saura, page 23)

"I knew you were blind right away.   It seems you haven't learned to feed yourself without slopping sauce on your clothes.   It seems you can't find your hair with a comb or a bath with your body.   It seems all you can do is drink and stink."   (Saura, page 23)

The next hurdle for Saura to surmount was to persuade the servants of Burke Castle to respond to her authority.   Dodd displayed her understanding of human nature as she introduced the ringleader of dissension, Hawisa, the castle strumpet.

Led by the slovenly Hawisa, they displayed a sly perversity when given Saura's orders.   Sometimes they misunderstood them; sometimes they were terribly slow about completing them; sometimes they remembered the different ways Anne had ordered things done.   (Saura, page 26)

Saura wished she had not ostracized William so quickly with her sharp words because with his voice of authority she could get the castle set to rights.   But as time passed and William sat in his corner and listened to Saura issuing orders, he began to come out of his stupor and finally stood tall and commanded his servants to respect Saura as the chatelaine, just as they had served his deceased wife, Anne.

Dodd very impressively described Saura's difficulty in determining William's condition and how she could help him.

She had no feel for him yet, for the man who endured inside.   She could not observe anyone, their mannerisms and habits, she could only listen to them and draw her conclusions from their voices and intonations.   In her own home, the family and retainers she dealt with acknowledged her intelligence and perception, but William seldom spoke and so she groped when she dealt with him.   To touch another being her best insight, but because of the role laid on her, that of a middle-aged woman, she could never benefit by the perceptions open to her with grasp of hand or kiss on check.   (Saura, page 33)

At this point in the story, Dodd inserted Bartley, an elderly house servant who came to fetch Saura to attend to William.   Dodd showed her skill at creating intriguing secondary characters as Saura learned that Bartley had been a man-at-arms until he could no longer swing his sword.

" 'tis hell t' be old.   Don't ever get old, 'tis just one long day after another, an' not enough work t' fill th' time."   (Barley, page 34)

It was greatly disappointing that Dodd used Bartley once and then threw him away.   Wouldn't it have been interesting to see Saura give Bartley a sense of purpose?   The mark of a good story is the inclusion of minor characters, like Bartley, and weaving them throughout the story to create a feeling of unity, realism, and historical accuracy.

William finally decided he'd had enough verbal abuse at the hands of 'That Woman' and was ready to take a bath and start helping his father with his duties and spend time with his eight year old son, Kimball.   And so begins the attraction between William and Saura.   When William pulled the young maid who touched him into the water with him, he was impressed with her curves and kissed her.   Of course, it was Saura in the water with William and because she reached the ancient age of nineteen and had no dreams of a husband and home, she kissed William back with enthusiasm.

Two things happened as a result of that kiss.   First William began kissing all the servants trying to find his lady and Maud saw the passion arching between William and Saura and had hopes that her charge had a chance at a family after all.

Dodd did not share with readers the struggle that William faced, nor the method that Saura used to teach William how to start becoming a functioning member of Burke Castle within the limited realm of his abilities.   Bam!   Suddenly William was taking over the accounts, rendering judgments around the estate and riding with the aid of his son and Clare, Kimball's newest friend and playmate.

Now that the romance has started to blossom, Dodd introduces an aura of suspense into the story.   The four men that had fostered with Lord Peter arrived unexpectedly to see how William was faring.   Dodd took this opportunity to reveal the political climate currently pervading England as the fostered brothers spoke of the enmity between King Stephen and Queen Matilda as well as Matilda's son, Duke Henry and his marriage to Eleanor, who had divorced King Louis of France.

Dodd very impressively revealed the nature of these four men as she wrote the conversation between them as Saura listened.   Since she was blind, Saura's astute hearing enabled her to discern when men were lying.   And even if Dodd had not ended the chapter by revealing that there was, indeed, an eavesdropper who hated William, the conversation itself implied that one of these men was instrumental in William's misfortune.

Two of the men who fostered under the tutelage of Lord Peter were not richly developed, but they both inspired degrees of doubt and distrust regarding their honor.   It was quite easy to dislike Arthur, the knight who was flighty, vindictive, and spent almost more time lifting women's skirts than he did wielding his sword.   It was easy to feel a bit more sympathy for Charles, who was debt-ridden because of his wastrel of a father.   Charles spent quite a bit of time hiding from his troubles inside a bottle.

The other two men were more richly developed secondary characters.   It was difficult for Saura to read Raymond of Avraché, the man who had told Peter about Saura.   Because Raymond was William's closest friend, he dismissed Raymond as a likely culprit immediately when it became obvious that he'd been betrayed by one of these men.   But Raymond was a complex man, given to dark moods because his titled, wealthy parents cared nothing for him and controlled him by keeping him without funds.

Lord Nicholas of Walham was the most annoying member of the quartet.   As Dodd began painting the picture of Nicholas, the too well-fed knight who would rather use his mind than his sword arm, she composed a picture of a man who was so driven by avarice, that he murdered his own brother to gain a title.   As the story progressed, it became more and more obvious that all fingers were pointing towards Nicholas as being the man who so envied William that he wanted to destroy William and take everything that belonged to him, including Saura.   Naturally, since all fingers pointed at Nicholas, it was easy to dismiss him as the villain and look to the other members of the group.

During one of their outings with Kimball and Clare, William was knocked out as he tried to fight the henchmen sent to capture him and Saura.   They were carted off to a castle and thrown into a room to await the master who arranged the abduction.   Saura cared for William as best she could and eventually laid down beside him for warmth.   As expected (since this is William and Saura's love story), they made love.   Since this book was written during the time of purple prose (1991), it was no surprise that the scene lacked the spicy details that are featured in more modern romance novels.

{In an addendum to this review, will offer the following commentary regarding the purple prose.   After reading on Wikipedia that "Her first editor was conservative, and often cut or severely trimmed the love scenes that Dodd had written," you have to wonder at the frustration that authors must endure because their publishers will not keep their fingers out of their work.   After reading some blistering reviews about an author's book, you have to wonder if maybe that reviewer shouldn't instead be writing a letter to editors instead of author bashing.}

The next morning when William awoke, he could see.   (Tell me you didn't see that coming!)   William looked at the beauty of the woman who had stolen his heart and soul and determined then and there that he would marry her.   Up until this point, it was easy to admire Saura and understand her desire to be with William.   But now that William could see, Saura decided she was not worthy of him and refused to marry him.   And from this moment on, it was difficult to understand where Saura was coming from . . . and detracted from the enjoyment of the story.

Saura had presented herself as a woman who did not feel sorry for herself because of her blindness, but the ugly words that Theobald had spewed upon her for so many years took root and now she felt unworthy of a man of William's stature -- even though she was a landowner and heiress.   Thankfully, Maud knew her charge well enough to devise a plan that would compel her to agree to marry William.

Maud was a very important member of the cast of characters in this book, but the picture Dodd painted of her was vague and simplistic.   She was an opinionated woman who loved and served Saura well, but the story could have been so much better if Maud had been painted with richer, varied colors.   Especially since Maud and Peter became lovers.

Lord Peter was another secondary character that jumped off the pages with his bold, loud, honorable personality, but, he, too, was underdeveloped.   After he served his purpose in bringing Saura to Burke Castle, he almost seemed to disappear off the pages of the book.   Of course, he appeared regularly, but it was difficult to feel the vibrance of his presence when he did appear.   Rather than develop the relationship building between Peter and Maud, the plot began to follow a straight path detailing the trust issues William and Saura were experiencing as they contemplated their marriage -- and how to locate the traitor who was determined to steal away their happiness.

Two secondary characters that appeared often on the pages of the book were Kimball and Saura's seven year old brother, Clare.   But that is all they did -- appear and disappear.   It seems this story could have inspired a deeper emotional connection between the reader and William and Saura if Dodd had developed an emotional connection to these two boys and their father and sister, respectively.

Enjoyed the cameo appearance Dodd presented between Saura and her half brothers when they came to Burke Castle for the wedding.   Dodd used this scene to show readers how close Saura was to her brothers and how uncomfortable the rest of the world was around those with handicaps.   Saura's oldest brother, Rollo, brought his thirteen year old bride to the family reunion in the garden and it was obvious that young Alice had no idea how to act around Saura.

The inclusion of two other special secondary characters added greatly to the story -- Bronnie and Bula.   Bronnie was such a fascinating character -- a good "bad guy."   Bronnie treated Saura like a lady even though he was a simpleton who served the book's villain.   The incorporation of Bula being underfoot as he followed Saura wherever she went was a pleasing addition to the story, especially for us dog lovers.

Even though it was difficult to identify with Saura, the exact opposite was true of William.   Even though Dodd did not give William a multitude of layers and failed to describe his turmoil as he came to grips with his blindness (probably because she knew she was going to give him back his sight), he was still wonderful hero material.   Loved that William was a big, handsome, loud man who displayed kindness and honor in his simple, 'I'm just an old country boy' way.

Dodd ended the book with an a very thrilling finale when the traitor takes Saura and she has to use her intelligence and her blindness to outwit him so when William comes for her they can defeat their foe.   It was during this sequence of events that Dodd finally revealed to readers the depths of despair that inhabited William when he had been blinded.   Saura, who understood everything William was feeling, was able to bring him out of his terror so they could escape the clutches of the madman who took them.

In summary, Candle In The Window was an enjoyable, entertaining read.   Although it will not be added to my 'to be re-read' list, it contained the necessary requirements to make it a book well worth reading.   {1} William, a big, handsome, loud, alpha hero who powerfully wielded his sword in defense of his family.   {2} Saura, a strong-willed, deeply determined heroine who may not have been handicapped by her blindness, but was wounded by her stepfather's words.   {3} The inclusion of several adventurous action scenes added to the depth of the story.   {4} A light degree of emotional connection to the characters brought forth humor and tearfulness.   {5} A soft romance as the attraction between William and Saura grew into love.   {6} The tenseness of suspense as a friend betrays William.   The two biggest detractions to the story were {1} the poor secondary character development (even though their presence enriched the story) and {2} the lack of sensuality (even though it was expected).
--Vonda M. Reid (Friday, May 24, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.)     [315]

Books In The Series: "The Medieval Duet" and/or "My First Series Duet"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.04-1991Candle In The WindowSir William of Miraval, knightLady Saura of Roget, blind
02.07-1993Castles In The AirGeoffroi Jean Louis Raymond, Count of AvrachéLady Juliana of Lofts, widow
These two books are very much stand alone reads, even though they have some related characters in each book.

Characters Found In "Candles In The Window"
Character Description
Sir William of Miraval[Hero] Lord Peter of Burke's only child; strong; robust; lost his sight (8) balanced on a sword's edge, trying to keep vows, honor, property (8) Peter's only surviving son (11) healthy as a horse; 27-y-o; earned the colée when 15; knighted for bravery in the field of battle; overseen management of his mother's lands; a big man; legs like tree trunks; shoulders that bulge with muscle; a fighter; a man of action (11) widower; respects age and efficiency (14) clear and direct; full of hearty laughter and great rages (17) deep rich voice (22) sharp mind (26) fair man in arbitration (36) scrupulous (37) tall; well-muscled; broad; stern; dimples show above beard when smiles; golden blond (48) beard trimmed close to show strong chin (48) champion of tournaments (61) blond hair (77) decisively columned neck; stubborn resistance sat on his square jaw; nose broken many times; small, well-placed ears close to his head; virile; eyes sat deep below the bone of his forehead; bushy eyebrows accentuated the contrast; broad brow elucidated his strength; hair like fine-textured sand (100) strong; passionate; refined; determined; scars and ridges on smooth skin; powerful arms; hands huge squares of authority; long, blunt-tipped, sensitive fingers; hands spoke of his kindness and control; big mass of muscle and coordination (101) honorable; never stooped to rape or lies; did not hit squire (132) Lord Miraval and Brunbrook, heir to Burke and Stenton (169) roaring temper; rough; uncultured (247)
Lady Saura of Roget[Heroine] wide, red, smooth mouth; pretty; long black hair hanging down her back; body poets sing about (1) blind; daughter of Theobald's first wife (2) managed the production of dinner from her seat; servants spoke respectfully; moved gracefully (2) 'heart of a lion' (3) 'beautiful in an earthy way'; 'beautiful in a way that made men long to indulge themselves with her'; clear white skin, unmarked by the pox; exotic cheekbones that spoke of Norman ancestors; long, straight nose; wide enticing mouth; black eyelashes (4) great violet eyes (5) handle lack of sight well; mother taught her to be self-sufficient, to care for herself, her servants, her family, her home (7) owns lands; bright, inquiring mind (9) sense of humor; formidable insight (10) has a way with animals (21) soft, strong feminine voice, a range of emotion that clearly foretold her moods (28) spoke Norman French, understood some English (30) intelligent; perceptive (33) 19-y-o (38) long single braid (48) virtuous maiden; heiress (68) hair hung down to her thighs (97) known for her eternal serenity; calm disposition in the face of trouble (100) lovely bone structure; willful chin (110) gorgeous; red lips; long black lashes; long, shiny black hair; clear creamy skin unmarred by freckle or blemish (117) beautiful; compassionate; accomplished; rich (119) skin glowed with health (120) always there for her brothers; kind; generous; free with her time and understanding (237) stubborn; outspoken (247)
. . . . . .
Alden[No Appearance] Saura and previously Eleanor's man; went to Burke Castle with Saura (17)
Alice of Montreg[Brief Appearance] Rollo's wife (228) gangling girl (227) 13-y-o (233) malleable; easily led; afraid of the servants (237) nice girl; eager to please; all legs and arms; big feet, big hands; still plays with dolls (238)
Anne[No Appearance] William's late wife (17) insisted on windows for solar; boisterous laugh; scent of lavender on her clothes; plump cushion of her body; buried next to four tiny graves of her children (40)
Arthur[Secondary Character] fostered with William; a womanizer; sought the myth of the perfect woman (41) fostered with William under Lord Peter's tutelage (57) William disdained the light-minded man who never grew up (62) flighty; vindictive; impossible to question because of his lightness of mind (130) acne-pocked skin (133)
Aschil[Brief Appearance] Burke woodsman (163) short; dirty; dressed in green; materialized from woods (163)
Athele[No Appearance] a widow; last son died; over 60-y-o; no teeth; no way to support herself; pain twists her joints; half the village thinks she's a witch because she's lonely and her mind wanders and she mutters to herself (73)
Raymond of Avraché[Secondary Character] [Hero of Book 2] told Peter about Saura (6) fostered with William under Lord Peter's tutelage; William's close friend; younger; richer; more noble; extremely clever; prey to dark moods; had inexplicable rapport with William (57) cousin to King Stephen and Queen Matilda (60) an earl (67) unhappy when brought to Peter for fostering; parents cared nothing for him (187) layers of complexity colored his speech; jealous of William's contentment; man driven by his ambition and family; cynical; wary (322)
Bartley[Brief Appearance] Burke Castle servant (32) elderly; former man-at-arms (34)
Sir Denton of Belworth[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; one of Saura's vassals; taught Saura to arm wrestle (272)
Lady Bertha[Brief Appearance] wedding ample hips (283)
Blaise[Brief Appearance] Saura's half brother; 4-y-o; clings to Blanche (15) violet eyes (227) black hair; clear, pale skin (229) hears all; speaks rarely (247)
Lady Blanche[Brief Appearance] Theobald's young wife (4) worthless as a chatelaine; fiercely protective as a mother (247)
Bronnie[Secondary Character] henchman (82) slow-witted (93) a well-meaning, idiotic puppy dog who never meant to hurt anyone (94) tattered clothes; dirty face; fair young man; tall; muscular displayed the sort of healthy glow that makes women stare and men snort in jealous disgust; long brown hair shown with auburn highlights, encasing a face angular in its beauty; beardless jaw jutted out with authority; skin displayed the kind of texture that made a woman itch to touch it (137)
Bula[Animal] gigantic dog (20) supposed to be a hunting animal, followed Saura everywhere (21)
Lord Peter of Burke[Major Secondary Character] gray hair (1) old enough to be Saura's grandfather (3) honest face (4) Sire of Burke; man of wealth and prestige (5) big, strong man; charming smile; thinning hair (6) manly warrior (8) balanced on a sword's edge, trying to keep vows, honor, property (8) 'life depends on my judgement of character and circumstances' (12) skin mottled from too much sun and scared by too many battles; attractive fighter's build; thinning hair shone with health (13) brown eyes twinkled; had most of his teeth, used them all when smiled; widower (14) eloquent (17) into his 40s (180) a Norman; père fought with William the Conqueror (195)
Sir Osbert of Carraville[One Appearance] won mêlée prize (271)
Brother Cedric[Rare Appearance] Burke Castle seneschal (45)
Channing[Brief Appearance] one of Peter's man-at-arms (200)
Charles[Secondary Character] fostered with William; somewhat of a womanizer (41) fostered with William under Lord Peter's tutelage (57) a born gossip (58) by time inherited his title, fine castles he should have received dwindled to one (187) estate ridden with debt and dishonesty; father a wastrel; loud, blunt man (188) jealousy; unhappy with his station in life; pettiness; longing to hide from his troubles (322)
Clare[Secondary Character] Saura's half brother; 7-y-o (15)
Sir Dillan[One Appearance] William's man; swore fealty to Saura (304)
Sir Donnell[No Appearance] Nicholas convinced him to try to seize William's lands (415)
Lady Duana[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
Dudley[Brief Appearance] Saura's half brother; studies for the church (15) violet eyes (227) black hair; clear, pale skin (229)
Earlene[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
Lady Edina[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
Sir Egide[One Appearance] William's man; swore fealty to Saura (304)
Lady Eleanor[No Appearance] Saura's mother; a canny lady; would discipline Saura out of her despair over her blindness (7)
Queen Eleanor[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] married Duke Henry; former queen of France; duchess of Poitou and Acquitaine (58) gave Louis only daughters (59) 11 years older than Henry (60)
Elly[No Appearance] Sir Frances of Wace's daughter; Saura used to play with her; now married; 3 children (272)
Eustace[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] King's Stephen's eldest son; dead (243)
Sir Frazer[No Appearance] one of Saura's vassals; refused the wedding invitation (273)
Sir Hutton of Gent[No Appearance] man who fostered John; not a rich landholder; unable to provide well for his knights (243)
Geoffrey the Miller[No Appearance] band of thieves crept into the mill, stole wheat, tied him to the side of the water wheel; had to amputate his legs; he's going to live, he's happy, he's grateful, but he'll live with pain the rest of his life (73)
Sir Guilliame[No Appearance] removed his son as William's squire after being blinded (64)
Young Guilliame[Brief Appearance] William's squire for 6 years; William fond of the boy (64)
Sir Gilbert of Hartleburgh[Brief Appearances] wedding guest; one of Saura's vassals; appointed by Theobald (273)
Hawisa[Secondary Character] slut of Burke Castle (22) broad cheeks (30) round face; crafty; poisoned-fanged viper (31)
Duke Henry[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] Matilda's son; matured into a powerful leader; invested with the duchy of Normandy after his knighting by the king of Scotland; related to every great king and lord in Europe; received provinces of Maine and Anjou from his father (9) 20-y-o; fights like a man; uncanny statesmanship of Matilda (58) decisive; energetic; vigorous; easy to talk to (253)
Isolde[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
Lady Jane[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; led Saura to William at end of mêlée (269) strict gaze; wants to do the correct thing (276) slightly older than William; longs for peace so can command her position at court; rigid with manners and never waivers from them; had rescued William from his folly in his youth (277) tall and spare; waterfall of sagging chins; bony face; would never let her hair escape her veil; household walks in fear of her frown; husband hen-pecked; William fostered in her household; taught him deportment (278) sarcastic; outspoken; full of common sense; cultivated her crusty image; kept her kindnesses well hidden (282)
Lord Jennings[No Appearance] man fostering Rollo (239)
John[Brief Appearance] Saura's half brother; sent for fostering (15) violet eyes (227) black hair; clear, pale skin (229) will not drink wine (246)
Juletta[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
Kimball[Secondary Character] William's son (11) 8-y-o (14)
Lance[No Appearance] Nicholas's eldest brother; honorable like William (342) Nicholas poisoned him (350)
Linne[Brief Appearance] one of Anne's serving women (44)
Loretta[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
King Louis of France[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] divorced Eleanor because she drove him to distraction (58)
Lufu[No Appearance] helps with Rollo's household (237)
Mary[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
Queen Matilda[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] retired to Rouen; sits across Channel watching and waiting to exact vengeance; raised her son to fight (8) good King Henry's only surviving child (9) haughty woman (10) grandchild of William the Conqueror (10)
Maud[Major Secondary Character] Saura's maid (2) gray braids hung down her back; round face wrinkled with middle age; stood tall; bright blue eyes; served Elwin before Saura (3) Saura's strong right arm; Saura's eyes (7) gnarled hand (16) salty tongue converted cowering serfs into soldiers against filth (25) strong white teeth (188)
Melbia[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
Sir Merwyn[Brief Appearances] William's man; swore fealty to Saura (304)
Mort[One Appearance] henchman (88)
Lord Nevil[No Appearance] William fostered in his household (278)
Sir Raoul[Brief Appearances] William's man; swore fealty to Saura (304)
Elwin of Roget[No Appearance] Saura's father (2) fostered by the same family that fostered Peter (193)
Rollo[Brief Appearance] Saura's half brother; Theobald's heir; a good man; cares for Saura; just married; in training for his knighthood; manages Saura's mother's lands; avoids Theobald at all costs (15) 18-y-o; very young wife (227) violet eyes (227) had Saura's smile (228) black hair; clear, pale skin (229) would never beat his wife (246)
Stephen of Bloise[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] claimed throne from Queen Matilda; his barons are destroying England with endless petty wars (8) Henry's grandfather; grandchild of William the Conqueror; charming; generous; brave; not unscrupulous and stern enough to rule (10)
Theobald[Secondary Character] Saura's stepfather; wiped nose with hand that held his knife; sloshed ale into his lap (1) 'hating the girl with his darting eyes'; new young wife (2) Saura's stepfather (6) drunken sot (16) weak man (229)
Sir Vachel[No Appearance] formerly of Hartleburgh; died (273)
Valerie[Brief Appearance] wedding guest; helped dress bride for wedding (284)
Sir Frances of Wace[Brief Appearances] wedding guest; one of Saura's vassals (272)
Lord Nicholas of Walham[Major Secondary Character] fostered with William under Lord Peter's tutelage (57) large man; quiet; jocular when it suited his purposes; not an accomplished knight; none could surpass his administrative skills; 'what others did with brawn and might, he did with his clever brain and ability to read others'; William held bit of contempt for Nicholas's cowardice (61) a baron (67) one of the wealthy men of Suth Sexena (187) astute; broad-cheeked face; powerful intelligence; smooth, cool personality expressed itself in an occasional burst of sham heartiness, but his demeanor was that of an older man; shoulders no wider than his hips (218) belly attested to his fondness for food; bald except for a sandy fringe around the back of his head and ears; smooth head; fair complexion burned and peeled with regularity, leaving his nose a rough crimson; kept his indulgences to a minimum; retaining his secrets and passions with iron control; eyes burned with an inner fire, hinting at his intense personality; eyes a bland hazel color, surrounded by short blond lashes (219) superior look of forbearance (236) still owns first penny he was given on Christmas morn; maintains his peasants with food so they'll not sicken and fail to work for him; keeps account meticulously; never trusts a steward or bailiff (323) a fourth son (342)

Locations, Organizations Found In "Candle In The Window"
Location / Organization Description
Chapter OneMedieval England / Springtime, 1153
Burke CastleLord Peter of Burke's home (14) 3 days ride from Pertrade Castle (17)
Cran CastleNicholas' finest keep; sits high above the sea on great white cliffs (343)
Fairfordraids lessened the rents (45)
Fyngre Brookon the south corner of the Burke property (78)
Pertrade CastleSaura's home; where she lived under the rule of Theobald (6)
Rouencity where Queen Matilda resided (8)

"Candle In The Window" Quotations
7"I did the things she told me because I never knew I couldn't . . ."   (Saura)

"Christina Dodd -- Cancle In The Window" Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
----Christina Dodd's WebsiteAuthor
----Christina Dodd's FacebookAuthor
----Christina Dodd's TwitterAuthor
----Christina Dodd's WikipediaAuthor
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5.006-....-2004A Romance Review--Debbie // brief review, no details
A / Hot04-11-1999All About Romance--Katarina Wikholm // Desert Isle Keeper Review // good but brief
3.79 average{38 reviews}Amazonas of: June 5, 2013
4.50 average{29 ratings}Barnes & Nobleas of: June 5, 2013
----Fantastic FictionList of Christina Dodd's Books
----Fict FactList of Books In The "Medieval" Series
----Fiction DBList of Christina Dodd's Books
3.80 average{1,075 ratings}Good Readsas of: June 5, 2013
Article03-27-2011Heros and Heartbreakers--Keira Soleore // excellent quotes
----Internet Book ListList of Christina Dodd's Books
3.56 average{48 ratings}Library Thingas of: June 5, 2013
----Open Librarybrief bio / List of Christina Dodd's Books
3.80 average{169 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: June 4, 2013
----Paranormal Romancebrief bio / List of Christina Dodd's Books
4.50 / sensual03-30-2010RT {Romantic Times} Book Reviews--Kathe Robin // PR review
3.80 average{10 reviews}Shelfarias of: June 5, 2013
----Writer Spaceinteresting quote about this book by Christina Dodd
4.0506-05-2013Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

♥   Disclaimer:   I Purchased This Book
♥   Very Subjective Rating
♣   Will add your Candle In The Window review link to table, just ask

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