This is the story of Gaston and Ysmaine. Gaston de Châmont- Maine is one of the Templer Knights, a third son by his father's third wife and yet he had just recieved message his older brother has died and he must do his duty and leave the order and take his place as A titled lord and Baron. Now the life Gaston has known since age fifteen summers when he first joined the order is to return home to take his brothers place. Yet before he leave he must complete one last mssion which involves a missive and a secret relic to be relocated. Now with all reports of Saracen movement before he can even request to leave the order a last journey. He also knows he must find a wife and perhaps have heir or two to secure the future of his family when he takes his brothers place as a Lord. He decided to find a woman at the Pilgrimage as he had no family here to find him a match plus not exactly his expertise. As Templer Knights are pledge to be chaise to celibate. Though some do break this vow and go to houses of ill repute for sexual release. Not honorable Gaston. He is an honest honorable man and took all his vows seriously. So now he must find a bride as he watches this thin beautiful woman at the convent praying each day.
This where he find the starving Ysmaine yet when he tried to give her coin well at first she thought he thought her a harlot but when he tells her to eat she explains she wants to use the coin for apothecary to save her ailing maid. The problem is Gaston spent most of life among men and does not know how nor does he have the time to woo and court a woman. He only knows how to be straight forward and gets right to the point. This was the last thing Ysmaine expects or wants, after all she believes she is cursed being a widow twice before the bedding nuptials even occurred as she is still a virgin!
Ysmaine is In dire straits as her maid is so very ill and she does not have the coin to get proper herbs from the Apor. This pilgrimage has been a nightmare as her guard and family friend is murdered. So she is without coin and protection and reduced to begging. As she is from noble family but bad luck seems to find her as they were robbed to get here and having widowed twice on her wedding night and still a virgin. Now even her sisters can't find husbands due to her curse, She thought going on the pilgrimage might help to release this curse as everyone believes she is cursed as her father can not even get he another match. Ysmaine accepts she will never marry again but wants happiness for her sisters future and will do anything to remove this curse,
Ysmaine is as honest as Gaston and explains her curse but Gaston does not believe in curses and persuade her to marry him . Will he survive the curse? Will all the secrets be revealed? It was so much fun and fascinating watching Gaston and Ysmaine get to know each other and how they both quickly fell for each other but not with some bumps in the road too. Gaston also had little sexual experience and has no clue how to please a women and some male chauvinist views as well that Ysmaine is determined to show that she is just as valuable as his horse her competition! Also they have an imposter in their party who wants the relic and it is discovered Ysmaine has recieved wolfs bane from the Apothecary which is poison
Ysmaine at first. idea what Gaston has in mind and does not trust nor accept his generously when he gives her coins for food and apothecary to help nurse her maid. She knows there is also a price and when she find out it is for a wife she is more then a little shocked! Ysmaine does believe she is curse having two husband dies before the wedding night and now even her father can't find matches for her younger sisters. Her reason for this pilgrimage to be free of this curse that is attached to her. It was fun watching these two fall in true and what they will and sacrifice too. As they have a mission to bring a Templer relic to Europe to deliver and this is when he meet Wulfe and Christina secondary characters in this story but will be the main characters in the next book Thr Crusaders Heart. Plus it is a dangerous time in Jerusalem then again even today it is a dangerous time just different foes and in some ways they same reasons too over religious politics. This is a time when infidels were at war with each other each wanting to gain power and control and being at war with the Christians too. War was breaking out as Gaston and Ysmaine are trying to leave the city and there is also a villain thief among them. Yet who is it? Will he cause Gaston and Ysmaine harm and possibly death? Plus it is discovered Ysmaine has recieved wolfs bane from the Apothecary which is poison! Is her story about a curse the truth? Or perhaps she is that cuts all her precious husbands lives short? What exactly is this relic and why so important to take so many risks for the order? You must read this magnificent book to find out.
Also the hero and heroine of her next book Wulfe and Christine are I introduced and bit more then secondary characters too. Wulfe is a Crusader's knight and Christine is a prostitute so the following book The Crusaders Heart is going to be amazing too and I plan to read next. Duncan's story The Crusaders Handfast will be book three thought done in a different format then the other books in the series. This book will be done in monthly installments. The fall book will be released in July 2016. Followed by Gaston's squires book in The Crusaders Kiss and the last book in the series will be The Crusaders Vow which is The Scotsman Fergus storyOf course I plan to read this entire series all secondary characters in this book as Gastons squire will be book 3 and of course my fav is the Scot in book 4! How can you not continue this amazing riveting , thriving, fast moving adventure!
Wow this book is absolutely mind blowing and so much of true history mixed in this fictional this story! Claire Delacroix really did a phenomenal job with this spectacular book! The reason I love read Historical romance! I highly recommend you read The Crusaders Bride and follow with The Crusaders Heart too as this is one series you really don't want to miss. I read and reread this book two times as I absolutely fascinated and ensnared with this captivating story! Loved it!!!
Personal note* Sadly Israel which still has its share of problems today as it did so many centuries. In a sense not much has progressed a country still in turmoil, where no one compromises and this has been going on for over a thousand years!
(The Champions of Saint Euphemia Book Series)
by Claire Delacroix
1. The Crusaders Bride - Available now
2. The Crusaders Heart - Just Released 10/20/2015
3. The Crusaders Handfast- first installment December 2015 see review fir details.
4.The Crusader's Kiss - TBR in 2016
5..The Crusader's Vow - TBR in 2016