Prisoner of My Desire is a Johanna Lindsey romance classic. First printed in paperback in 1991, this hardcover reprint is a pleasurable read for Lindsey fans and new readers. Lindseyís writing allows the reader to see how the character is perceived by others while knowing what the character is thinking. The reader is able to know what the character is thinking while also being able to understand how the actions are being interpreted. Seldom are the two in synch.
Set in England in the mid-1100ís, this book captures many womenís fantasies. Warrick de Chaville is a knight and lord of many lands. He is, of course, handsome beyond words, quiet and broody, quick with a sword, and tender in bed.
Rowena Belleme would be lord of her own castles and lands, if she were a man. But because sheís a woman, she is bound to obey the men in her life. With her father dead and stepfather murdered, her care falls into her lecherous stepbrother Gilbertís hands. Gilbert forces Rowena to marry an old lord in order to obtain the old manís lands, thereby increase his own landholdings and army in order to take on his foe, Warrick de Chaville. Rowena marries the man who is hardly more than a walking corpse in order to prevent Gilbert from murdering her mother. As luck would have it, the old groom dies before consummating the marriage. Before Rowena can breathe a sigh of relief, Gilbert discovers the death and quickly goes about covering it up and finding a man of similar physical characteristics for Rowena to consummate with. An heir will guarantee Gilbertís start at growing a kingdom.
A man is kidnapped from a local tavern and chained up in the old manís castle. Rowena is forced to have sex with him in order to save her motherís life. She cannot rape the man for long and helps to plan his escape. Unbeknownst to Rowena, the prisoner is none other than Warrick de Chaville. On the night of his escape his men were gathering outside the city preparing to raid the castle. Gilbert runs away when the attack begins; Rowena is taken prisoner by a masked knight. Everything is done with chivalry.
Men of honor protect the beautiful prisoner and wonder what she could have done that would cause their lord to keep her in chains. Warrick does not tolerate betrayal and would have any man put to death immediately. Being raped by a woman has never happened to him, and something stirs in his loins even though his rage is barely containable. Warrick needs to keep Rowena prisoner until he knows whether she has stolen his seed and is carrying his child or not.
Rowena is pregnant, and she and Warrick enter a battle of wits, and hormones. Once Rowena discovers who her captor is, she wants to apologize and explain the situation. Warrick does not want to care about Rowena, she is his enemy; yet his loins cause him to take her to his bed as often as possible. Neither can deny the powerful physical attraction they have for one another. Pride and anger keep the two from sharing their developing feelings, but do not stop them from sharing the bed.
Johanna Lindsey creates the time of knights and lords and maidens and women of the castles. The castles are large, drafty, well-kept, and home to many men, women and children. The tension between the main characters jumps off the pages and tantalizes the romantic part of most women. Prisoner of My Desire can be read over and over again. The details of the lands, the times, the castles and the battles are as much part of the story as the anguish between Warrick and Rowena as their pride and anger turns to trust and soul-bursting love.