I first read The Tempest by Charlotte Hawkins a couple of years ago when it was still a stand-alone book and before the author spent months revising it into its current form. It was a good story the first time, but with the revision it has become more complex, with the back story fleshed out a little differently. The previous version was more fan fiction-y than this one, an extension of the universe of the BBC’s Robin Hood series though some details were changed. The revision goes even further. It is not necessary to have Gisborne as played by Armitage in your head as you read but the Guy on these pages still has enough in common with him that of course he’ll be there, along with a strong-willed Original Character, Cassia DeWarren.
Cassia and Guy are each outcasts in their own ways. He’s still the hated and feared henchman of the Sheriff of Nottingham, of course, and she comes from a long line of healers. The dangerous charge of witchcraft haunts her family, setting up a rare moment where the reviled Gisborne performs an act of kindness that Cassia doesn’t forget.
One of my favorite romance tropes — the proud man humbled and dependent on someone he sees as an inferior — is a major plot driver and is played for laughs in a few instances. As the two characters bond over their losses and discover a mutual enemy, Cassia’s pride takes some hits, as well. Hawkins is particularly sensitive in describing the delicate balance between the relative freedom that has allowed Cassia to become the woman she is and the bonds of duty that threaten her budding romance with Guy. I absolutely rooted for Cassia as a character, especially when she was putting Guy in his place, and for them as a couple.
Does true love eventually win? There are as many scorching love scenes as there are fiery arguments between these two stubborn people, and there are two more books in the trilogy so whatever happens is bound to be a bumpy ride. Armitage Authors Network is giving away paperback copies of The Tempest and My Lady Gisborne, the second book in Charlotte’s Gisborne trilogy, this weekend to one commenter on either this post or tomorrow’s interview with Charlotte Hawkins.