The unusual setting of Scoundrel's Kiss - Spain in 1201 - gives this historical romance an extra zing for the reader. It's hard to imagine what life was like in those days, particularly in Spain where the Moorish/Islamic and Christian/Western cultures clashed, but
author Carrie Lofty proves adept at setting the scene. The dangers and political intrigues of those times, along with the uncomfortable relations
among Christians, Muslims and Jews, make for a narrative with lots of plot threads.
is the central romance between Englishwoman Ada of Keyworth and trainee monk Gavriel de Marqueda. Their relationship develops slowly, but it seems to be based
greatly on the need that each has for the other; they don't actually seem to share that many good moments together. However, the author
shows how their individual strengths work well together. I presume that some of the
interesting side characters may be featured in future books.
The plot includes some unusual ideas such as the heroine having an opium addiction and the hero working to become a monk. Overall,
this interesting read serves as a reminder of the importance of Spain through history as two civilizations fought for supremacy.