Madeline Hunter's "By Possession" - #1 in the Medieval series

By Possession - Madeline Hunter

The story itself is more of a 4-star read, but I'm giving it 5 stars because part of the background of the main story is the hero's 6-year enslavement in the ancient Kingdom of Lithuania, which at that time was a pagan state, as a result of his participation in the Baltic Crusade to that area of the world. My own background is from that area, so it's quite exciting to read about it in an English-language romantic novel. Hunter's research into the area's ancient traditions and beliefs was pretty good, although the name she chose for the Lithuanian priest's daughter is awful (Eufemia) and it's not even a Lithuanian name. Aarrgh - there are so many beautiful Lithuanian women's names she could have chosen, but she decided to use that one!

The main story involves a serf's daughter and a noble. Moira has been in love with Addis since she was about 12 years old and is portrayed as a proud, capable woman who is not willing to be just his mistress. She's taking care of his son when the story opens and he returns from his enslavement (where he was actually supposed to die, as it had been engineered by the man who stole his barony from him). He takes the boy from her and sets off to regain his stolen barony, and she just sets off, but somehow always ends up together with him. (But surely her weepiness whenever she's around Addis would put him off - oh well, what do I know of true love?)