By Design

By Design

by Madeline Hunter

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By Design 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Elle_See More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by this author, and I must admit that it was much more than I thought it was going to be. Fairly complex and well-developed primary and secondary characters with a good bit of medeaval court intrigue and history thrown in. The author apparently really knows her period. Really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the marketplace near the Cathedral, freemason Rhys observes a beautiful newcomer serenely and quietly trying to sell crockery. For some strange reason, Rhys finds himself enchanted by the ¿alien¿ and even more excited by her work that is geometrically perfect especially since he learns that she lacked the proper equipment. Reluctantly by gleefully for having met the latest hawker, Rhys finally moves on to conduct his own business.

A few days later, Rhys sees his enchantress in quite a different situation. Apparently she did something that led to her master blaming her. Now she is a victim of the stocks. Rhys rescues Joan by buying her indentured contract. Joan wants nothing to do with her savior even if he is kind and handsome, and she is falling in love with him. Even with the enticement of Rhys and his love, Joan¿s goal remains vengeance on those who destroyed her and her family though some of her enemies reside in the court of young King Edward.

BY DESIGN is an exciting late medieval romance that uses the political and economic conditions of the times as a backdrop to a warm historical romantic intrigue. The story line works because of the historical depth, especially that of the guilds, that brings much color to the tale and leaves the audience feeling they are inspecting pottery among other wares. The lead couple seems real because of the full flavor of the period. Though Madeline Hunter has written a medieval romance that sub-genre fans will enjoy, readers of historical fiction will gain much pleasure from the novel too.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
With BY DESIGN, Madeline Hunter continues her examination of love across social classes in 14th century England. Rhys is a master mason who enjoys the patronage of the crown. One day, he sees a lovely young woman selling her statues in the market. He is struck by her talent. Shortly thereafter, he discovers her in the stocks, being punished for the shoddy goods sold by her master. Rhys rescues Joan and thus begins their relationship. Joan has secrets of her own, secrets which will make their growing love impossible. As she did in her first two books, Hunter uses the history of the time to good effect as Rhys finds himself involved in the political machinations of the era. But what carries this story is the romance. Rhys is a wonderful hero; he is both amazingly strong and amazingly gentle. Joan is a brave and determined heroine; she has lost everything yet has not been defeated. Their impossible love tugs at the heartstrings. A grand story of the power of love to overcome seemingly impossible barriers. Hunter brings the 14th century to vivid life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rhys was a free mason during the time of Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer. He noticed Joan in the marketplace where she quietly sold her pottery. When he later found her in the town stocks, for her employer's mistake in crafting some tiles, he took care of her and then purchased her indenture from the tiler. He also took in her younger brother who was not old enough to be a man, but was old enough to get into trouble with other street boys. He was lacking a fatherly figure and needed a serious handling from a strong role model!

Joan and Mark had once lived a better life. But Guy Leighton and Roger Mortimer ceased that. Now they hid and barely survived. All Joan wanted was revenge on Guy and perhaps to get back some of her property or items back for her brother. But the free mason both attracted and repelled her. Trust must be earned from both.

***** Set during a time well known for its unrest, Madeline Hunter has written an enticing romance for the ages! Extremely realistic in details and with characters you cannot help but love! *****
reneebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In By Possession, Moira the heroine was interested for a short time in marrying, Rhys, a freemason. But eventually Addis wins her. Rhys gets his own story here and because Rhys is such wonderful beta hero, he made this book even more enjoyable than BP.Freemasons in medieval times were skilled stonemasons who built castles, cathedrals, and palaces and created sculpted statues and ornamental works. Rhys is very skilled and therefore financially prosperous. But his social standing would probably be considered a middle class commoner, being neither a poor peasant nor wealthy nobility. Rhys is a kind and decent man and the best part about this book.Joan is an indentured servant who is being mistreated by her master. When he discovers her in the stocks he stands by and protects her from the vicious crowd who were pelting her with rotten fruit and tearing her clothing. I hadn't realized before how torturous this form of punishment can be. After she is released he takes her to his home and cares for her injuries. But Joan is very distrustful of his motives.Later when he buys her indenture papers, she is furious. I really couldn't understand her anger and distrust, and expected her to be grateful. But Joan is actually a high born lady and daughter of a lord who was murdered by orders from Roger Mortimer, the usurper to young King Edward III. She and her brother were forced to escape their home and are hiding out until she can earn enough money to exact revenge. Joan's entire focus seems to be vengeance against Mortimer and when she sees that Rhys appears to be working for Mortimer she is very distrustful of him. Consequently, Joan was hard to warm up to until her backstory is revealed. Unknown to Joan is the fact that Rhys has very good reasons to appear to be helping Mortimer.As in BP the medieval setting is extremely well written as well as the political intrigue which again was fascinating. But it was not too overly detailed that it lost the threads of the romance. The love story and historical detail flow together very smoothly. Addis and Moira from BP make an appearance and are an integral part of the story.Hunter skillfully handles their growing love and the uncertainty created by the disparity in their social standing. And made me very unsure how they would get their HEA but again Hunter handles it beautifully and realistically. An unforgettable story like this sent it straight to my keeper pile. (Grade: A-)
Anniik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book! I am usually wary of books taking place before 1800 or so, as they seem to fudge history far more than necessary. This book is an exception. While there are, of course, fudges, nothing stood out to me as being so completely anachronistic that it ruined the book for me (like one 11th century book I read where apparently they were familiar with penicillin and germ theory). In addition, the characters in this book are well developed, sympathetic, and the reader feels a real empathy with them. This book has a strong plot, but the plot aids the romance rather than overwhelming it. A very good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite keepers that I re-read and enjoy. Madeline Hunter's best work.
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