I wavered between giving this book 3 or 4 stars. I enjoyed medieval romances and this book is the first in a series about templar knights undertaking to get treasures to safety. The H is a templar knight, who finds out his older brother has died and now he needs to leave the order to go and take up his title. He is aware of his responsibilities and knows he also needs a virtuous wife to help him produce heirs. He spies the h, a widow a number of times and decides that she has the right qualities he's looking for. The h meanwhile had come to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage because she has survived two husbands but never consummated either marriage. She thinks she has put a curse on her former husbands. In coming to the holy city, she lost all of her material possessions and her guard. She is desperate and now her maid is extremely ill but she has no money to pay for medicine. This is how the main characters first interact. After arranging for her to get the medicine for her maid, the H offers marriage. He has been a pretty virtuous and celibate knight so their intimacy is pretty sad to start with. Both are good people and want to make the best of things but the H has one last secret task for the Templars before they both can return to his family estate.
I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second half. I didn't like how the h became so managing and responsible for everything. She was stubborn and went ahead and did stuff even when it was foolish. There are a number of incidents like this. I also didn't like how there had to be a public shaming of the h, and the H allows it. The H was also continuously being told that the h wasn't a good person for various reasons by his companions on the journey to Paris, to restore the treasure to the church there. I will go on and read the next book though.