Series Name: The Protectors of the Crown, # 1

A Defiant Maiden’s Knight is a daring and captivating romance that I instantly fell in love with.

Joan could not remember a time when she had been held in anyone’s arms, least of all a huge, brooding warrior knight such as the man holding her, so closely now as this. It felt intimate. It felt… safe. Her cheeks heated up with this sudden awareness, with his very nearness.

A knight’s protection…That she doesn’t want…or need?

Joan Lovent may be losing her sight but she refuses to lose her independence too. So when Sir Warin de Talmont tells her it’s too perilous to be out alone in the city, she doesn’t pay him any heed. But with threats surrounding them, she begins to value his protection and helps with his dangerous work in return. If only the powerful connection between them wasn’t so impossible to ignore!

Harlequin Historical Romance books have just been on fire lately! I have not read a book from them that I didn’t absolutely love with a burning passion, and this book is no exception. A Defiant Maiden’s Knight is one of those books you will have a hard time putting down because the plot and characters are just so engaging. There wasn’t a single thing that I didn’t enjoy about this book. This book’s story is exciting because of a covert spying theme. I loved that this mysterious organization was trying to destroy the political order of things. Their plots to overthrow the Crown were well thought out and complex. I was rather impressed with them. LOL. Melissa did a great job bringing real historical elements into the story. It felt like I was reading a well-research historical fiction book with one unforgettable love story in it.

The characters in this book are fun, and I loved the witty banter between them. Joan is a lovely heroine, and I love her head-strong persistent personality. Her persistence often drove Warin up the wall, which was rather entertaining. I loved the relationship between Warin, Nicholas, and Savaric. The witty brotherly banter that went on between these men was fabulously hilarious. I hope that Melissa writes books focusing on Nicholas and Savaric next.

Oh, the romance between Joan and Warin was sweet, charming, and had just the right amount of spice. I always forget how much I love bodyguard trope romances; they just fill me with so much happiness. In this book, Warin is a reluctant bodyguard, but under that gruff exterior is a heart of a true gentleman. He is just so sweet and tender to Joan at times. I loved that moment in the book when Warin took Joan horseback riding. It was a cute and swoon-worthy moment. It had my heart pitter-pattering faster. The banter and chemistry between these two were real, and their relationship grew at a believable pace.

A Defiant Maiden’s Knight is absolutely incredible, and I cannot wait to see what Melissa writes next.

Thank you, Harlequin Historical, Rachel Random Resources, and Mills and Boon for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.