Shakespeare’s Women Speak
Kathryn’s strong will and sharp tongue have branded her a shrew in her small town. Now, not even the generous dowry offered by her wealthy father can tempt any man to court her. But when Sir William rides into town on his magnificent war horse, Kathryn’s world turns upside down.
William is like a burr in Kathryn’s side from the very beginning. Even the way he insists on calling her “Kate” irritates her thoroughly, yet she can’t keep from listening for his voice. Though he claims he is the only man for her, she is certain he only wants her rich dowry. When he proposes marriage, she accepts as a way out of her miserable home.
Freed from her cruel family and judgmental town, Kathryn must decide whether she will continue her battle of wills with the sometimes charming, often maddening Sir William. Will she remain the shrewish Kathryn or find a way to be Will’s Kate?
Spurned by first love Benedict, heartbroken Beatrice swears off men and marriage. She will have to defend her vow mightily, though, because her wealthy and titled family is certain that this is just the witty Beatrice being contrary.
Two years later, Benedict swans back into her life as one of the men serving as escort to the king and his betrothed. Now wealthy and titled himself, he is renowned for his prowess on the battlefield and in the bedroom. Beatrice is determined to hold herself aloof from his charms, however, and hold to her vow.
The princess, seeking companions, makes it clear to Beatrice that if she remains unmarried, she will not be admitted into the glittering royal circle. Beatrice’s hopes of a life at court are shaken. She does not want to remain at home, nursing the old folks in their infirmity, but having taken a stand against marriage, how can she yield? And to whom would she surrender? Not to just any man, surely. And as she and Benedict wield words like fencing foils, can they drop their defenses long enough to realize they love each other still?