Hugh and Bess: A Love Story by Susan Higginbotham
Forced to marry Hugh le Despenser, the son and grandson of disgraced traitors, Bess de Montacute, just 13 years old, is appalled at his less-than-desirable past. Meanwhile, Hugh must give up the woman he really loves in order to marry the reluctant Bess. Far apart in age and haunted by the past, can Hugh and Bess somehow make their marriage work?
Just as walls break down and love begins to grow, the merciless plague endangers all whom the couple holds dear, threatening the life and love they have built. (Goodreads)
Elizabeth de Montecute (Bess) is not happy when she hears that she is to marry Hugh le Despenser, son of Hugh le Despenser the Younger.A man twice her age and not to mention horrible family history. Hugh is not thrilled either but the king himself offers the marriage, he won’t say no.
After the executions of Hugh’s father and grandfather and his own time in prison, he is trying to restore the family name and shows himself loyal to the King.
I loved the relationship between Bess and Hugh and especially seeing Bess mature. I loved how kind, gentle and patient he is with Bess. The scene in the court when Bess comes little tipsy is just hilarious! Not all husbands would have been so understanding. Loved his sense of humor and his remarks about his family history.
I liked how Edward III was portrayed and I wish there would have been more of him, but maybe that’s just me…
I really enjoyed the book and wished it would have been longer!
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark (2009)
Source: my own