to touch the sun york

Historical Romance Review: To Touch the Sun by Barbara Leigh

female disguised as male historical romance review
To Touch the Sun by Barbara Leigh
Rating: four-stars
Published: 1991
Illustrator: Judy York
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Historical #98
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Historical Romance, Medieval Romance
Pages: 300
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonThriftBooksAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Historical Romance Review: To Touch the Sun by Barbara Leigh


The Book

To Touch the Sun is an older Harlequin Historical by Barbara Leigh. This is a unique medieval tale. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plot enacted this way.

If you’re a stickler for conventional happy endings, this might take you out of your comfort zone. But I think it would be a shame to miss out on this exquisite love story.

The Plot

To Touch the Sun is a story about a woman reared as a boy alongside her brother in Medieval England. The two eventually become knights, but the sister, Druanna, surpasses her brother. Sir Drue is not just any knight. She/he is one of the most virtuous, valiant, and admired chevaliers in the kingdom.

Druanna takes on the persona of Drue to such a great extent that even her brother almost forgets her true identity.

Although she dominates in the masculine arts of war, Drue’s heart is that of a woman who loves men. Unfortunately for Druanna, she falls for her enemy, Connaught.

Connaught is married when they meet and has no idea she is a female. He is confused and tormented by his attraction to this brave knight. Lucky for him, when Druanna is injured in combat, Connaught tends to her wounds and finds her boobies—itty-bitty as they may be–but a woman’s breasts nonetheless.

Whew, so at least he’s only a lustingin-his-heart adulterer, not a homosexual!

heroine disguised as male to touch the sun
“So before we go at it, what exactly is the penis situation?”

There are a few twists and turns along the way. Connaught is a married man, after all, with children. Then there is a shocking accusation against Sir Drue, who is considered one of the most eligible and handsome knights.

I imagine Drue looked like a young Tilda Swinton or Annie Lennox, a lean, tall, and blond ambisexual beauty.

female disguised as male tilda swinton
Tilda Swinton as Orlando

And, of course, there are the significant problems Connaught and Druanna face when their relationship becomes known.

An Unusual HEA: Spoiler Alert ⚠

The book is unique in that the main characters have their Happily Ever After, but an unconventional one. Drue and Connaught live happily, fighting alongside one another as two knights. And no one else, except the heroine’s brother, knows she is really a woman!

Final Analysis of To Touch the Sun

Barbara Leigh wrote so wonderfully. To Touch the Sun was the only romance I read by this author, and I’ve been searching for something else by her ever since.

Leigh created a believable world in which I was totally immersed. Druanna and Connaught’s love story was wholly original, and I felt for them as they experienced heartaches. This might not be a Desert-Island-keeper; still, it is a romance I’m glad to keep on my bookshelves.

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.3


Beloved Captive…

To be a knight, chivalrous in deed and courageous in battle, was all that Dru had ever wished for. Dubbed Sir Dru, she had sworn to serve her king and seek revenge against her enemy, Connaught. She had vowed to slay the treacherous knight, yet one look into the depths of his fire-blue eyes and she knew she could never kill him…

Though she had captured him fairly on the field of battle, it was Dru who was completely in his power, and she shuddered to think what the proud Connaught would do when he discovered that the ‘lad’ who had defeated him was nothing more than a woman.