Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?
Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.
I'm a sucker for historical romance, and I especially love the medieval period. Something I truly appreciate from authors is their ability to present their characters with an obstacle right from the onset of the story, whether it be danger to a person, a possible spat with a spouse or some other situation that is contrary to the wishes of the protagonist, it always pulls me in and gives me a reason to continue forward, hoping for an eventual solution to our protagonist's problem.
In this instanc I'm a sucker for historical romance, and I especially love the medieval period. Something I truly appreciate from authors is their ability to present their characters with an obstacle right from the onset of the story, whether it be danger to a person, a possible spat with a spouse or some other situation that is contrary to the wishes of the protagonist, it always pulls me in and gives me a reason to continue forward, hoping for an eventual solution to our protagonist's problem.
In this instance the book started out with a bang. Having a large group of soldiers gather you and your village up to inform you that a new king reigns and he has mandated that all women of marriageable age must either marry one of the soldiers present or pay a tax (one they probably can't afford) is quite the conundrum, indeed.
Brielle is the sole protector and provider for her village as the only Lady there. She's done her best to keep the villagers fed even though her cousin comes to collect most of the food they harvest every year. When Lord Irvaine shows up and tells her that her cousin has given her to him in marriage she has an important choice to make. I found it incredible that she held to her duty and to the promise her cousin made by agreeing to remain in a marriage previously performed by proxy. My feminine sensibilities were screaming "Fight, woman, fight!", but submitting herself to Lord Irvaine ensures the protection and well-being of her village. She is kind, noble, brave and honorable.
It demonstrates the appalling lake of choices for women in that era, but these types of cultures and customs are so fascinating to learn about. Fortunately, the new Lord is good at heart and eager to turn this marriage of convenience into a love match. Getting to know Lord Irvaine's character was like eating a delicious piece of chocolate cake over and over again.
Swoon much? *insert happy sigh here*
The chemistry between him and Brielle was lovely, and the intimate aspects were clean and tasteful. This is the kind of romance I talk about when wanting a romantic connection that delivers just as much if not more than a graphic sex scene might. PG-13 clean, and I loved it.
There is literally tension on every page. The main characters go from one serious situation to another, and I found myself wondering when the couple would have a chance to breathe. I know I didn't. Basically, I couldn't put this lovely bit of fiction down, and I am sad that it ended. Rachel Rossano has established herself as a talented author of historical medieval romance, delivering the promise of danger, intrigue, romance, chivalry and adventure with characters you'll find difficult to say farewell to. I highly recommend this to lovers of historical romance.
I gave it five cherry blossoms!
Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.