Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rachel Rossano - Duty

A Novel of Rhynan

By Rachel Rossano

Kindle Edition Available

Product Description (from Amazon)

Duty to King

Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the
village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.

Duty to Others

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?

Duty to Each Other

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.

About the Author (from Amazon)

Rachel Rossano is a constructor of sentences, a creator of metaphors, a painter of word pictures, and a storyteller. Or, at least she attempts to be one. Producing novels, novellas, and short stories, she endeavors to enchant, thrill, entertain, and amuse through her writing. Above all else, she attempts to glorify God with every tale.

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Kendra

I believe I have mentioned that I’m not usually one for the romance genre. However, I do find romances involving arranged marriages intriguing, so when the author, a fellow homeschooler, asked for reviewers for her newest release, I volunteered.

The story begins with Brielle’s discovery that her cousin has given her in marriage to the new lord of Irvaine. She isn’t too pleased with this, since she and her cousin have never gotten along. However, since the king is the one who gave the orders, she has no choice.

Tomas, her new husband, is a good man, though very rough around the edges. While he does insist that they show affection in public so that certain people don't get suspicious, he allows her her space when they're in private, allowing them to get to know each other.

Of course, once they are married, he must continue his journey to his new castle. That's when the plot starts thickening. A messenger follows them with the news that her village has been attacked and the women that had been in Brielle's charge are in danger - and Brielle's cousin is one of the attackers. When they reach Kyrenton, the capitol, more treachery awaits. The wife of the former Lord Irvaine is desperate to keep her position, and one of the lords had an old grudge against Tomas.

The book is fast paced, but there were only a few times that I became confused as to what was going on. I was impressed by how she handled delicate issues, and I was on the edge of my chair while Brielle was on trial because she was suspected to be in league with her cousin. The scene where Brielle is forced to take part in the big battle was well done and believable.

My only complaint is the fact that, while Brielle seems to have a strong faith in Kurios, which is what they call God in Rachel Rossano's world, I didn't feel that this faith was integral to the book. Yes she prayed to him often, but I felt that she relied more on duty and her own strength instead of that faith. However, that was just one drawback in an otherwise wonderful book.

Genre/Theme: Romance, historical fantasy

Reading Level:  Mature TEEN - high school to college 
Profanity:  NONE - no offensive language 
Sexuality:  MILD - descriptions of affection/desire – Frequent kissing between Brielle and Tomas, as well as mentioning of the marriage bed. The previous Lady Irvaine tries to seduce Tomas. It is mentioned that soldiers, after taking a city, have a tendency to take advantage of the pretty girls.
Other: There’s a war going on in this book. People fight. People die. Descriptions are kept to a minimum.

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