Novels of Rhynan Book 2
By Rachel Rossano
Available on Amazon
Product Description (from Amazon)
Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother's massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.
As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.
A happily married mother of three small children, she divides her time between mothering, teaching, and writing. She endeavors to enchant, thrill, entertain, and amuse through her work. A constant student, she seeks to improve her skills and loves to hear from readers.
Once I opened up the book and immersed myself, I couldn't put it down ... except that I had to go to bed. First thing the next morning, I was reading again, and was finished by noon. The plot twisted here and there, and while I'll admit that I could see where it was going by the time I was halfway through the book, things were just so convoluted, I still couldn't put it down!
Dentin, the hero, is not a young man, nor does he have many friends. As the Securer of the Realm, he holds many secrets, and has gained more than his share of enemies as he performs the king's bidding. And, as the book opens, he fears making an enemy out of one of the few friends he has, as the king desires to take custody of the child Sir Irvaine and his wife have been fostering, and thus gain a level of control over him.
Elsa, the heroine, is caught in a situation typical of medieval heroines. Though her father has promised her choice in her marriage, her brother wants to marry her off to pay his "debts of honor," and her mother is pressuring her to marry soon - after all, her younger sister has just been married, why hasn't she?
Normally, their paths wouldn't cross, nor would he take especial notice of her ... but she has taken interest in the young boy he must pluck from his foster parents and - though she doesn't know it - has become entangled in a plot involving the princess herself. Although he's just trying to keep her safe, he finds himself caring for her - as he has never cared for a woman before.
When her father's murdered, the game changes completely. Her previous marriage choices disappear as her brother promises her to one of the most despicable men in the kingdom, thus dooming her to a life of misery.
Compared to the previous book, this story had the better plot. As much as I loved Duty, there were a few moments I lost track of what was going on. With Honor, I was frustrated by the multitude of secrets, but I always had a firm grasp of what was going on. Part of this was the fact that we had narration from both the hero and the heroine. I would have preferred it if the author hadn't used first person for both of them, but it was well marked, and there were only a few times where I lost track of who "I" was.
I will say that I preferred the romance of the first book, however. Elsa and Dentin were sweet, but I think it went a bit too fast, especially for two people who didn't fall in love easily. Also, Dentin called himself "unmarriagable" because of something in his past, but I don't think we ever learned exactly what it was. I would have liked a bit more closure in that area.
Worldbuilding was well-done. It's set in a fictional medieval set of countries that, apart from the fact that didn't actually exist, could well be our own world. We see more into the politics and power-play in this book, and I enjoyed seeing how she built the laws of her country.
I loved the story, just as I have loved everything else of Rossano's work that I have read. I'm thoroughly looking forward to the next book!
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language. Several distasteful characters swear, but we're never told what, exactly, they say
Sexuality: SUBTLE - hinted, but not explicit. Kissing and a few veiled references to the marriage bed.
Lots of fighting, including a duel to the death. There are no battles, as in the previous book, most of the power-play is political. Elsa receives some abuse from her potential husband.