I have never before read such a perfect example of a fantasy romance set in an actual Earth-historical setting. I love fantasy romance, and it is so hard to find. I want magic. I want settings that feel historical, but not necessarily set in our world. I want the romance to be shared 50/50 with the plot. I want danger. Adventure. Wondrous self-discoveries. Pretty dresses. Honorable men with enormous swords (wink, wink). Faerie had it all.
What I loved:
The romance. Doomed from the start but destined to be. The tension between the hero and heroine was constant and kept me flying through the pages.
The heroine. Leonie is a refreshing historical heroine who accepts her place as a noble woman. She knows she was never going to have the opportunity to marry for love, and she exercises the sort of mental self-control that shows much wisdom for a young woman in her position.
She knows her place. She strives to perform her duties as lady to a politically important estate to the best of her ability. That’s not to say she always fits well in her place or even stays in her place. Oh, Leonie often finds herself called upon, not by men or her king, but by things beyond her ability to explain, to act outside of the dictates of her position. And when she does, it’s always entertaining and moving.
The hero. The Peregrine too is more than he seems, especially to Leonie who has felt drawn to him since she was a child. He is a wandering knight, a friend of the king of England, and honorable to a fault. He’s the perfect tortured hero and the perfect foil and eventual mate to Leonie.
The supporting characters. A young blacksmith apprentice who longs to be a knight, a bushy-bearded black-hearted earl, a rotund king who speaks with faeries. So many wonderfully drawn characters!
The plot. Faerie held mystery and intrigue, murder and demon possession, ghols and shifters, and a dog who can fly. Best of all were the powers Leonie had that she could never quite rely on but always seemed to be there when she needed them most.
This is a keeper for me. Now I have to go run and buy more Delle Jacobs!
A few of my favorite lines to entice you to click on the image and buy your copy:
She would do the king’s bidding when he chose a husband for her, and never would anyone know it was the Peregrine who had taken her heart captive.–p. 45, Kindle Edition.
He turned away, for he had more than enough to do to prepare for a siege on such short notice. If she did anything but help him, she could be destroying all of them. Quickly she passed his orders to Cyne and the others.–p. 211, Kindle Edition.
Here, in this strange Summer Land, he could deny her nothing of himself, no matter what waited for him in that other world that suddenly seemed to be the one that was unreal.–pp. 301-302, Kindle Edition.