Genre: Medieval Romance
You’ll like this if you like: Foreign Worlds, Feisty, Red-Headed Heroines, and an Intense Alpha Hero.
Cleanliness: The story begins in Algeria, so the Alessandra’s “Father” (more accurately: her mother’s husband), has multiple wives and concubines, though her mother is his favorite. Since it’s a harem, there’s a bathing house where all the woman go. Alessandra is about to undress in the bathing house in the hero’s presence—she assumes he’s a eunuch—but doesn’t. She once tries to sneak into his room one night to see whether or not he’s a eunuch, but to her disappointment and relief, he’s wearing britches. Overall, I would call this a clean romance, and I enjoyed the intense scenes.
Hero Type: Alpha
Favorite Profound Quote:
“…things meant to be are, and not meant to be are not.”
Favorite Descriptive Quote:
“Spray lashed at her face and hands, the frigid wind seized her hair and whipped it into her eyes, and before her, men who were little more than shadow ran to unknown places in their bid to survive the storm.”
Believing only death will prevent him from returning to England, Sir Lucien de Gautier answers his king’s call to arms. When he is captured and his family refuses the ransom demand, he finds himself bound to the oars of a galley. Enraged and embittered, he has no hope of escape—until a rich merchant’s wife offers him freedom. In exchange, he agrees to smuggle a virtuous young woman out of a harem and onto a ship bound for England, unaware the real danger lies in the bond forged between him and his fiery charge. But when he learns she is as much his enemy as those who enslaved him, can he forgive her? More, can he forget her?
Determined to wed her childhood friend, a betrothal her English mother will go to any length to break, Alessandra refuses to abandon the only life she has known in Algiers—even if it means compromising her faith. But when she is entrusted to a new bodyguard whose scarred face and soul draw her to him, she soon discovers the bold Englishman is only playing a part, biding his time until he can fulfill his end of a treacherous bargain. Desperate to turn him from his course, she reveals her identity, but only succeeds in gaining his contempt. Now that he knows the truth, will he ever feel for her all she feels for him? And will it be enough for her to forsake her world to live in his?
The book kicked off with a really awesome beginning. It’s not action-packed, but it’s intriguing, and it hooked me instantly. Alessandra is a little fireball and fights Lucien tooth and nail (literally…) as he drags her to England (also literally, on occasions). Lucien is strong and almost frighteningly intense—an alpha to the core. He has a tender streak hidden beneath his tough exterior, which makes him all the more lovable. There were so many sweet, tender moments between the characters, yet they were often filled with tension. Alessandra’s journey is about resisting childish impulses and becoming a woman, something I can relate to 😉 And then it’s really fun to see her culture clashing with England’s culture. The conflict from the relationship and the fire and rebellion from Alessandra’s personality ensured I was never bored. I think there was a bit of head hopping, switching from POVs in the middle of the scene, but I was never left completely confused, since I could figure out where the POV switch was pretty quickly.
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HannahOctober 31, 2016 - 2:54 pm ·
This looks like such a good book, Liz! I love the unorthodox set-up. Middle eastern culture is so different from ours, and the clash of values and lifestyle would create some amazing drama.