Duty: First Novel of Rhynan
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 14, 2013)
Kindle: 2570 KB
Publication Date: February 2, 2013
Complimentary review copy
Available on Amazon
Love After Arranged Marriage
Duty is a clean romance set in a quasi-medieval fantasy world, called Rhynan. The country is going through a civil war, and as a result of being on the losing side, Brielle has been ordered into an arranged marriage with the new local lord Tomas, who is on the winning side.
If that wasn't enough to adjust to, the new couple also has to survive ambushes, coup attempts, and a raid to recapture their fort. Is love possible at all?
At first I was dubious if I would like this. Throughout the first chapter I was afraid the characters would be modern day people in fancy dress, something I abhor in both historical and fantasy novels. But after the setting got more established I was happy to find that Brielle and Tomas are characters of their world - not as medieval in outlook as they would have been in our world, but with a deeper sense of duty and loyalty than a modern character would. I liked that.
I also liked that, despite being in a fantasy setting, Brielle was very realistic in her reactions and limitations. She panics and then second-guesses herself later. In a violent situation she's scared. She's believable.
This was a fun read. The writer is able to convey the strong attraction between Brielle and Tomas without showing more than kisses; the marriage consummation is off-screen. The larger story of war and intrigue also seems pretty interesting, and I wish the book had gone into it more. There is a sequel, Honor, that I am planning to read to see what happens to the other characters. Rachel Rossano is going on my list of writers to read.
Reviewed by VM on February 8, 2016