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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Double Review: Defiant Passion & Dark and Bright by Anna Markland

Because a double review is twice as nice...

Title: Defiant Passion (Sons of Rhodri #1)
Author: Anna Markland
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Bleubelle Press
Publish Date: March 30, 2012
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.



Why You're Reading Both of These Books:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You're a romance fan.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Rhodri ap Owain, the Prince of Powwydd, is a constant thorn in the side of the Norman Marcher lords. His sorties into the border counties of England from his stronghold in the Welsh mountains leave a trail of fear and destruction in their wake. He hates Saxon and Norman equally and burns with Celtic fervour for a Wales free of their domination.

The mention of his name strikes fear into the hearts of those living on the English side of the Welsh border. To them he is a feral force. To his own people he is a folk hero of mythical proportions. Though few have ever met him, all know of his deeds.

Rhonwen Dda is a shy healer, a diminutive woman of peace renowned for her mystical aura. Though she is drawn to Rhodri, she can see no future for them. Rhodri believes she is his destiny. Will he convince her to share his lonely life as the champion of an oppressed people?"


My Two Cents:

This story took me to another time and place. This book is another one that was set in a time that I was unfamiliar with. The year is 1066. England and Wales are at deep odds with each other. Rhodri and Rhonwen come from very different sides of the issue. Rhodri is a Welsh prince who wants freedom for all of Wales. Rhonwen is a more subdued healer in the house of an English nobleman. Rhodri abducts Rhonwen and the nobleman's family in order to press his point of Welsh freedom.

This book is incredibly short (I read it on my Kindle so I'm actually not sure what the amount of pages actually is). It is the first book in a series. The story was very neat, perhaps a little too neat. Rhodri and Rhonwen seem to fall for each other quickly. There doesn't seem to be much of any push back from the noble family when Rhonwen confesses her love for Rhodri even after he abducted all of them. I would be a little mad. I would have liked to see more conflict.

That being said, you really do fall for the characters. I liked Rhonwen. I liked Rhodri. I really, really like Morwenna, another woman who uses her... uh... womanly wiles to get her way. She's a really interesting character to watch. She's kind of terrible to those around her unless they can offer her something and then she's as sweet as they come. Luckily for many of the characters in the book, they see right through her and know exactly what she is up to. Sometimes its fun to like the really, really bad characters. It's so much fun to pour a glass of haterade over a bad character.

The romance in the book was good. There are a lot of steamy scenes that definitely steal your attention away.

Bottom line: This is a light, fast read that would be a perfect vacation read!






Title: Dark and Bright
Author: Anna Markland
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Bleubelle Press
Publish Date: April 2012
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.


What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Rhys ap Rhodri is not a warrior, unlike his father. He believes in negotiation, diplomacy. When his rebellious twin brothers are captured and sentenced to be hanged by the Earl of Chester, Rhys arranges a betrothal that will save his brothers and secure him a wife.

Annalise de Vymont is the daughter of an impoverished and disgraced Norman baron. She has always dreamed of marrying a handsome chivalrous knight—not a Welsh barbarian set to drag her off to his isolated castle. To Rhys ap Rhodri she was a means to an end, a business transaction he’d been obliged to enter into for the sake of his brothers and the need to produce heirs."


My Two Cents:

This book is about the son of Rhodri and Rhowen, named Rhys. Things have changed a lot since we last visited this family. They seem remarkably calmer. Rhys is getting married to a Norman, something that would have be unheard of in the first book, Defiant Passion.

I liked that you get to see how things ended up for Rhodri and Rhowen. They still love each other very much and still seem happy. You also get to see what happens to their children. I love books that allow you to catch up with characters that you've fallen in love with several years down the road. You really get to see how everything turned out. Even though Rhys and his wife, Annaliese are really the main characters of this book, you do get to see Rhodri and Rhowen's other children and what happened to them.

This book is more of a novella than a book; its quite short. However, Markland is able to really make you like the characters in the book in a short amount of time. You really begin to feel for them and the things that they're going through. While the short length didn't take too much away from the story for me, I did find myself wishing that there was a little more detail about a couple things. First, how have things really changed in the environment that the family is living in so that Rhys could marry a Norman without any issue. Second, what were things like in the place that they're living. This book was definitely very character driven but you don't get a good feel for the setting.


  

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the very constructive reviews, Meg. I appreciate your comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to review your books! They are definitely good reads :)

      Delete
  2. iNteresting historical romance. IT would take me to another time and place to read these.
    gReat if you are in a romantic mood! E njoyed your reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I've only recently started to get into historical romances. They can be so much fun to read!

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