Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Valentine by Heather Grothaus

Title:  Valentine
Series:  The Brotherhood of Fallen Angels #1
Author:  Heather Grothaus
Expected Publication:  June 23/15 by Lyrical Press/Kensington
Length:  352pgs
Genre:  historical romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Introducing the Brotherhood of Fallen Angels—an epic new series set in the medieval Holy Land, where four heroic Crusaders find themselves caught in the crosshairs of revenge, devotion—and love…
He’s a man of passion and principle. But would he kill for his convictions? That’s the question that has Valentine Alesander fighting for his innocence. He’s been accused, along with three other Brothers, of orchestrating the horrific siege at the Christian fortification of Chastellet. Could this fatefully-named Crusader be a lover, a fighter, and a traitor? One woman from his past is about to find out.

Gorgeous, free-spirited Lady Mary Beckham has escaped her guardians in England to travel across the world—and find the notorious Valentine. Years ago, she was promised to him…and now she wants out of their marriage contract. Mary wants to wed another and requires Valentine’s blessing—until she discovers they share a tempestuous attraction. But with a vengeful band of sworn enemies at Valentine’s heels, is desire worth the risk of losing…everything?

My Review:

What a wildly adventurous novel. There was a bit of a slow start until we get into the story and the series, but by the end I was left counting down the days until the release of book 2. That said, the pace of the writing matched the action of the story. Grothaus plays with flow and tempo in a manner that highlights the action and showcases the romance.

I really enjoyed how Grothaus didn’t stray far from the medieval time period in which the novel takes place, while at the same time she didn’t draw undue attention to it either. It allowed me to get fully into the story. Her descriptions gave just enough for the world to come to life in my mind and allow me a window into the story, without impeding my imagination.

Grothaus had my in stitches with Mary’s antics. She was a fantastic heroine, able to stand on her own yet still needing the support of her leading man. Coupled with Valentine’s many personas this couple was a treat to follow across Europe. Seeing them bond with each other was definitely worth the journey, but that’s not all there was to this story. The overarching plot of the series comes into play as well, creating suspense beyond compare.

This was an absolutely fantastic novel. Grothaus has me hooked. I definitely can’t wait to read the rest of the series, or to recommend this to others.

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