I’ll admit it – I almost didn’t read this book. I was not familiar with the author and medieval fiction is not my favorite genre. The publisher sent me a digital copy but I was not required to read or review it. I could have just let it go. But since I had a copy, I decided to give it a try. After all, if I didn’t like it I could just go on to another book.
Surprise, surprise! I really liked it! It didn’t take very long before I found myself totally involved in this unique tale of a young woman who took on several identities for her protection and in order to help protect her father’s threatened kingdom and to help take care of its starving families. The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline is chock full of action, secrets, danger, betrayal, and reconciliation. Faith is a strong but natural component of the story which is beautifully written.
The plot is well developed with words that flow. I loved the characters complete with their flaws but also their determination to do the right thing and to rid the kingdom of the evil that had overtaken it. One particular character underwent a stunning transformation during the course of the story that was remarkable.
I would recommend this book even if like me, you are not a huge fan of medieval fiction. Take a chance on it. I think you may like it also.
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Wild Heart Books. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Everyone believes Lady Evangeline is dead, so why not let them? Her survival depends on it.
After escaping from assassins and healing from her injuries, Evangeline Stanton finds refuge in a crumbling abbey. Her physical scars are nothing to the wounds left by the death of her daughter and abandonment of her husband. She spends most days disguised as Sister Margaret Mary, but when necessary, she dons the disguise of the recently deceased bandit, the Fox, to steal from the rich and help the starving children and widows who come for aid.
Lord Henry Stanton still grieves the death of his beloved wife, Evangeline. Raising their young daughter is now the most important role in his life, even though the child serves as a daily reminder of the love he and his wife once shared. He may never shed the weight of his guilt for not protecting Evangeline from the band of outlaws who killed her, as well as the lies sown by his sister-in-law, which he allowed to separate him from his wife just before her death.
When Henry’s ailing father-in-law sends an urgent request for help to manage his lands, he has no choice but to take his daughter with him to Castle Brighton. But the nun who comes to care for the sick man catches Henry’s notice from the first moment he catches sight of her. When the life of their precious daughter is threatened, can they overcome the lies and secrets of the past and join forces to save their daughter before it is too late?
Escape to another century in this action-packed inspirational medieval romance!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
During her youth, Jan Davis Warren
raised, broke, and trained horses and seriously considered becoming a veterinarian. Instead, and with no regret, she fell in love and married David, a fun testimony in itself. They searched until they found land with plenty of room to build their future family. Besides their awesome children, several horses, a couple of dogs and barn cats, over the years, they raised all kinds of poultry and livestock, including donkeys. Their children are grown now with happy homes of their own and her sweet husband, the hero of her happily-ever-after story, has since passed away. Change is hard and widowhood is not for sissies. Blessed with a good marriage and a deep abiding relationship with Jesus, Jan is able to write firsthand about sacrifice, love, romance, bravery, and perseverance. One of her favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
“A Loyal Heart” is a medieval romance that opens with exciting action and proceeds with plenty more as the book continues. Captured by her father’s enemy, Lady Olivia is determined to protect her sister at all cost and remain loyal to her father. Every attempt at escape is foiled and she is forced to stay too close for comfort to her captor, Sir Aldric.
Both Sir Aldric and Lady Olivia are marvelous characters who attempt to follow their beliefs and keep their integrity. Although enemies, Lady Olivia finds herself admiring Sir Aldric’s commitment to truth and honor. Along the way she learns the meaning and importance of true loyalty.
I thoroughly enjoyed “A Loyal Heart” with its fast paced plot and excellent characters. With lots of action, drama, romance, and surprises, the story held my attention until the very end. I strongly recommend this book as well as any other written by Jody Hedlund.
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Click to purchase
He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, will they lose what matters most?
When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.
As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him.
Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives.
Click here to purchase your copy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).
When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.
GUEST POST FROM JODY HEDLUND:
The Growing Need for Sweet Young Adult Romances
By Jody Hedlund
This past year my youngest daughter turned twelve and entered seventh grade. And she decided that she wanted to read my books.
Of course I was thrilled that she was taking an interest in my writing. But since my adult historical romances are more intense and contain some mature themes, I handed her the young adult series I’ve written.
As she started the first book, I peeked in her room a time or two to ask her how she liked it.
“It’s the best book you’ve ever read, right?” I teased.
“It’s okay,” she replied, teasing me right back.
The true test for how much she liked the series came when she couldn’t put the book down. She hid away in her room and read all day. Then she read the second book the next day and the third book the day after that.
She never did gush over the series. But she didn’t need to. Her serious reading marathon told me all I needed to know! Then when I was writing the fourth book in the series, she asked me if she could read it early before it was published which was another testament to how much she enjoyed the series.
“As long as you promise to say that I’m your favorite author,” I said, teasing her again.
I’m happy to say that she finished A Loyal Heart just as quickly as the others. Although I’m not sure that I’m her favorite author, I’m satisfied that she loved the series.
Even more, I’m thrilled that I could hand her sweet romances full of chivalrous qualities—like courage, sacrifice, honor, and loyalty. As she’s being entertained, she’s learning lessons about character traits that are important in relationships.
My daughter, like other young teens I’ve talked to, really enjoys medieval settings and stories. In some ways, those kinds of stories connect them to the princess fairy tales they used to love when they were little. Let’s face it, even adult readers still love stories about knights and castles and daring damsels!
In a book market for teens that has grown increasingly dark, jaded, and sexual, I only wish I had more to offer my daughter and other young women. It’s my passion to continue providing wholesome, clean romances for teens, books I know will encourage and uplift as well as entertain.
How about YOU? Is there a teen reader you know who needs an alternative to what’s available in the market? I encourage you to gift them with A Loyal Heart. And make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the entire series that you can read, pass along, or even gift to your library.
Jody Hedlund is the best-selling author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!). When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.
Among the Reads, March 27
Lighthouse Academy, March 27
Neverending Stories, March 27
Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28
books n baubles, March 28
Blossoms and Blessings, March 28
By The Book, March 29
Reading Is My SuperPower, March 29
Genesis 5020, March 29
Books, Books, and More Books., March 29
Have A Wonderful Day, March 30
Blogging With Carol, March 30
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 30
Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, March 31
Book by Book, March 31
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 31
God’s Little Bookworm, April 1
The Christian Fiction Girl, April 1
Mary Hake, April 1
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, April 2
Daysong Reflections, April 2
Novels Corner, April 2
Remembrancy, April 3
proud to be an autism mom, April 3
Texas Book-aholic, April 3
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 4
Janices book reviews, April 4
Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 4
Romances of the Cross, April 5
Carpe Diem, April 5
A Baker’s Perspective, April 5
Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 6
Karen Sue Hadley, April 6
Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 6
Red Headed Book Lady, April 7
Bibliophile Reviews, April 7
Simple Harvest Reads, April 7 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Pursuing Stacie, April 8
Bigreadersite, April 8
margaret kazmierczak, April 8 (interview)
Henry Happens, April 9
Faery Tales Are Real, April 9
Joy of Reading, April 9
To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of An Uncertain Choice, A Daring Sacrifice, For Love & Honor, and A Loyal Heart!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
I am not certain how I happened to miss out on Melanie Dickerson’s faith-based fairy tales before now but if “The Beautiful Pretender” is a good example of her novels, I hope to have the opportunity to read more of them. Although described as A Medieval Fairy Tale, this novel was not written with children in mind. Any adult who enjoys such books should enjoy this one but it is also innocent enough that one would not object to their young teens reading it also.
In this story, The Margrave of Thornbeck has been ordered by the king to find a wife. Having been mostly reclusive and with no particular lady in mind, Reinhart agrees to invite ten unmarried ladies as guests to his castle with the intention of secretly testing them to choose the one who meets his requirements in a wife. Avelina, a maidservant is sent to pose as her master’s daughter with instructions to avoid being selected as the bride. Although that seemed easy enough to avoid, nothing turned out as planned.
I thoroughly enjoyed “The Beautiful Pretender”, especially Reinhart and Avelina’s characters. One of Avelina’s strengths was her honesty and her inner struggles over obedience to the Earl or her deception to Reinhart was just one trait that made me like her so much. Her actions throughout the story emphasized her integrity and worth. The story was so well written that it was a joy to read. The plot moved along at an excellent pace with plenty of drama, action, danger, suspense, and of course romance. Numerous twist and surprises were scattered throughout the tale and the strong ending was quite satisfying.
I highly recommend this book and plan to go back to read the first book of this series “The Hunter of Thornbeck Forest” as soon as possible. I also look forward to the next installment. Oh my, I think I just added yet another author to my list of favorites.
A copy of this book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?
The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.
Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?
Learn more and purchase a copy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Melanie Dickerson is the author of “The Healer’s Apprentice,” a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.
Find out more about Melanie at http://www.melaniedickerson.com.
Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
- A Kindle Fire tablet
- A $25 Amazon gift card
- The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie’s blog.