Oh, my, oh, my… Well, if the first book of Ashley York’s hadn’t already made me a fan, I can assure you now, this one did!
The Saxon Bride tells the story of Rowena Godwinson and John of Normandy. Those two seemingly unmatched people are forced to marry each other for the sake of peace and unity, and it’s a far cry from what they both want. Rowena hates that she has to marry for duty and not love, especially to a man whose people killed her family. And John dreads the very moment his feisty wife will find out he was the one who took her father’s life. Will the newlywed couple be able to co-exist and find love on the way? Or will they let their prejudice and the enemies piling on around them tear them apart?
I must say, though the first book I read from Mrs. York was one of a kind, this one didn’t disappoint either. It’s hard to love an author’s books after having read the first one that got you hooked in the first place, but in some rare cases, it works – and it’s then that you know that it wasn’t a fluke, that the author in question really has talent on their side.
John and Rowena were wonderful, complex characters, that kept trying to make things right with the cards that life had dealt them, despite everyone betting against them. They were both at fault most of the times they had a fight, both of them instantly jumping to assumptions and both of them really short-tempered. But I think that’s what made their dynamic work as a couple, and that’s what made them interesting – be it as individuals or as a pair. See, they were not perfect. They kept making mistakes, and yet they kept trying to fix them. It didn’t always work, but that added to the realism of their romance and brought on so many plot twists, my head actually spinned at some point.
Not only that, but the plot itself was complimenting their personalities, too. I think that’s something Mrs. York is a natural at. She doesn’t look like she’s creating characters to fit her story. It’s almost like she has the characters in her mind, and builds the whole story around them, without missing out on the secondary ones, of course. And when I say secondary characters, I’m talking a whole bunch of them. All fleshed out in detail, and never once mere fodder for the pace to go on. Each one of the characters – even animals – has a purpose, a past, life and breath of their own.
Can you doubt a writer’s talent when they can work with a whole crowd so expertly? I know I don’t.
I can’t wait to read Peter’s story next. I was instantly attracted to the guy, and I’m sure glad he got his own book!