Good God, is Ashley York ever going to write something that I don’t like?!
In the 2nd book, we see the story of Diarmuid’s best friend, and Astrid, Diarmuid’s sister. Marcán is by far the only man Astrid doesn’t see herself married to, no matter how much the poor man is pining for her. Instead, she’s happy to follow all of her mother’s instructions on how to behave and live her life, as long as it makes her mother happy. Until one of those decisions leads her down a path she finds is not right for her. Marcán is the one who saves her – and finally, Astrid is able to see who has cared for her all along, and what she has to do to set things in her life right again.
All right, I’ll say it right now. I wasn’t a fan of Astrid at first. I didn’t like her meek attitude when it came to her mother, and how she acted like a bitch to everyone else. That’s a cowardly act to follow, and though I understand her need to please her mother, like most people, that was taking it a step too far. A little dignity, woman!
Speaking of her mother, OF COURSE she was from Padraig’s clan! Rotted, the whole lot of them! Nothing to redeem those people, no matter what! They talked a big game of how abused some of them were, and how they wanted to be respected as well and loved, but really, they acted awfully when it suited them, too! Not to mention how obsessed Beibhinn was when it came to her supposed religious beliefs (thank God for the priest at the end for putting her in her place)! First Aednat, and then poor Marcán – and in the latter’s case, really, it was even worse! She was trying to ruin his life because she was rejected?! Woman, get a life! Classic example of a spoilt, bratty female who just couldn’t let go! I pity Kane – he deserved better!
Another character that really shocked me when it came to my reactions was Faolan. I adored him at first, the stutter was really cute and he was adorable, like a puppy! But then he revealed another, more cunning and sort of deceiving side of him, and I was a bit sad with that fact. But that only goes to show how good Ms. York is in making her characters realistic. Just like real people, you never really know what is truly going on inside a person’s head, or what their motives for helping you out are. Delightful, even if surprising!
All in all, I enjoyed this book – A LOT! Historical romance at its finest, and spot on to so many references. Ashley York knows how to mix fantasy and facts, and does so effortlessly! The dialogues, the way the people talk and act and think, and the pace, oh my! And don’t even get me started on the love scenes – talk about hot and sexual tension thick as hell! I’m definitely reading the rest of the series!
***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.**