Series: Tales of Jernaeve #2
Genre: Historical romantic fiction
Published: Nov 1, 2011 (1987)
Source: For review
A sparkling prize, the beautiful Mellusine of Ulle is awarded to the bastard-born Bruno of Jernaeve as a spoil of war. Bruno vows to tame the rebellious spirit of the captive beauty, but ultimately surrenders to her charms. Born of different worlds, joined in the flames of passion and intrigue, they find new strength in each other's arms...and a burning love that defies all eternity.
This book can be mistaken for historical romance, but personally I would not say it is that. It is more the child of Historical fiction and romance. It is the tone, the vibe, the story that makes it so.
The book is also part 2 in a series, but works wonderful on it's own. Book 1 is about Bruno's half sister so they are connected, but does not have to be read in order.
Bruno is told to marry Lady Melusine and so he does. There is no instant love between these two. They both know they have duty and that they can't say no. Sure there is later lust, and she feels she would like to have a child. But there is no romance, and do not take that the wrong way, that is good, that is real. Melusine is a woman who knows what she wants, the land back that the king took from her after her father died fighting the king. That is all she asks for. Bruno on the other hand is a bastard of a lord, he knows his place, he is favored by the king, and he is very loyal. He also does not really find out what Melusine is all about. I think that is where he lost me at one point of the book. On every page he mentioned that he does not trust her (the queen says she is a rebel), it got old. I do understand it, but Melusine never did anything to prove it right, so he could have trusted her a bit.
What makes this book different from the HR you might get from the cover is that there are a lot of facts. Never dry ones though, but we get to see the fight between King Stephen and Empress Matilda. Cities that are taken, who changed side, what did King David of Scotland do and so on. Because of the couple's proximity to the royal couple these are events they talk about and experience.
As for romance, the love that slowly grows between these too is a fiery passion, a love for home and the man or woman who might be right for you. A truer love that takes time to grow.
It was an interesting book places against a time of turmoil in England. A good lovestory and what I just love, history, facts and the feeling you are there in the dirty streets and the beautiful halls.