"With a storyline that is thrilling but not exhausting, description that is precise but not over-done, added to a captivating plot that wraps up with a great ending which didn't feel fake or forced, this book has it all. This was a great novel! I highly recommend it to lovers of the action/romance genre." Kayla, Goodreads (#2)
The royal wedding approaches and the country is alive with anticipation.
Among the craftsmen traveling to the capital is Constance Rendare and her family. An artist, a widow of an unhappy marriage, and the mother of a young son, she dreams of escaping the cruel servitude of her father’s household.
Wilard Naron serves the Earl of Dentin. He returns to the capital, his childhood home, to collect his earnings and finally free himself from his father’s reputation.
Kidnappings, bandits, and a plot against the king complicate the journey. The conflicts throw Constance and Wilard together as their circumstances grow steadily worse. The more the pair uncovers, the direr the future looks for the country and for them.
EXCERPTConstance’s point of view:
Then, I was once again alone in the empty room with Wilard. When I turned to ask him if he wished to stay for the meal, I discovered he had fallen asleep. His mussed-up head of caramel curls rested on his crossed arms amidst the half-unpacked food.
I was tempted to let him sleep there, but I knew from experience he would wake with a crick in his neck and a pain in his head if I did.
“Wilard,” I said clearly, hoping he would respond.
Behind me, the back door opened. Owen’s loud explanation of where the men were to go with the contents of my wagon was partially drowned out by the clatter of their boots on the steps to the upper floor. Despite the increased noise, Wilard didn’t stir.
As I realized I was going to have to jostle him to wake him, the men stomped back down the stairs and out into the yard again.
Grabbing the few seconds of quiet, I knelt at his shoulder. “Wilard.” I rested a hand on his shoulder and was surprised at how muscled his shoulder was beneath the layers of his tunics and outer wrap. “You need to wake up. You can’t sleep here.” He didn’t move. Only the slight movement of his breathing gave any indication he still lived.
The sounds of the men returning gave me a moment of panic. Wilard needed to wake. He couldn’t sleep here in the midst of the only place I could serve the workers food. I knelt next to him so I could see into his face. Then smoothing his curls from where they fell across his forehead, I called his name again.
For a moment it looked like he wasn’t going to wake, but then his azure eyes opened partway, and he blinked.
“You are going to ache if you stay there.”
He closed his eyes and then straightened with visible effort. “I am sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“Did you sleep at all last night?”
He shook his head and rubbed it, setting his hair on end in a very boyish manner. With his sleepy eyes and riot of curls, he looked appealingly vulnerable. I couldn’t help the smile that pulled at my mouth. Instead, I turned away to continue unpacking the basket.
The Earl of Dentin returns. Eight stories ranging from short story to novelette in length give us greater understanding into why Dentin is the complex and enigmatic man he is. It also includes new adventures that happen between Honor and the next Rhynan novel.
Passing the Mantle – An ill-fated hunting trip
Forging Friendships – Recruiting able-bodied men ineligible for knighthood
The Sword of Korma Monroe – A sword made for trouble
Turning Point – A duke and an earl plot treason
The Bittersweet Pear – A marital misunderstanding
Isbeth’s Redemption – Dentin doesn’t make a good first impression
A Squire’s Love – Reginald’s quest
Restoration – A trip to Braulyn produces unexpected company
The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.
Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother's massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.
As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.
Duty to King
Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.
Duty to Others
Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?
Duty to Each Other
Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.
About the author:
Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction. You can find out more about Rachel by clicking here.