Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Release Date: May 24, 2022
Rhun ab Owain has been living abroad for years after a falling out with his father, but now he has learned his father is dead and he must return home to Castell y Lleuad in Wales to take his place as the lord and marry his enemy’s daughter. He will honor his father’s wishes, but he will never accept Eleanor de Vraille as his wife.
Eleanor is no more thrilled with the marriage than Rhun is, she is leaving the only home she has ever known to become the mistress of an ancient castle in a country where she is a stranger and doesn’t even speak the language. But she has no options and accepts her new life with dignity and tries her best to make her marriage work, too bad her husband refuses to make her his wife in truth and avoids her at every turn. But when Rhun is called by her father to fight against the Welsh uprising and he refuses and is branded a traitor, Eleanor surprises everyone by standing by him. Can they find love despite their forced union?
This was an interesting, slow-burn romance story by a new to me author, the writing was good, but the pace was not as smooth as I had hoped. The book starts out slow and doesn’t really pick up until nearly the end. The author drops a lot of things on the reader at the start without much information, answers do come, but for most of the book, I was left wondering why he hated her family, why he limped, why she thought she was deformed, etc. The book has a classic enemies-to-lovers trope, as well as lots of secrets, betrayal, shame, guilt, mild love scenes, wonderful secondary characters, a slow-burn romance, and finally a HEA complete with an epilogue. I did like the book, but I wish the pace was a bit faster and that the author had provided a glossary of Welsh terms/phrases that she used. But I also appreciated setting the book in Wales and thought Rhun and Eleanor were likable characters who deserved their HEA. This was my first book by this author and despite the hiccups in this story, I liked the story and will be looking out for her future work!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*