Fires of Winter
Line: Casablanca : reissue
Release Date: Nov 1, 2011
Retail Price: $ 12.99
Heat Level: Mild
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.
The story starts from Lady Audris' illegitimate half brother, Bruno’s perspective. He has fought his way up to lead the court of the King. Bruno tackles a lot of the pain that he has suffered during his childhood and becomes a fierce leader. It is at court that he meets Melusine.
Melusine lost her entire family to battling in the King’s court. She is now sent to court to serve as a lady of waiting to the Queen. It is then that Bruno is presented as a Knight and for political reasons the King request that he marries Melusine. The story then slowly strengthens as Bruno and Melusine fall in love.
I’ve never read a historical from the first person point of view. At first, this is an interesting concept but each chapter switches between Bruno and Melusine’s point of view which leads to some of the details being overlapped. This takes up entirely too much time of the book.
The love story is a bit rough at the beginning. The initial intimacy displayed between Bruno and Melusine is a bit forced. This is not a bodice ripper of any sorts but the mentality of the hero during their first sexual encounter reflected the time period in which the story is written. Through the course of the years that the book spans, Melusine and Bruno’s connection is smoothed out and they definitely bring out the heat.
There are enough historical details to recommend this to true historical fans but this did not appeal to the romantic in me. The hero is missing in action for most of the book, fighting so many different battles that I often questioned whether this should be categorized as a romance at all. One of the reasons that I do read historical romances is that I do love history but if that overshadows the romance than it leaves me feeling lukewarm.
Reviewed by Samantha