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Linda's first book, the historical romance Guardian Angel, was released in 1994. In the years since she's written in several romance sub-genres under several names. In order of appearance, Linda Winstead; Linda Jones; Linda Winstead Jones; Linda Devlin; and Linda Fallon. She's a six time finalist for the RITA Award and a winner (for Shades of Midnight, writing as Linda Fallon) in the paranormal category. Most recently she's been involved in joint projects with Linda Howard, and has been rereleasing some of her backlist in ebook format. She can be found at www.facebook.com/LindaWinsteadJones, www.facebook.com/LindaHowardLindaJones, www.lindawinsteadjones.com, and on Twitter @LWJbooks.
In Jones' Fyne Witches trilogy a pair of twin sons are born to Emperor Sebestyen of Columbyana. Now adults, Emperor Jahn and his moments-younger twin, Prince Alixandyr have begun an adventure to find a bride for the Emperor. There is to be a contest, six women of worth from varying lands are to be brought to the palace to be offered the chance to be Empress. Messengers are sent to the far places at the height of the Spring Festival to return with the ladies in time for the Summer Festival where Jahn will choose his bride. The majority of Bride by Command coincides with the stories from Untouchable and 22 Nights, as Jahn himself sets out to bring one of the bridal candidates back by himself. A little adventure before becoming a married man seems like a good decision so he travels to fetch one of the nearest ladies, one Lady Morgana Ramsden.
Before her mother died Morgana promised to marry only for love. Since then she has refused plenty of offers of marriage much to the annoyance of her adoptive father. Naturally, when the emperor's sentinels arrive to escort her to the palace as a potential future empress she refuses once again. Not only will she only marry for love but she has a secret she must hide. When one of the emperor's sentinels--the Emperor himself--catching her stepfather in a moment of temper claims Morgana as his bride she has no choice but to be lead to the palace. But as the journey comes to an end a fondness grows between them.
Jahn cannot keep up the charade of sentinel and emperor forever and with his bridal cadidates being picked off Morgana is in grave danger. As the secrets begin to unravel the secrets they've been keeping from one another could bring them together... or tear them apart.Read more ›
I loved this book! Linda Windstead Jones really knows how to explore and develop her characters. She takes the time to gently show us the complexity of their actions and emotions in such a way that I ached for them! Even if she stripped all the paranormal aspects which I find irresistible, the characters would STILL carry the story. This book was no exception.
Bride by Command is the 3rd in her trilogy that actually is connected to 2 prior trilogies. (The first of the Fyne Witches, then the Children of the Sun and this series the Emperors Brides) The world building and magical characters are vivid and mesmerizing. She deftly crafts a paranormal world that is constantly changing, but flows so easily I never found myself getting lost.
In this story she writes about 2 people who wish for love but feel they will be unlikely to find it. Because of this, the miracle of their growing love is all the more poignant. One because he is an emperor and must marry for politics and the other because she is afraid of her uncontrollable powers. Both find love in an unexpected and tender story that was a sheer joy to read. (Added bonus are other characters with moving stories, too!) I don't know what write except you must give this author a try. Because it is part of a series you might want to read the prior books but it is not necessary to enjoy this treasure.
If you are looking for an emotionally satisfying read that pulls at the heart and will bring tears to your eyes, you will not be disappointed!
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This is the third book in her third trilogy set in the same universe. Because it would take me a few pages just to explain what has happened this far I'm going to skip right over that. If you haven't read her first trilogy and enjoy romantic fantasy, read it, if just for the sub-story of the emperor and his assassin that spans all three books. Unfortunately, Jones does not carry over that complicated storytelling into trilogy two. Trilogy three is better than the predecessor but is lacking in imagination after six novels about women finding the loves of their lives.
The other problem Jones falls into is that her main characters are out and out boring at times. The women are perfect, the man have "flaws" that most women would forgive because, Hell, they are nearly perfect themselves. But women in romance novels never forgive their men for lying to them that easily and must hold unnecessarily long grudges that make storytelling repetitive. How many times can she claim to not hate him but be so angry with him she wants to leave?
As usual, her side characters are more interesting. You have the story of a bridal candidate who is being forced to lie to those around her and treat them poorly because she's afraid of having people close and you get to see more insight into the "bad guys" of the novel. Unfortunately the side characters of Danya and Rainer are not as interesting as the ones from the two books before, and it falls flat.
Jones has a large, well thought out setting, but unfortunately she doesn't do enough with it and 309 pages of a romance novel where the plot itself is a bit thin doesn't work. Not to mention a gaping hole that was not addressed in the novel until towards the end to, more or less, deus ex machina a reason to not kill off a character.Read more ›
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