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Dance of Love (Montbryce~The Next Generation) (Volume 3) Paperback – February 23, 2013
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
From the Author
If only my heroes and heroines had revealed their stories to me in chronological order, it would have made life so much easier for my readers! If you prefer to read sagas in chronological order, here's a handy list.
1066--If Love Dares Enough
1087--A Man of Value
1097--Dark Irish Knight
1100--Passion in the Blood
1106--Dark and Bright
1107--The Winds of the Heavens
1107--Dance of Love
1120--Sweet Taste of Love
1124--Wild Viking Princess
About the Author
Anna Markland is a Canadian author with a keen interest in genealogy. She writes medieval romance about family honour, ancestry and roots. Her novels are intimate love stories filled with passion and adventure. Following a fruitful career in teaching, Anna transformed her love of writing and history into engaging works of fiction. Prior to becoming a fiction author, she published numerous family histories. One of the things she enjoys most about writing historical romance is the in-depth research required to provide the reader with an authentic medieval experience.
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Top customer reviews
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I liked the idea that both the hero and the heroine had some physical imperfection and they both thought they would disgust the other while in reality the other one was not disturbed by it. It was still a little strange, at times even disturbing to see that imperfect feature specifically inciting desire in the other party. Another thing: it seems to be unlikely for someone to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis that afflicts only the hands and the rest of the hero’s body is perfect masculine beauty.
It was interesting to read how the hero and heroine had to overcome their insecurity (that they aren’t worthy of the love of the other) and that neither wanted to admit their feelings because they both thought the other was socially their superior (this might sound strange, but the heroine was an illegitimate daughter of the late King of Aragon held captive by the Moors, while the hero is a knight who doesn’t have his own land, the land and castle was only given to him for supervision – with the promise that ownership may be granted to him if he proves himself capable). Actually, I was somewhat surprised that the Aragonese king was so accepting and helpful towards his half-sister and her beloved... and historically, it must have been obvious who really was the socially superior of the two.
What I didn’t like – it seems an exaggeration to me that there is so very powerful carnal desire in the hero&heroine at first sight that they are in a constant state of arousal and the repeated description of it was a little too much for me. In the beginning it seemed that most of their relationship centered around sexual desire and frustration. However, later on, after their wedding, I liked the way they overcame their differences because being together was more important than their own ideas and opinions and it proved their real, committed, strong love.
Also, there is a paranormal element that for me is out of place: the heroine has an unexplained healing ability: she heals/takes away the pain of another by taking on the pain herself, but the ability works unpredictably at random. There was also a miraculous healing brought about by a pilgrimage to a saint’s memorial place, so it fit better in a medieval story. However, even the idea of whether or not on has faith enough to receive a miracle and whether God grants healing or the strength to bear one's affliction was not described/fleshed out very well, this is rather my conclusion of what the author might have wanted to convey than what I actually felt on reading it.
In some parts the writing didn’t flow as well as I would have wished, there were parts difficult to follow (the beginning with all the many family members, and unfortunately, even the wedding night scene… I felt the analogy of dance was a little forced, especially as they didn’t actually dance, and the writing didn’t portray the scene for me as well as such a scene would need.
The couple were good people who ended up happily together and had the support of both his extended family and her brother the King of Aragon so it was after all, an OK read but I'm happy I didn't pay for it separately. I'd give it 2.5 stars if I could because I had rated 3stars other books better than this one.
Both Izzy and Farah are scarred, Izzy by crippling arthritis in his hands and Farah by a wound on her beautiful face from a curved sword. Much time was given to Izzy's obsessing about his condition (when he wasn't lusting after Farah). As I said about another of the author's books, I expect sexual tension and thoughts of desire in romance, but lust at every breath is a bit unnatural, especially for a medieval setting.
Much of the story is told through introspection; at times I wanted more dialog, more description of what I was seeing. Markland can write well and she describes Farah's dance well, but really the story didn't capture me. Farah is repeatedly referred to as a "princess" or "bastard princess," which seemed misplaced. A bastard child could never be a princess at all, as is clear from the many illegitimate children sired by England's kings. (They might have been granted a title but were not a part of the royalty.)
Some reviewers have said this can be read as a stand alone. I disagree. In the first pages of DANCE OF LOVE, a score of characters is introduced, which left me confused, as I had no idea why so many were being tossed at me, nor did I know what they looked like. Then it occurred to me that the book must be part of a series (I should have known that since I'd read DARK IRISH KNIGHT some time ago and had the same issues with it.). Well, it is a part of a series, and as the story goes along, there are other references to people I did not know. Apparently, this book follows the Montbryce Legacy series and is part of the "Next Generation" series. Her website lists the books in chronological order. I would recommend reading them in that order. Otherwise, it might feel like you came in the middle of a play.
Farah sees through the defences he's put up and as someone with the skills to heal she wants to help him with the pain. It probably doesn't hurt that while his hands may be deformed with rheumatoid arthritis the rest of him very definitely is not.
But Farah is bound by her obligation to journey to her brother's castle where as a princess she'll be expected to make a marriage which will cement an alliance or in some way benefit the kingdom. While she longs for the hero to say Stop. Stay here, I love you she doesn't expect it.
And Gerwant Isembart, or Izzy, doesn't feel he has anything to offer her, any right to ask her to give up the life of a princess to marry him. Fortunately he's persuaded to go after her and tell her how he feels.
He catches up with her as her party is being besieged by bandits (working on behalf of the old queen who wants her dead) and saves her from being thrown off a bridge into the water far below in the nick of time, actually grabbing her hand as she goes over and barely managing to pull her up from certain death.
There is more to overcome for these two lovers but I'll leave you to discover it on your own. In this book Anna Markland has managed to create two believable characters who will win your hearts as they triumph over all obstacles and find true love together. A story of love, adventure and romance set in medieval times I think you'll find yourself swept along until you reach the end. Luckily for all of us Anna Markland is a prolific writer and you'll be able to find more books about the same family written by her.