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For Love and Honor Paperback – March 7, 2017
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From School Library Journal
It is April 1391, and 20-year-old Sir Bennet has been called home to Maidstone Castle, Hampton, to save the family from inevitable attack and financial ruin. The options are minimal at best: sell off the family heirlooms and property or marry into a wealthy family. Sir Bennet, a man of honor, is sickened by the thought of marrying for financial gain instead of for love. Still, he agrees to meet wealthy 17-year-old Lady Sabine, who believes that she will be visiting Maidstone to purchase art from the family’s massive collection. Sir Bennet works diligently to win her heart, and she gradually falls for his attention, but she is keeping secrets of her own: she has a birthmark on her forearm that has prevented her from developing relationships with others. In fact, on the way to Maidstone, Lady Sabine and her grandmother are stopped by bandits, and in an attempt to repel the attackers, Lady Sabine reveals the mark and claims to be a witch. This choice returns to haunt her and almost costs her her life. Eventually, Sir Bennet and Lady Sabine must decide if the feelings they have developed for each other are true love and if they can ever truly trust each other once their secrets have been exposed. Told in alternating chapters of first-person narration, this evocative “will-he-won’t-he-will-she-won’t-she” historical romance will tease readers straight through to the heart-stopping ending. VERDICT Recommended for fans of Melanie Dickerson’s titles, this will make a solid addition to any YA romance collection.–Susan Harris, Ridgeway High School, TN (School Library Journal)
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And now with that said I will tell you that reading For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund was like riding a rollercoaster. It certainly did strange things to my visceral organs like a rollercoaster would. And just when you thought the ride was over and you were safe. BAM! Suddenly you’re whisked to the side and forced to endure several loopy loops before finally reaching the safety of ‘The End’. Of course, I certainly didn’t expect anything less after reading the first two books in this series. In fact, I think that I even might have enjoyed this book more than An Uncertain Choice though A Daring Sacrifice is still my favorite of this series (sigh… Colin).
I really enjoyed the characters in this book, and was chuckling at the interactions between them. Lady Sabine was such an amusing heroine. I enjoyed her witty dialogue and droll humor, and her relationship with her grandmother made me smile. I wasn’t so sure I was going to enjoy reading about Sir Bennet, he had seemed rather aloof in the other books, but this book gave me a different perspective of him. He may be the strong and silent type with high ideals, but he is not above engaging in witty banter. And his mother is certainly right, that boy can be such a charmer when he puts his mind to it.
This book isn’t all fun and games though. There were some scenes that were quite intense, and I could only wince at some of the stupid, relationship damaging, things some characters did in the course of this book. I couldn’t put the book down (though several times I did consider closing it just to allow myself to catch my breath) and I read it in one day. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am sad to see this series end. Please write more books like this one, Jody Hedlund.
I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 4.4 -- Plot is engaging, with both cliche/overly convenient elements and some more unique aspects. Has a few shaky bits and/or a slight lack of focus. Setting is clear and believable. Timeline is clear and consistent. The story gives some nods to Beauty and the Beast, but with plenty unique elements of its own, too. The romance, misunderstandings, brushes with death, and nick-of-time rescues did tend toward the cliché, but it was certainly an entertaining story.
Characters: 4 -- Main characters are relatable, realistic, interesting, and dynamic. Some minor characters have depth, while others may be slightly stereotyped or simplified. Definite strong points in the relationships between characters. I appreciated Sabine's struggle to accept her own blemishes, let alone believe that anyone else could truly see past them to who she is. Bennet is honorable to a fault, and his determination to keep his pride and honor intact is a bit frustrating at times. I truly enjoy how they bond over their mutual passion for art and antiques, and their witty banter. I also enjoyed Sabine's relationship with her grandmother, and Bennet's interactions with his brother.
Mechanics and Writing: 5 -- Few, if any, typos, punctuation issues, or word errors. Intelligent use of POV. Skillful writing that adds to the story. I only spotted 2 very minor errors. Good proofreading! POV is all first person, alternating between Bennet and Sabine. And in this book, their sections are indicated by two different fonts, which is fabulous.
Redeeming Value: 4.7 -- Well-developed, central, uplifting themes. Drugs, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified, though there is some shaky ground. No explicit sex scenes. Clear moral guidelines for behavior. Kisses and attraction, but proper boundaries and chaperones are maintained for the most part. The torture element is dialed down a bit from the previous books, but there's definitely mention of cruelty and violence, particularly having to do with a siege and battle, and the fear of witches. One strong theme is the idea of imperfections only becoming a huge a deal when they are kept hidden and associated with shame. Sabine realizes that hiding her birthmark means people don't have the chance to get used to it, and makes it seem more like something to be feared.
Personal Enjoyment: 4.3 -- I liked it a lot. Highly enjoyable and very entertaining. I’d enjoy reading it again.