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A Man of Value: The Montbryce Legacy~Book Two (Volume 2) Paperback – February 3, 2012
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 you! 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
Born in England, 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 full of passion and adventure.
Following an enjoyable 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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A Man of Value is a historical romance by Anna Markland, and the second book in the Montbryce Legacy. I normally will not read the second book in a series without reading the first. Since it was a freebie, I made an exception. For the most part, it stood alone, but where it didn't, the obvious contrivances to visit previous characters were cringe-worthy.
A Man of Value started well. The dialogue had a mildly historical voice that expressed a sense of antiquity without being cumbersome. Agneta and Caedmon were charming enough, and had a good conflict in the way of lasting love.
The biggest problem with the book is that Markland is in love with history. There's nothing wrong with this, per se, but in a work of historical fiction, history must support the story, not the other way 'round. At times it felt as if I were reading a text book rather than a romance.
The second biggest problem are the back-bends the author does to revisit the first book. At one point, we suddenly find out the heroine is afraid of water. No explanation. A few paragraphs later, she's begging to dip her toes in the ocean. So, apparently the ocean isn't water. I shook my head and shrugged, knowing it was an awkward setup for something. Sure enough, she faces her fears to try to rescue the hero. But does she? No, he is actually rescued by strangers who just happen to be riding by. Strangers who also happen to be from the first book. Agneta's fear of water is still never explained, and hardly mentioned after it served its purpose. The whole episode left me blinking.
There are entire chapters devoted to the point-of-view of the couple from book 1, and for the most part, they have absolutely no place in this book. If you must visit previous characters, keep your POV intact doing it.
There is little character development. We never get to know Agneta and Caedmon. What little introspection exists is done in these odd outbursts of self talk. The author finds a vehicle for it late in the book with the hero's journal, but it's still very jarring. When an emotional change is needed, it just happens. Caedmon spends nearly all the book with a fierce hatred of the Normans, then flips suddenly with little thought.
I struggled to finish this book, but I will still recommend it for those who love lots of history with their romance. The history is interesting, even if it's worked in far too often.
-- Reviewed by Indie Book Reviewer
There was a part where the h wanted to kill herself with an inherited ceremonial dagger because she thought she'd lost the H. I never remembered that part in this book. Anyway the reason this book never made a great impression on me is that I don't think it's particularly well written. I find it to be a bit choppy and inconsistent. The idea that the H fell in love with the h so quickly when she was looking after him at the beginning was great and gave the book a good start. I don't expect the course of true love to run smoothly but this story didn't do it for me. The great revelation that the H from 'Conquering Passion' is his father comes out and completely derails him. He goes off on a tangent and forgets about everyone except himself. I really don't know why he didn't love his wife enough to consider her before running off to war again. It was fairly obvious she could've been pregnant by that stage. It just all annoyed me so much. Then we have his ramblings written in between like a kind of journal. I also think that his natural father stepping in and rescuing him was all a bit over the top.
For me this series really has been all over the show but the truth is that there is a story thread that runs between the books that I like. The prices of the books are low and as a result I keep buying and reading them. I really didn't like the latest 'Hearts and Crowns' and that may be the last that I read in the series. I'm not, however, against going back and reading some of the stories that I've missed between this one and her latest offering.
With William the Conqueror dead, Ram Montbryce can finally relax and oversee his holdings as the Earl of Ellsmere. Or can he? Unfortunately his bastard son Caedemon is stirring up enough trouble to rile the new king. Shamed to learn of his Norman parentage he runs off to join the Crusades leaving behind not only his new Montbryce family but his pregnant wife as well. Ram leaves his comfortable castle, ignores his arthritic knees and chases after his bastard son on his doomed quest.
There is a part in this book where the author really shows her grasp of humanity when Caedemon, stuck in Turkey on his way to the Holy Land, begins writing a journal which he hopes will survive him so his abandoned wife might know him better. After the bloody battles, the treachery, and the hardships he writes this simple line. "I'm beginning to like the taste of olives." With that simple line he becomes human again. A young man far from home with many regrets and few options.
"A Man of Value" is another winner for me and I can't wait to continue with the series.