Thursday, April 24, 2008

Historical Romance

Wow! I just finished a historical romance tonight that blew my socks off!

Bennett, TJ: The Legacy, Medallion Press, April 2008.

This is TJ Bennett's debut novel but I had the feeling I was reading a seasoned author's work. I know TJ personally, a few years ago we were in a critique group together, but honestly I'm not pushing her book here, this story is terrific and I'd be saying this even if I didn't know her.

TJ tackled an era in history that was dark to say the least, and one not many romance authors would think of as a backdrop to a passionate romance between a commoner and a noblewoman. Try 1525 Germany, the Early Reformation period. TJ did her research and it shows. The history is deftly woven throughout, no info dumps evident, yet the reader knows exactly where she is at all times. The characters are wonderful, larger than life. I want to be careful not to do a spoiler here because I know you'll want to let this lovestory of Sabina and Wolfgang, forced into a marriage neither wants and both convinced they will never consummate, unfold as you greedily turn the pages.

Suffice it to say that this sensual, action-packed story with its rising stakes refused to allow me to put the book down. There was a tenderness that brought tears to my eyes, heat that made me head for the cold shower, and action that had me on the edge of the seat. This author doesn't shy away from the brutality of the era, the romance contrasted against the reality of the time period is what made it a riveting story for me. And when you finish it, if you're at all like me, you'll be saddened at the loss of these friends as if they were loved ones leaving for distant shores and you aren't certain you'll ever meet again.

But fear not, there is a sequel, the story of Wolfgang's brother, Gunter, The Promise, will be available in May, 2009. I know I can't wait!

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