The Breaking Dawn by Jayne Castel

the breaking dawn
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A historical romance adventure set in 7th Century Anglo-Saxon England – a time when only the strong survived.

A Mercian village girl and a Welsh prince. When two worlds collide, an unforgettable love story unfolds.

It is the summer of 641 A.D., and the Kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria are about to do battle.

Merwenna of Weyham accepts the hand of a young warrior who is about to march to war. But when her betrothed does not return, she takes matters into her own hands and goes in search of him.

Welsh battle lord, Prince Cynddylan, leads a host of warriors to help Mercia fight Northumbria. In doing so, he forms a fragile alliance with one of Britannia’s most ruthless warlords – King Penda of Mercia.

In the wake of the Battle of Maes Cogwy, the lives of many will change.

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Publisher and Release Date: Jayne Castel, April 2015

RHR Classification:
Time and setting: 641 A.D., Anglo-Saxon England
Genre: Historical Romance/Medieval Romance
Heat Level: 1
Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by Vikki

A Breaking Dawn is an emotionally-charged read from the first page to the last which is set in a period of history about which I have read very little. Merwenna tugged at my heart strings as she searches for answers.

When she accepts Beorn’s marriage proposal, the last thing Merwenna expects is for him to then tell her they must wait for the handfasting until he returns from battle. He has joined the fyrd King Mercia has called up to vanquish his enemy.

Three months pass without any word from Beorn, so, unable to wait any longer, Merwenna and her brother to travel to Tamworth to seek news of her betrothed. When they arrive, the merchant who gave them a ride demands payment, either in coin or Merwenna’s virtue, and a scuffle breaks out. Fortunately, the Mercian Queen intervenes and invites them to the castle.

When Merwenna’s brother gets into trouble, he is cast out but Merwenna remains. She must find out if Beorn yet lives. When the king arrives, she seeks information regarding her betrothed, only to find out from the Prince of Powys, that Beorn was killed in battle. Grief stricken, Merwenna leaves to travel home without the escort the queen had promised. On the way, she is attacked and rescued by the Prince of Powys, who then escorts her home.

Although she mourns Beorn, the attraction between Merwenna and the prince, Cynddylan ap Cyndrwyn cannot be denied. Can a young Mercian village girl and a prince overcome their vast differences and find true love?

While I did have a few problems with some of Merwenna’s decisions, I loved her character. She has a brave heart and is willing to face danger to save those she loves. I fell in love with Dylan right way. He’s a wonderful hero, a strong warrior considerate of the people in his life, especially Merwenna.

I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between the couple. The chemistry between them is combustible, although I did have a bit of a problem with Merwenna falling in love with another so soon after losing her betrothed. I realize it was necessary for the story, but it would have been more believable and put Merwenna in a better light if at least six months had passed.

What I enjoyed most about A Breaking Dawn was the fascinating look at the period of history in which the book is set. Ms. Castel very skilfully brings this troubled and brutal time to life sp that I was able to lose myself in the daily happenings of the story, which is something I love. Her descriptive writing style greatly enhanced this story.

If you enjoy a well-written medieval romance with a fantastic hero and plenty of action along the way, then you will love A Breaking Dawn. I certainly did, and Ms. Castel is an author I will be looking for in the future.

This story can be obtained as part of the Kindle Unlimited program and has a novella at the end.

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