Valentine by Heather Grothaus

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Introducing the Brotherhood of Fallen Angels — an epic new series set in the medieval Holy Land, where four heroic Crusaders find themselves caught in the crosshairs of revenge, devotion—and love…

He’s a man of passion and principle. But would he kill for his convictions? That’s the question that has Valentine Alesander fighting for his innocence. He’s been accused, along with three other Brothers, of orchestrating the horrific siege at the Christian fortification of Chastellet. Could this fatefully-named Crusader be a lover, a fighter, and a traitor? One woman from his past is about to find out.

Gorgeous, free-spirited Lady Mary Beckham has escaped her guardians in England to travel across the world—and find the notorious Valentine. Years ago, she was promised to him…and now she wants out of their marriage contract. Mary wants to wed another and requires Valentine’s blessing—until she discovers they share a tempestuous attraction. But with a vengeful band of sworn enemies at Valentine’s heels, is desire worth the risk of losing…everything?

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Publisher and Release Date: Lyrical Press 23 June, 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: 12th Century Europe
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Jill

Valentine Alesander, a Spaniard of noble birth, has lost his title, family and wealth. Now a man without a home, he finds himself in Syria, right after the Christian defeat at Jacob’s Ford. Here he comes across a man whose two friends have been taken to Damascus as prisoners by Saladin’s victors. When Valentine joins forces with these three men, unjustly considered traitors to the Crown and now on the run, they take refuge in an abbey in Austria.

Lady Mary Beckham has been betrothed since birth. But at twenty-six years-old her husband-to-be still has not come for her. And she has fallen for another man. However, before she can marry him she needs to find her fiancé and ask him disavow his marriage claim to her. When she learns that a monk in an Austrian abbey has information on her wayward fiancé’s whereabouts, Mary leaves England for Austria.

Set in 12th century Europe, this is a really entertaining Medieval romance. Though written with great historical detail the pace doesn’t slow down. Both Valentine and Mary (or Maria as Valentine calls her) are wonderful characters. Their romance builds slowly, and comes to life on their road trip through Europe and back to England. Wanted by both his family and pursued by those wanting to bring him (and his three friends) to justice, Valentine’s story is full of action and adventure.

I started this book thinking it would be a dark, almost grim read given the era. Valentine is not quite the brooding and taciturn hero I thought he would be. He has an almost amiable personality, and there are quite a few touches of humour throughout. Not quite what I was first expecting, but nevertheless, an entertaining read.

For anyone looking for a change-of-pace, something different to the overdone Regency setting in historical romances, or if you enjoy Medieval historicals, then Valentine is a recommended read. I’m looking forward to the other stories in this series. Next up, scholar and architect Adrian Hailsworth’s story.

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