Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Book Review: Torch in the Forest by Marcie Kremer
Author: Marcie Kremer
Format: Ebook (139 pages)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Scandalous)
Publish Date: 16 February 2013
Blurb from Goodreads:
Eighteen-year-old widow Eleanor of Strathcombe is stunned to realize she has a powerful attraction to Hugh of Wykeham, the arrogant, neighboring lord returned from the Crusade. But he wants to marry her sister, and when he learns that poachers are running rampant he blames her and feuds with her over the control of their forest boundaries.
As she struggles to keep control of her forests and find the poachers, unsettling feelings confront her when she deals with Hugh, feelings she never felt in her brief, loveless marriage -- feelings she tries to fight, because she knows Hugh to be a cold, harsh man who may have murdered his faithless wife in revenge -- and who trusts no woman.
When she finds herself in the midst of a net of intrigue and lies, how will she find the courage to capture the conspirators, save herself and her sister, and overcome her feelings for Hugh?
I can't help but feel disappointed in this medieval romance by Marcie Kremer. I love romances set in the medieval era, and this book's blurb sounded very promising.
Unfortunately there were several areas that were lacking for me.
Firstly there was no real chemistry for me. Hugh and Eleanor seemed to share this intense attraction to each other, but it didn't materialize until the end of the book. It didn't feel like they should be attracted to each other at all.
Secondly, I just didn't like Hugh. At all. I know, in this time period men ruled the roost and he was probably similar to how men were back then. But as a reader, I want to actually like the hero of my romance book! He is horrible to Eleanor, and unjustly thinks she's an idiot for at least 80% of the book. Frankly I don't see what Eleanor sees in him, he's an arrogant idiot- even if he is handsome.
Thirdly, what's with all the spitting? It felt like every 2 seconds Hugh was spitting on to the ground. As if I didn't have enough reason to dislike him I have to read about his gross spitting habit constantly too.
Fortunately, there were also several aspects of the book that I did enjoy.
I liked and admired Eleanor. She was a very strong woman; married at 14 to a complete boor, widowed at 16 and managing the entire estate by herself. Not to mention dealing with her lecherous liege lord, William, and looking out for the welfare of her sister and loyal servants. She doesn't let herself be cowed by Hugh's rudeness and dominance, she stands her ground and remains loyal and trusting to her servants.
The historical aspect of the book was great, it sets the scene very well. It helps you to really imagine being there, and living in this era.
I liked the poaching mystery and drama throughout the book, it's very interesting and helps maintain your interest if you find the romance slightly lacking (that would be me). It has a very satisfying conclusion which also helps Hugh to finally see some sense!
Hugh does a complete 180, in the last couple of chapters of the book. It was very sudden and he seemed like a totally different person. But that might be because the book is quite short so it had to happen quickly.
I was happy with the ending though, it's sweet and was the best bit for me.
Overall, this is an entertaining, short medieval romance that may or may not appeal to you. Honestly it's the sort of book you just have to try reading for yourself, to see if you like it.
I received a copy of the book via Netgalley, from the publisher for an honest review.