Monday, February 16, 2015

REVIEW: Of Love and Vengeance Blog Tour! +($15 Amazon GC)

Title: Of Love and Vengeance
Author:  Louise Lyndon
Series: N/A
Pages: 322
Date Published: November 18th 2014
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Paperback
Genre:Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
Forced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her young nephew’s survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for the deaths of so many innocents. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves. But can Laila let Aymon die at the hands of the king once she learns the truth?

A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?
~My Thoughts~
Yes! Another fantastically lusty historical fiction to keep me going during the freezing winter months! Thank you Louise! This one is set in England, though during a Norman invasion...not one of the most popular historical tropes, but still with all the fixin's of a great story. 

Lets start with Laila. She's reeling from the deaths of most of her friends and family and that her home has been brutally invaded. Her sister, Ead, and her son are to be homeless unless they make amends with the new lord of their home.  So in other words...girlfriend's got a lot going on. Her personality asserts itself as this almost rabid, fiery woman who is going to ensure the rest of her family's survival at all costs and her hatred for Aymon at first is fearsome to behold. 

Lord Aymon. Is he an Alpha or Beta male? ALL alpha. Try being anything less when you're a battle hardened Norman warrior who practically tore himself to pieces fighting wars. Now he's ready to settle down with a quiet life. Instead,  he gets the spit-fire of a woman named Laila and falls in love against either of their better judgement. 

There was a unique flavor to this story, because the two characters show very huge prejudices towards each other. These days, at least in my neck of the woods, you rarely get prejudice based on country of origin. Skin color is another story, but at least the Nigerian descended Americans don't hate the Cameron-born Americans and the Polish don't usually hate on the Ukranians, etc. Getting to see this sort of ethnic dissonance was interesting, particularly because of how the politics of the time are all mixed up in the romance. It made for a very captivating perspective on an already good book!

~Try an Excerpt!~
Aymon caught a flicker of movement from a window on the second story. “I think we’re about to meet the welcome party.” An arrow zoomed toward him and landed on the pommel of his saddle. A half an inch closer and he would no longer be able to sire children. As if in demonstration of his ability with the bow and arrow, the shooter fired again. This time directed toward Hugh. The second arrow too came within a half an inch of his friend’s manhood.

“You missed!” Aymon called toward the shooter.  He questioned his stupidity for mocking someone with such a good aim.

“You want me to show you how good an aim I really am?” a woman’s voice echoed out across the yard.

“Bloody hell,” Hugh half cursed, half laughed. “Where does a woman learn to shoot like that?”

Aymon was shocked and admittedly a little impressed a woman had such remarkable shooting skills. He could use such a sharp shooter on his side in battle. After all, it was better to have someone so skilled firing for you than at you.

Aymon raised his black leather gloved hand in surrender. “No. I’m firmly attached to my balls, thank you very much.”

“Who are you?” the shooter demanded. “And what do you want? There is nothing of value here for you to steal. Be on your way, man, and leave me in peace.”

“Some would say a female is of value,” Aymon drawled sardonically.

A second arrow lodged firmly on the pommel between his legs.

“I do not give third chances. I’ll give you to the count of three to leave. Or else you will find an arrow straight through your heart.”

Aymon’s warhorse whinnied, and he fought to control the beast whose temperament was as black as his coat. “Put down your weapon!”

“One!”

“We mean you no harm!”

“Two!”

“I am Lord Aymon, and this is Lord Hugh. I’ve come to claim what is rightfully mine.”

Silence.

The two men looked at one another unsure what to do. “Should we storm the building and lay claim to what is yours?”

Aymon shook his head. He dismounted but never took his eyes from the door to the manor.

“She will soon make her appearance.”

Hugh, too, dismounted. “How can you be so sure?”

Aymon looked at his friend. “We do not have arrows through our hearts.”
~Meet Louise!~ 
Louise grew up in country Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.

She has been writing the moment she picked up a copy of Diana Gabaldon's first Outlander novel twenty something years ago. She thought to herself, 'this is what I want to do' - not travel back in time, but become a novelist! She has always had snippets of dialogue and scenes floating around in her head with characters screaming at her to bring them to life.

In 2013, Louise won first prize in the Crested Butte Sandy Writing contest – Historical category for her story, The Promise, which is now called, Of Love and Vengeance.

When not writing, she can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls - under the guise of competing in Spartan races all over Australia. Come visit Louise on her blog and website!

Louise will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.

19 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me! I look forward to answering any questions from commentators.

    I should point out that I live in Australia so due to the time difference I'll be back a little later!

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  2. I liked the bit about the Spartan Races. My daughter competes in something similar here in Canada (which they also have in the US): The BadA** dash/runs (not sure I could say that word online, even though it IS the actual name of the competition). I admire her tremendously for doing so, year after year, but also in getting her friends to participate too. (Misery loves company, LOL!)

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    1. Hi Laney, thanks for stopping by. How wonderful to hear your daughter does obstacle races. I love hearing about other people doing crazy stuff too. We don't have that particular race in Australia but I'm sure it's on its way!

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  3. sounds like a really good read :)

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  4. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

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  5. Nice review, Louise. I love the blurb and excerpt. I promise to get the book read really, really soon!! :)

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  6. I love marriage of convenience stories.

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  7. Enjoyed reading your review of this book

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  8. Love the excerpt! Nothing like starting a marriage with a definite understanding of your spouse's talents. ;-)

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