Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: My Lord Raven by Jan Scarbrough

Title: My Lord Raven
Author: Jan Scarbrough
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: None
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Format: ebook via The Romance Reviews
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisBran ap Madog, bastard son of a Welsh prince, has devoted his life to serving the English king. At Edward's behest, he nourishes his reputation for savagery, taking as his badge the raven, a scavenger bird that feeds off rotting spoils. He wants, as his reward for service, the hand of a wealthy wife, as well as the land and power she will bring to his bed...

When her father and twin brother are murdered, Lady Catrin Fitzalen sets out to learn the truth about the awful rumors. Were they killed by the king's own champion, the vicious King's Raven? She will do anything to protect her remaining family, including switching places with her cousin when the king forces the pious girl into marriage with his wicked champion.

The Romance Review

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

When the king's champion is gifted a bride... but marries the wrong girl!

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Catrin is out for revenge. After the loss of her father and brother, she has little else in this world to cling to other than her pain and anger. Along with the local gossip, she suspects the King's Raven is responsible for both murders. And when her look-alike cousin is given to the knight in marriage, Catrin sees a way to help her cousin escape the betrothal and get closer to the truth at the same time.

Bran has worked hard for his king and earned a fearsome reputation to boot. But he isn't guilty of the crimes he is being accused of now. He wants nothing more than to marry and settle down on some land. Maybe even produce a few heirs with his lovely bride. It's too bad that he has no idea he is about to make a vow to the wrong person.

When Catrin finally gets Bran right where she wants him, she begins to realize that things may not be as she originally thought. Her new husband isn't quite the brutal slayer that some might want her to believe. And there are others near her with secrets far darker. But even if she does somehow find out the truth, give up on her revenge, and fall in love with her husband, there's still one tiny problem. Her entire marriage is a lie.

This was a pretty nice story. It has a darker and more intense feeling to it than most other medieval romances that I've read. It isn't really light-hearted and there is little humor in here. But it does have a very interesting plot and a fairly high level of suspense throughout. I didn't want to put it down.

Bran was a fantastic hero and easily my favorite character. He was sometimes a bit rough but it was an accurate betrayal of his character and the time period. I felt terrible for him for pretty much the entire story. I didn't feel quite the same sympathy for Catrin. Her lust for revenge was understandable but even when clues began to surface, she still treated Bran harsher than I thought she should.

In fact, as for the romance in general, I would have liked to see the truth have come out sooner so our couple could have had more time to bond. It seemed like the ending was too rapid and Catrin's change of heart a bit sudden for my taste. But the secondary characters definitely added a nice touch to the story. I would consider reading more from this author in the future.

In closing...
Secrets and lies around every stone corner. Four suns!

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