Once Upon A Romance

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Defiant by Jessica Trapp


Cover art: Defiant Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Defiant - 2nd in the Children Of The Mist series
Author: Jessica Trapp
Publisher: Zebra
ISBN-13: 978-1-4201-0095-2
Release Date: December 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: England, potentially Regency Era
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Jessica's Website/Blog: www.jessicatrapp.com

Lady Gwyneth of Windrose has dodged the matrimonial bullet for several years. Unfortunately, her sister and brother-in-law have put their mind to getting Gwyneth married off. She is told of her upcoming nuptials only one day in advance. She has to find another way in less than 24 hours.

Turning to her best friend, Irma, they hatch a plan that will get Gwyneth what she needs. They drug a man and force him to marry Gwyneth. When he fights back, they end up knocking him out and tying him down to a bed to make sure he will listen to reason. Gwyneth only wants to remain married a short time and then have the marriage annulled. She will give him a nice amount of gold to go away and leave her be to run her lands as she wishes. In this manner, she can continue to buy women in the prison their freedom. She’s determined to keep women from being sold to slave ships and sent to harems for alleged crimes that most didn’t commit.

Jared St. John was wrongly imprisoned about three years ago for his brother’s murder. Now that he’s been released, he just wants to be left alone to try to track down the real killer. When he’s drugged and dragged off to marry a woman he thinks is a harlot, he’s not too happy. When he realizes the woman is the woman who has been the object of his affections for the past three years in jail, he is determined to repay her for the drugging and dragging. He wants to toy with her for a while as she toyed with him and then make a decision about whether or not he’ll stay in the marriage.

As much as he plans to love her and leave her, Jared is repeatedly drawn to Gwyneth. He can’t understand her incongruities and why she is insistent about continuing her friendship with Irma. He helps get her lands and home returned to their former glory and somewhere during all the work, he finds himself falling for Gwyneth the siren all over again. Can anything ever come from rekindling his passion for her? Will she ever trust him or love him in return? Will his brother’s murder continue to divide them?

Usually I identify with the heroines first in most novels. Interestingly, I wasn’t totally in love with Gwyneth in the beginning. She seemed to self-centered and a bit snobbish. As I got to know her, I realized that many of the things I didn’t really like about her were all an act to stay sane in her family—and later to keep championing her cause. I liked Jared from the first page…even though he was slated to become a monk. I couldn’t imagine him really going through with his vows because he is a woman magnet and is too opinionated to blindly follow the rules laid down by the church.

The book has a moderate start, but it takes off like a rocket when she ties Jared to the bed after the forced marriage. Once we hit that point, there’s no looking back. As Gwyneth tries to hide her real self from Jared, he becomes more covert in discovering everything there is to know about her. The book rapidly climbs to a fervor pitch and just when you are certain you know the outcome, everything changes and with a twist written by a master, we come blasting to the final pages of the book.

A well-written story filled with passion, struggles and even a bit of intrigue, Defiant won’t disappoint.


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