Monday, November 4, 2013
CBR V Review #42: Fire Dance by Delle Jacobs
In case you couldn't tell from that magnificent cover image, this is a romance novel. Amazon recently offered me the chance to purchase anything from a selected list for only a dollar each. All of them were romance, as the offer was based off of what I had purchased previously (in this case, my preorder of Dark Witch by Nora Roberts, which I'll review shortly). It was an incredibly hit or miss collection, with most of them not even being worth picking up to read the first chapter. Two of them were abandoned as lost causes less than 30 pages in. But this and two others (which have reviews coming up) satisfied me well enough to actually finish them, flaws and all. Of the three, this is probably the weakest entry.
Fire Dance is a historical romance that tells the story of Melisande (whose name I kept changing to Melissandre in my head thanks to GoT) and the knight Alain de Crency. Mellie (no one calls her that - I am because I don't feel like typing Melisande more than once) has lived under the thumb of an incredible sadist of a father. She wants freedom for herself, and moreso for her people, and the death of her father seems to promise that. The problem is that upon his demise, a Norman knight, AdC (yup, I'm abbreviating that, too) shows up to take over her land under orders from the king. Mellie has made sure her people surrender quietly so no one can be hurt, but there is a part of the bargain she will not agree to - handing over herself as a bride. Mellie's got some serious baggage, and she doesn't think she can have AdC, even when, while in disguise, she starts to fall for him. He sees through her disguise and takes her to wife anyway, learning her secrets as he goes, and more besides.
There's nothing particularly revelatory about this book. Mellie is a fairly strong character, both because of what she's willing to do for her people, and what she's endured in the past (which is both terrible and predictable). I don't know that the relationship between the two leads is developed enough for me to really buy it, and the king being a teddy bear seemed a little pathetic to me. But it was put together well enough for me to see it end.
There's much better historical romance out there, so I'd skip this one, but I don't regret the whopping dollar I paid to read it.