When the emperor chooses a husband for Rochelle, she tries to drive her betrothed away, but by the time she realizes she might want to keep him, she has been too successful and other forces are dividing them as well.
A whirling romance in the enchanting world of Charlemagne's Empire. Rochelle of Alda, a feisty Frank noblewoman, expects to continue her industrious life managing her family's estate. When her emperor summons her to the palace to meet the skilled soldier she is required to marry, Rochelle engages in a battle for independence from David of Bavaria. As her own deceptions multiply, she suspects another of also plotting against their marriage. To her surprise, and too late, David's passion and patience begin to win her heart. Can their love survive the tangled web of her schemes and the secret adversary David refuses to see?
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 3 Story 2
There is a curious mix and mismatch here: the story is set in Charlemagne’s time, yet language, approach and society are all far more modern in feel, use and approach. While Hughey wrote a passably interesting, if slow paced and meandering story, the lack of adherence to even the most simplistic historical conventions are off putting and had me confused as to her intention: was she planning on a historic, or a fantasy type read with historic elements. What ended up happening is my focus was more interested in ferreting out the intention of the author, while large passages were static or meandered without apparent point, rather than paying close attention to plot or action.
Unfortunately, by the time I was at the point to form an impression about the character’s connection or their trials, dredging up emotional reactions to them was difficult, if not impossible, as the large passages of the information did nothing to establish them firmly in my head. Rochelle and David were formulaic and felt familiar yet uninspired.
Narration is provided by Kevin Scollin and he did the best job possible with text that was less than helpful in cues and clues for emotional emphasis. Not overreaching or overly emoted, his performance was the best thing about this production. I did, however, note passages from him where the lack of forward plot motion or inspiration was evident, not unexpected in a recording of nearly 13 hours.
What looked to be a promising story with plenty to love was disappointing, the best discovery was the narrator.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.