Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon – the path of least resistance – Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton – the path less traveled by – on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.
Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.
The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.
The Forgiven Duke starts exactly where The Guardian Duke leaves off, as though it was merely the next chapter instead of the next book. Alexandria is on a ship bound for Iceland while her guardian, Gabriel, is left on the dock. Neither of them knows how their lives will change before they are reunited. Book two of the Forgotten Castles series follows their stories in alternate chapters.
Just as with its predecessor, I could not put this book down and finished it within a day. The plot reminded me an Indiana Jones adventure. There’s a treasure to be found, and whoever ends up with it will command great power. There are good guys and bad guys who are after them. The good guys also have their weaknesses. Indiana Jones hated snakes, but Gabriel gets terribly seasick. There is romance and, sadly, there is brutality. It’s rare to find such violence in Christian titles, but the bad guys are ruthless and will do anything to obtain the prize. It is while suffering such brutalities that our character (no spoilers here) places their trust in Christ to get them through the experience.
Violence aside, there are a few downsides to the novel. The history is not always accurate. For example, Alexandria supposedly spots Beau Brummel in London, but by this time he was living in France in order to avoid being sent to debtors’ prison. There is no mention of Iceland still being a Danish dependency. I also found myself wondering how it was that everyone in Iceland spoke English. (I wonder the same thing in sci-fi movies; the aliens always speak fantastic English.) Jamie Carie’s portrayal of Iceland, however, more than make up for these deficiencies, with detailed descriptions of everything from the unique Icelandic horses to the clothes worn by the native Icelanders.
So, the Forgotten Castles saga is now two-thirds complete. While I’m beginning to understand the reasons for Gabriel’s affliction (about which I wondered in my review for The Guardian Duke), I still have questions. Will Alexandria find her parents? Will they be glad to be found? What exactly is everyone searching for? Who will get the prize? What happens to the bad guys? Will the Prince Regent irrevocably screw up England’s relationship with Spain due to this treasure hunt? All these questions will be answered, I hope, in A Duke’s Promise which will be released in September.
Publisher: B & H Books
Publication Date: 01 July 2012
Page Count: 320
I downloaded my free copy of The Forgiven Duke from B & H Books on the NetGalley website. I was under no obligation to write a review.