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Friday, May 6, 2011

Braeden and Janne by Kathye Quick

Braeden and Janne by Kathye Quick
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical, Sci-fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (163 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Duty and desire clash to save a new Camelot from the sons of Mordred.

After his brother is made king by a dying Arthur, Braeden hopes to help Constantine rebuild Camelot and carry on Arthur's vision for the kingdom. Together with the new queen, and her companion Janne, a new era begins.

Although the ways of Merlin and Morganna are banned from court,. Janne holds to the goddess. She finds the mind overrules the heart when she and Braeden are betrothed. Refusing to marry him,. she fears their union will bring the fall of the kingdom.

With the sons of Mordred, Melehan and Melou plotting the ultimate revenge…brother versus brother…there is no peace to be had in Camelot.

When Janne is exposed as a Druidess, she and Braeden must find a way to expose the plot to take down Camelot while maintaining the ideals the majestic realm was built upon.

What will Braeden and Janne choose, true love or the future of Camelot?

Braeden and Janne are a couple on the edge of heartbreak. Clearly they are soul mates, but the road to their happy ending is fraught with danger. First, there is the discrepancy in Janne and Braeden’s stations. He is the brother of the king and the High Knight of Camelot. Though Janne is friends with the king and queen, she is still a commoner. Braeden simply chooses to ignore the rumors swirling around their romance, but Janne cannot.

Second, Janne practices the ways of Avalon. Constantine and Braeden know Janne’s ways are gentle, but the people of the kingdom still fear magic. As if that weren’t enough, the kingdom is in a state of unrest. Melehan and Melou’s raids grow bolder and the knights of Camelot must chase them off again and again. As I eagerly turned each page, I wondered how all these conflicts would be resolved.

I liked Janne immediately. She is a strong, caring woman dedicated to helping others. Even though the ways of Avalon have been outlawed, Janne cannot deny who she is. I admire the strength it took for her to remain true to her beliefs even though she knew it could cost her everything.

Throughout the story, Janne struggles with her attraction to Braeden. She knows that a relationship between them isn’t practical, but she also knows Braeden will never leave her. Janne keeps telling herself that she will leave him. As I read, my heart ached for the couple, and I wondered, would this moment between Braeden and Janne be the last? Will she really leave him? Ms. Quick did an excellent job of portraying both the passion and sadness in Braeden and Janne’s relationship. I was constantly kept in suspense of how it would all play out.

Braeden is the classic strong hero. He is the perfect man for Janne. His strength and loyalty perfectly complement Janne’s own strengths. Braeden’s major flaw is his complete disregard of the precarious situation that his relationship with Janne creates. He seems genuinely surprised at how hostile some people are regarding his relationship with Janne. One of the things I like most about Braeden is that he is an optimist. He never gives up on Janne and continues to insist he will find a way for them to be together. His strength and certainty were reassuring when it seemed like everything would be lost.

Of course the story wouldn’t be complete without villains. Melehan and Melou are purely evil, but the real betrayal of the story comes in the form of a person from Janne’s past. I thought I had pretty good idea of how certain events would play out, but I was completely surprised by the appearance of this character. I felt as though I was standing next to Janne sharing equally in her shock and heartache.

I also like the way Ms. Quick ended the story. Many of the conflicts where wrapped up nicely, but some of them were left open. I felt satisfied and curious at the same time. If there is ever a sequel to Braeden and Janne, my interest is already piqued.

I really enjoyed Braeden and Janne. The characters were interesting and the romance was compelling. I sincerely recommend it to anyone who loves a great historical romance.