by Amber Dayne
For years Breanne has studied to learn the magick of the druids and guide her own destiny. Her destiny was written long before her birth, however, and is tied irrevocably to the dark, handsome stranger who stirs her blood as no other, the one she has been told she must protect all costs.
If his life were his own, Ashlon could want nothing more than to stay with the Lady Breanne forever, but his life isn't his own. Regardless of his personal desires, his honor demands that he finish the mission entrusted to him by his mentor and lay down his life if necessary.
This historic romance offers us a window to a well-imagined past. It is set in Ireland, prior to well-recorded history, back in the time that seems to have spawned mostly legends. And this has that legendary, near-magical feel to it.
The word choice for the dialogue, and especially the voice of the main character Breanne, manages somehow to convey to the reader a hint of that Irish lilt. It is something that could easily be overdone, but here seems just right; adding to our sense of place and our sense of character.
Breanne is caught between her own expectations, the hopes of her parents, and the expectations of her learned society, as well. Ritual, intentions, prophecy all contribute to the haunting quality of this work. Time also plays a strong role here: the waning or waxing moon dictates decisions and activities, setting the ceremonies into a time frame. It is easy to empathize with the main character -- who has challenges similar to those of any young woman, in addition to answering the call of destiny. That empathy brings a level of believability to this tale . Her love may be disapproved of, disallowed in some sense, but it seems as much a rightful part of her destiny as is her dedication to the Druidic rites. Breanne is a full, developed character, and her decisions are thought out, and original. She does not merely throw away her goals for her love. She makes an effort to learn the herbal lore in her lessons. She honors her teachers' efforts as valuable. Her niche seems to be waiting for her.
Ms. Dayne builds a sense of anticipation throughout, and creates a sexual tension to an exceptional degree. The marvelous setting, sense of history, even the storyline all play second fiddle to the emotions she skillfully ignites.
Review by Snapdragon