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Friday, June 13, 2008

The Heart's Warrior

The Heart's Warrior by Leigh Bale
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

North of the Danelaw, AD 954

A heart broken ~ Known for her healing skills, Kerstin, the Witch of Moere, is torn from the arms of her betrothed and forced into marriage with Jonas, the Beast of Hawkscliffe, her family's mortal enemy. Believing herself in love with another man, Kerstin cannot deny the fierce passion Jonas ignites within her, nor the awakening of feelings she has never known before.

A heart tormented ~A warrior of duty, to ensure peace, Jonas will honor the king's demand and wed the woman accused of murdering his elder brother. As Jonas faces Kerstin's wrath, the golden warrior longs for serenity and love, but doubts these yearnings will ever come true. Yet, when he weds Kerstin, he finds his carefully guarded heart is overcome by desire and she alone can heal his damaged soul.

Immediately, Leigh Bale puts the reader amid the conflict—a Medieval conflict with cutting, slashing and flying arrows. Some of the arrows that find their mark so well come from the bow of Kerstin of Moere, a warrior maiden who fights when necessary but loves being feminine also.

When she realizes she ordered her father’s soldiers to attack a party coming to solidify a truce between hostile lords by order of the king, she is appalled. She is even more appalled when she finds out her father plans to negate her betrothal to Elejer, a neighboring Earl whom she has loved since childhood, and have her wed Jonas Siguardsson to comply with the king’s wishes.

Jonas Sigurdsson was the recipient of one of her well-placed arrows—not a good start for a life-long relationship. He also believes she killed his brother who was supposed to have married her. Add to all that her running away to Elejer’s manor after she knows she is supposed to be Jonas’ wife and the reader is in the middle of another conflict that rages between the two very people who are supposed to bring about the truce.

Ms. Bale’s characters come alive for the reader as they struggle with the difficulties of maintaining Medieval households while fending off enemies of the king and of themselves since they have pledged allegiance to the king. With a traitor among them, their efforts are thwarted at every turn, making it necessary for Jonas and Kerstin to make their own private truce to protect the people they love and the people who look to them for protection.

The love that quietly slips into their relationship is beautifully depicted by Ms Bale—just enough sensuality to spark the imagination and satisfy the heart.

The Heart's Warrioris full of heartwarming as well as blood-chilling events that keep tensions high as the story unfolds. As the undercurrent of intrigue escalates, the reader is swept into twists and turns of events that make the heart race and make one wonder how can there be a Happy-Ever-After.

Leigh Bale’s smooth style takes the reader away from the hurly-burly of today’s world and places her in a time long ago. The Heart's Warrior is good reading and shows the reader a positive work ethic, loyalty, love, and a determination to create a better world that are remarkable.