Title & Author: Demitrius (Brethren Origins, Book 2), Barbara Devlin
Genre & Publication Date: Paranormal/Historical Romance, March 13, 2016
Book Description: “Athelyna Des Moutiers has lived the better portion of her years in a convent, isolated from the harsh realities of her world, and has dedicated her life in service to a higher calling. When her father dies, her manipulative older brother negotiates a betrothal contract to one of the King’s knights, surrendering her to a creature utterly foreign—a man. A wedding present, an ancient brooch with mythical powers, foretells a future she cannot deny, so she accepts her fate. Can she win the love of her husband, a stubborn brute equally resistant to marriage?
Demetrius de Blackbourne is a Nautionnier Knight, a pious man, and a virgin who, much like his bride, has vowed to devote himself to divine endeavors, and his plans do not include a wife. When he is tasked with settling a troublesome region, and installing the King’s new garrison, he neglects the most important charge of all—his lady. But the gentle spirit and quiet strength of Athelyna manifest a temptation he can neither ignore nor deny, and Demetrius finds himself fighting for the one thing he never thought he would want—her heart.”
First Line: Two road weary travelers, a wide-eyed young couple returning from a pilgrimage to Santiago, sought refuge behind the trunk of a large tree and clung to each other.
My Take: When I learned of this Indie author’s horrendous experience at the release of this title, I decided to pick up her book and give it a read as a show of support. Technical difficulties in the Amazon downloads resulted in hundreds of angry readers sending hateful emails to this author (who had nothing to do with the tech stuff on Amazon’s side.) You can read her post about it all here and if you’re like me you’ll burst with sympathy for her.
On to the review!
(FYI: Although this is book two, it can still be read as a standalone.)
To avoid misconceptions about the story of this one, the paranormal side is very limited. It’s more of an historical romance than a paranormal, but it does include a mystical object that shows the wearer their destiny if they sleep with it attached to their clothing. Bit of a plot device and the message in the prophetic dreams was easy to predict, but this is a romance after all, so I didn’t mind it.
I liked the development of the relationship. It didn’t happen overnight and took a lot of soul searching to finally get there, so it was well built. I would’ve preferred if there’d been less fumbling between them that led to misunderstanding. It happened one too many times for my taste. I thought the story could’ve used some much needed external conflict to drive them together. Although this is hinted at in the description, I didn’t think it really manifested. The story still held together well though and kept me turning the pages, but I felt a twinge of disappointment with the lack of action. This is the middle ages, after all. Let me see some swordplay!
The Magical: Hats off to the author for the authentic speech used by the characters. Learning that archaic language form took effort, I’m sure. Some might be put off by the “thee-thy-thine” verbiage, but you get used to it and it really immerses you in the time period.
The Mundane: Fair warning–Euphemisms n’ more blatant stuff ahead: Okay, so the title named character, Demetrius, was a likable enough guy, and the love growing between him and Athelyna was sweet, but the sexual stuff annoyed the bejesus out of me. I don’t mind reading sex in a story but this took awkward to a whole new level.
I had no trouble believing that our noble knight, a former Templar knight who took a vow of chastity to join the order, was still a virgin. What I found really, REALLY hard to believe was that he needed a friend to explain how to, you know, privately handle his own plow. Was he never a teenager? Because from what I understand guys generally get acquainted with how to work their own gears early on. Also, calling it “the one eyed dragon” started to get to me after a while. Please call it by name, or manhood, or really anything else. It is what it is. Let’s not beat around the bush (okay, that phrase might not be the best choice here).
And seriously, stop talking so damn much once you have sheathed thine dragon in thine lady. Those speeches are better reserved for before or after gettin’ it on. Also, it’s a little weird to yell out things like, “Sweet sanctuary!” upon entry. It’s a nice compliment but shut up already.
Summary of Thoughts: Currently this book is just $0.99 for the Kindle. I’m giving it three stars with the addendum that this may just be a “not my cup of tea” situation. On the whole, I liked it, though I found a few things about the characters a tad unbelievable and, well, silly. Still this one kept my interest and I wanted to finish the journey. I just wish there had been a little more action outside of the bumbling mis-communications between them. Endearing but not totally captivating.
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