Title: A Royal Marriage
Series: Protecting the Crown
Author: Rachelle McCalla
Publisher: Love Inspired
Published: November 27, 2012
Princess Gisela, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, has been entered into a diplomatic marriage, despite her protests. She wants to see the world, even if it means she has to marry a man she’s only met twice. Yet en route to her wedding, her ship is attacked and while protecting the ship and her passengers Gisela is gravely injured. With her life hanging in the balance, the ships crew take her to a renowned healer and king of a small nation, but he seems reluctant to do anything.
King John of Lydia wants nothing to do with his healing past after losing the two people who meant most to him despite his best efforts. However, he can’t turn down the princess, particularly after seeing how determined she is to live. After rescuing her, she recuperates in his castle on the shore and the widower starts to rethink his promise to never marry again, even if it means he might lose her too.
As their forbidden love grows, the situation between King John and his enemy, Gisela’s fiancé, grow worse. They try to not fall in love but can’t help but see just what they can have if they just could change the circumstances. They also have to navigate a hostile people that want King John’s land. As time passes Gisela wants to stay and marry King John and King John can’t help but want Gisela to stay with him forever.
Will King John and Gisela’s love be fulfilled or will Gisela get a taste of love before it’s ripped away? Will John be ale to keep his land or will he lose it all to the people that killed his father? Will Charlemagne let Gisela out of her marriage agreement for love or will he make her marry someone she doesn’t love for the sale of peace? Will John break his promise to never marry again or will he keep it despite the love that’s available to him?
I’ve never read anything by this author, so I had no idea what this book was going to give me. What I got was fantastic. Being a novella, they’re usually pretty disappointing. They usually have a poor storyline and a quick romance and they usually leave me feeling disappointed. This one was different. I felt that the storyline was nice and the romance didn’t leave me feeling like I missed a good portion of it. This is definitely one of my favorite novellas yet.
The romance was perfect for the time frame and despite the small size if the book, I felt that it progressed nicely and it read like a full size book and not a novella. I loved how the romance progressed and I loved how the author made the heroine a different kind of heroine. She made her a girl who would rather do something herself instead of wait for a man to rescue her or do it for her and I loved that difference and how it made the story more memorable.
The storyline was actually reasonably complex for the length and there was even a touch of suspense and mystery mixed into this romance. There wasn’t a lot of the suspense and mystery but it was enough to add some depth and conflict to this book and I feel that it greatly improved this book. Without that added depth, I think this book wouldn’t have been as good and would’ve probably been borderline boring. The storyline of this book is like none other for a novella.
When I picked this book, I was hoping for a novella that is a diamond in the rough and was as great as the cover. Thankfully, this book more than lived up to it’s fantastic cover and it made me a new fan of this author. I’m so thankful that this book not only was good but it read more like a novel and less like a novella. It made this book one of the best I’ve ever read and I honestly can’t believe that for once my penchant for picking books solely for their cover pulled off.
This author has some experience with Love Inspired Suspense and I fully intend to check some of those out because if they’re as good as this one, they are definitely worth reading. I’m now a fan of this author and this book put her on my map and radar. I never expect much from novellas but this author broke every expectation and made a novella that was great and read like a novel. I highly recommend this book and author.
Overall, this is a great quick read and it doesn’t feel like a novella at all. This is perfect for readers who love historical fiction and or romance. This book is perfect for adults, teens and maybe even some mature Tweens. I highly recommend this one. I give this book a five out of five.
*I received a complimentary ebook copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*