Readers, please welcome Emily Hash, the "other" Emily. She is now our official book reviewer. While the three of us will continue to review books from time to time, we felt it was important to bring in an avid reader who is not also a writer. This will give us the freedom to take on more reviews without the potential conflict that can arise from authors who review books. These reviews will be honest, though kind. Unlike previous book reviews, though, there will be room for negative comments, where we've stuck to only reviewing books that we've enjoyed. So without further ado, Emily will review PROMISED TO THE CROWN by Aimie K. Runyan.
I love historical fiction. I grew up devouring the Dear America series and have always been a history buff. But the romance genre? I could usually do without. I’m happy to say that Aimie K. Runyan’s Promised to the Crown may have changed my opinion about romance...and that’s a good thing!
As you may have heard in this week's interview with Aimie, this book takes place in 1667 when King Louis the XIV was attempting to colonise and hang on to Quebec, Canada. His solution? Send women with good character to the colony to marry and have children. In the story, Elisabeth, Rose, and Nicole all leave France for their own reasons and make the harrowing journey across the Atlantic. The novel then takes place over the next five years, during which the three main characters try to find their place in the New World.
Runyan does a masterful job tackling the often uncomfortable topics of infertility, rape, and heartbreaking loss. Her characters’ emotional and psychological responses are absolutely believable while they are facing these difficult situations. There were quite a few times while I was reading this story where I was left thinking, “Oh, please, please let this end well.” Another thing I loved about this story was that it was fast paced. Runyan does not waste any time throwing the reader into the story. Seriously, by chapter two, the reader is on their way across the Atlantic.
If there was one thing I would have changed about the novel, it would have been how the author shows the passage of time. I appreciated how she starts each chapter with the current month and year, but the reader is sometimes forced to flip back to the beginning of the previous chapter to familiarize themselves to how much time has passed.
When the Trio asked me to read this novel and write a review for the blog, I was willing because of the historical setting of the novel, but hesitant about romance thread. I’m happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story, and I’m looking forward to its sequel, Duty to the Crown, due to be released in November of 2016.
Emily does not currently have a picture for her byline, but she is assuredly adorable and knows a TON about great writing. If her husband wasn't writing out this mini bio for this post, she might not be so forthright about her own awesomeness, but that's what she gets for letting someone else write it.