Anna's Reviews > Warrior Or Wife

Warrior Or Wife by Lyn Randal
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Mar 05, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: romance
Read in May, 2010

First things first: one of the things that bothered me was the, uh, whiteness of these Italian characters. I saw green eyes, gray eyes, violet eyes... nothing brown. One dude was blonde, and someone's skin was described as "white and creamy." I'm sorry, these people live in the middle of the Mediterranean zone. While yes, there's going to be some diversity in colouring, the vast majority of them should have dark hair, dark eyes, and an olive complexion, and not a single character in this book matches that description.

Also of note is Donatus's friend Lucan (who, incidentally, is the blonde dude), a devout Christian. It was neat that the book takes the era's stance on Christianity into consideration, which means that Lucan is in constant danger of discovery. He is, however, portrayed as the single most upstanding gentleman anyone has ever met. Lucan is perfect, and everyone's thoughts on him pretty much sum up to "I don't understand that religion of his, but man is Lucan the most awesome person ever!" I actually kept checking to make sure Warrior Or Wife isn't an inspirational romance, since it began to feel like he was going to inspire everyone to renounce their pagan ways to find the peace and awesomeness that Lucan possessed.

And while I'm sort of on the subject, Lelia inspires love and devotion in pretty much every male she meets throughout the course of the story. This makes sense if it's to become part of the plot or a character's motivations, but at least one character seems to be madly in love with her for no discernible reason. Unless, of course, the idea is that I'm now supposed to be envisioning her as some sort of Disney princess, where men and small animals just can't help but be drawn in.

As far as plot goes, the book relies heavily on some Big Misunderstandings, with a couple of jumped conclusions just to mix things up. I kind of got the impression that if these two had just one good conversation about all the crap that was bugging them, the book would be one chapter long. A prickly relationship between two stubborn people with trust issues could have been something beautiful and fascinating on its own, but Warrior Or Wife doesn't possess the subtlety to go with it, so instead we have Donatus assuming Lelia is cheating on him with Lucan because Lucan is just so very awesome and Lelia refusing to tell her husband about their secret baby long past the point where it made sense for her to withhold the knowledge (if, in fact, it ever made sense). Good times.
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