Among The Muses's Reviews > Master of Surrender

Master of Surrender by Karin Tabke
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Jul 12, 2010

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bookshelves: medieval-historical-romance

I won't lie. When I first started this book I was a little lost and felt as though this would be one of those books that doesn't correlate with their synopsis. The prologue was violent, a little sad, and ended with a sense of mystery and fantasy leaving me to wonder what I had actually purchased. But still I pushed on because now I was intrigued-- and I'm glad I did. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was setting up the cause and effect of the Blood Swords.

One of the strongest appreciations I have about this book is the author's development of the characters. The heroine is a serious kick-ass, strong-willed woman who will not back down from protecting her people during the take-over by the knight, Rohan de Luc, and his close knit circle of knights, dubbed the Blood Swords. While the heroine displays bold courage, she is not immune to the vulnerabilities of the time period and the fact that she's a young woman attempting to defend her castle, land, and people on her own, which made her character more realistic, and my favorite of the book.

Rohan is the very typical, emotionally and physically scarred hero who can't deny or escape the attraction to Isabel. When he firsts meet Isabel, he's enamored by her spirit and her pluckiness, and takes to her immediately. So what's the typical barter paid for this knight to allow Isabel to keep her castle and people safe? *drum roll please* You guessed it! Her oh-so-coveted body! But, a bargain is drawn to not include her virginity-- which allows for some seriously heated sexual tension! There's no sex, per-se, until about 300+ pages in, but there's a lot of friskiness before!

Both Rohan and Isabel come face-to-face with other issues that arise during the course of the takeover throughout the nearby lands that force the two of them to learn more about one another, and ultimately pushes them closer. But none of these events are new to the medieval romance genre. Many of the events, and even some of the characters, seem to be deja vu from other books. It's not that there was anything wrong with them. In fact, I really enjoyed the two main characters. It's just that I felt like I had 'been there, done that'.

There are scenes of the ramifications of war and violent attacks on people -- especially those consistent with the time period. Because of the type of reader that I am, this did not at all bother me, but I feel like I need to point it out because it does get graphic at times.

My biggest complaint is the non-stop internal banter that Isabel has with herself about falling for this Norman knight, while still staying true to her Saxon heritage-- even though her mother and father were from similar backgrounds and loved one another. Isabel seems to make it such a big deal, when obviously it worked without issue, for her parents.

Overall, the book was well written, had great characters, and a strong plot. It's just that it was very typical. If you're looking for a good, steamy historical romance, then I recommend this book. It's a great beginning to a series, and I will be looking to read the next couple of books that follow.
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