Reviewed by Barbara
Release Format: eBook
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Historical Romance
Single Title/Series: Single Title
Two men.Cover Thoughts: In truth, I'm not a fan of the cover.
Two demands for the promised payment of marriage.
Murder, deceit, and fraud pull Lady Arin Keith between these men.
Which one will bed her, claim her...own her?
Origin: Reviewed for Lovin' Me Some Romance. I received a digital copy of this tale from the author in exchange for a honest review.
After the tragic death of her sister, Lady Airin's only wish is to see the killer brought to justice. Although she was told the death was a suicide, Airin feels in her heart there is no way her sister would have killed herself. She also knows that the marriage between her sister and brother in-law wasn't going well, either, once her sister found out that she was unable to give him a child.
Airin is convinced that her brother in-law had something to do with the death, but in order to somehow prove his guilt she is going to need time. Her father wishes for her to marry, and in an effort to postpone marriage, Airin concocts what she believes will be a difficult task and it is this: The only man that Airin will marry is the one who finds her grandmother's long lost brooch.
To Airin's surprise, not one, but two men quickly claim that they are the locators of the brooch. This leaves the heroine in a bit of a bind, because not only was she unable to prove her brother in-laws involvement in her sister's death, but her brother in-law happens to be one of the men claiming to have found the brooch!
That's not all, the other man who claims to have found the brooch is known to most as The Scarlet Knight. But to Airin, he is someone else entirely. He is Deryll, the man she fell in love with many years ago. Long before he left for battle and earned his fearsome name.
Her body and heart still yearn for the man she once loved, yet, time has passed, many things have changed and Airin is unsure if he is even the same man she had once loved.
Airin finds herself in a desperate situation. She desires Deryll, but knows if she marries him she may never discover the truth about her sister's death. If she marries her brother in-law, she may very well learn what happened, but she could also end up the next victim.
Murder, mystery and romance intertwine to create "The Pendulum".
The entirety of this tale, although not in the first person, is strictly focused from the heroine's POV. This didn't particularly sit well with me because I found that although I somewhat knew what Airin thought and felt throughout the course of the story, I had no clue what anyone else was truly thinking. Their actions didn't portray their emotions loudly enough for me.
I'll admit, I'm a "what is going on in the hero's mind?" whore. I need to know what he's thinking, what he's feeling, how badly and desperately he needs the heroine. A tale can be written in the first person and still manage to let the reader know what the hero feels--even if only by his actions. However, in this tale, I had absolutely no clue how Deryll truly felt.
The characters, in my opinion, didn't have enough depth to their personalities, either. To the author's credit, you can definitely see that she did try to get Airin's emotions across to the reader, but the attempts lacked the energy and emotion I desperately crave when reading a historical romance.
The only character I felt myself softening too was, ironically, Airin's "evil" brother in-law. There is one scene in the garden when he is talking to Airin about his dead wife, and in that short scene the author managed to portray more emotion than in the entirety of the book.
The plot held promise, but I think due to the lack of emotional connection I felt with the characters the story fell flat.
In closing I would like to say, I'm no editor. I don't get paid to sit here and read stories. I read romance simply because I absolutely love the ride. The up and downs of the emotional roller coaster the characters bring you on can be a powerful thing. Although this story didn't have the intensity of emotion that I desire when reading, there is still something to be said about it.
Three days ago, these characters didn't exist to me. Three days ago, there was no cherished celtic brooch or Scarlet Knight. All of these elements were conjured up simply from the author's mind and I find that fascinating and remarkable. Simply by reading that particular scene in the garden, I know that author has the ability to deliver the sort of emotionally driven romance I like. This particular story wasn't for me, but with each tale penned an author can only get better.
My Rating: 2.5 Stars