March 17, 2017 03:06 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
February wasn’t quite as phenomenal of a reading month as January was. I had several really good reads, but only one romance hit that all-important five-star mark that a book needs to reach for me to make it my Book of the Month. It’s the third medieval romance I’ve read this year and was written by a favorite author who hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention from me. I don’t know how I keep putting her books on the back burner when I always seem to love her deeply emotional stories that are equal parts sweet and sensual.
In this one, we have Anya, a young woman who’s been betrayed by nearly every man she’s ever known and has also been in a long-standing feud with the church over her giving birth to a child who was the result of rape. With her parents gone and the only brother she can really trust away fighting in the Crusades, Anya is facing increasing pressure from her other brother, a greedy monk who is trying to take away the only home she’s ever known to further his own career. On top of that, there’s a shortage of food, leaving her wondering how on earth she’s going to feed all the souls under her care throughout the coming winter. Into this bleak landscape comes a kind and gentle knight who Anya finds in the forest, beaten, bloody, and near death’s door. She takes him home, where she tenderly cares for him and by the time he’s recovered, he’s fallen for her and willingly does everything he can to help her out of her untenable situation.
Christian has complicated family ties of his own. He’s the bastard son of a cardinal who is rumored to be next in line to become Pope, so he understands Anya’s struggles with the corruption and unfair views of the church. His mother is dead, and he’s had a contentious relationship with his father for a while, but what he can’t quite figure out is why his father sent brigands to kill him. That’s how he ended up unconscious in the forest, where Anya found him. From the moment he awakened in her care, he was attracted to her and sympathized with her plight. But Christian fears that with this death threat hanging over his head, he may bring more trouble and heartache to her gates. So he knows he’ll eventually have to leave his lady love to go settle things with his father once and for all before he can even contemplate a life with her.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this book. It’s a nice, gentle love story with a little adventure and suspense on the side. I was drawn in by the emotion of the story, but I was kept engaged while wondering how our intrepid heroine was ever going to win against her brother and the power of the church that long ago failed her and why the hero’s father sent assassins to murder him. Christian and Anya most definitely deserved their happy ending after everything they went through to get there. And all the cute animal characters were just the icing on the cake. I can’t think of anything I would have changed about it. That’s why I’m naming Barbara Samuel’s A Winter Ballad my February Book of the Month. If you enjoy a sweet, easy medieval romance with a chivalrous knight hero and a strong heroine who’s been through hell but doesn’t give up, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
A FAIR MAIDEN
A GREAT AND DANGEROUS GAME
To thwart their separate enemies, Lady Anya and her broken knight battle virulent forces and face death itself to win the love that would long be sung by troubadours as… A WINTER BALLAD.
Read my complete review of A Winter Ballad.
If you would like to win a copy of A Winter Ballad to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive an eBook copy of the book (Sorry, but the paperback version is OOP and I’m unable to find any new or like new copies for a reasonable price at this time.), which I will gift to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N).
Tags: Barbara Samuel