The Knight's Bride
Dianne Christner, Pamela Griffin, Yvonne Lehman, Tracie Peterson, and Jill Stengl
Take six romantic adventures back in time to the Middle Ages along with five authors including Tracie Peterson, who tell the stories of couples challenged by the injustices of their times. Some couples are pulled apart by wars and feuds, while others have their futures determined by their oppressors. Can a faith be found to keep hope alive and give joy in all circumstances?
A collection of six novellas centering on "chivalry in the Middle Ages," The Knight's Bride popped up as I was perusing netgalley for ebooks to review. While I haven't always had the best experiences with Barbour novella collections, when I saw the castle on the cover of this one I was drawn in against my will. I don't read a lot of fiction set during the Middle Ages, so I thought six short stories set during this time would be a nice change of pace.
Unfortunately, the first story was a struggle to get through. The romance in "Where Angels Camp" was, with brutal honesty, rather cringe-worthy and the plot wasn't much to speak of, either. After a certain point, I skimmed to the end.
"A Legend of Mercy" was marginally better, although I think I may have read the story before in another of Barbour's collections (centered on a central theme of Ireland) some years ago. I didn't remember it well, though, so most of it seemed new to me.
The third story, "A Stranger's Kiss," was kind of an oddball that didn't really belong in the collection, as the synopsis clearly states that the stories are all set in the Middle Ages...and this one takes place in the 1800s. Granted, it included a castle in the setting, but that doesn't make a story medieval. Aside from that, the story was implausible and over-melodramatic, and also hard for me to get through.
Thankfully, "A Kingdom Divided" was much better. (although I had a vague memory of perhaps reading this one before too...I'm assuming it was a re-print as well?) I'm not always a big fan of author Tracie Peterson, but this particular story was a welcome change from the others.
"Alas, My Love" is the previous story's sequel, and while I didn't like it as much as "Kingdom," it was still better than the first three stories.
By far my favorite, the last tale was "A Child of Promise." Aside from perhaps "A Kingdom Divided," this was the only story where I felt connected to the characters and really liked them. It kept me turning pages and I enjoyed it.
I'm not a fan of writing bad reviews, but the first three stories in this collection were not to my liking at all, although I didn't regret reading the last three.
I received this ebook for free from netgalley.com in exchange for my honest review.