Early Review: BY ROYAL COMMAND by Laura Navarre
By Royal Command by Laura Navarre Genre: Historical Romance Setting: Medieval England Pub. Date: July 2, 21012 Publisher: Carina Press Format: eBook Length: Novel Blurb: Two brothers. One woman. Three hearts at war. Katrin of Courtenay’s husband is dead—and she doesn’t mourn him. He was cruel and controlling, and she doesn’t need a [...]
By Royal Command
by Laura Navarre
Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: Medieval England
Pub. Date: July 2, 21012
Publisher: Carina Press
With a historical romance voice that oozes ‘period’ context, author Laura Navarre delivers a solid medieval romance that captivates effortlessly.
By Royal Command is a story with a foundation of political maneuvering set during a period of England’s volatile medieval time. The story especially captures the tale of one young woman whose life has essentially been shaped by her uncle, the king of England, Ethelred.
Katrin of Courtney’s first marriage was arranged by her uncle to secure an alliance that would protect the northern borders. Married at a very young age, Katrin was thrust into a marriage that held no love, kindness, nor passion. At eighteen, Katrin found herself widowed, on the verge of financial and land holding ruin, and once again forced into yet another arranged marriage to a man she’d never even heard of, and on the other side of England.
When the ruggedly handsome, viking-bred, sword thane comes to take her to her uncle – and ultimately to her betrothed – Katrin’s path unfolds like that of a woman starved for a taste of life filled momentarily with happiness, freedom, and passion, that has always been denied. Her fear, passionless and confined life drives her to make decisions that propels her down a path unforeseen.
Her attraction to the large, fair-haired Viking, awakens the first glimpse of sexual fervor she had never before experienced. Jeopardizing both his life and her future, their heated attraction is undeniable, but not enough to capture the dream of forever. Her uncle has no issues shipping her off to her new betrothed, disregarding her feelings entirely.
Enter the mysterious and oh-so darkly handsome, Rafael le Senay, the Baron of Belmaine. How can Katrin be so instantaneously attracted to this man, while feeling though her true love had been taken from her? But, Rafael is a different man entirely. Closer to her age, holding his own mysterious past closely guarded like herself, and with a quiet, yet intense disposition that leaves Katrin feeling at peace and … safe for once in her life, not to mention deeply attracted to this stranger.
Their relationship grows from respect into a passionate love neither was looking nor prepared for. The only problem is the castle is too small for Refael and his older and more titled brother who can’t seem to keep his eyes – and hands – to himself when it comes to Katrin.
Navarre writes a solid story that brings to life what it must have been like living as a female during the medieval time period. With a writing style that is both intelligent and gripping, historically rich landscapes, artifacts and daily life add a sense of life-like depth to the story that seems to leap and captivate.
While not depicted as such, this story almost has two different parts to it. The first half allowing Katrin the once denied passion that she’s able to find in her forbidden Viking lover, who also grants her her first true sense of what it must feel like to be wanted and cared for. And the second part of Katrin finding a true love. A love that blends both passion and a sense of deep devotion and respect together. Throughout the duration of the story, however, there is always a dark undercurrent of what all the players in the king’s game of political chess must feel and be part of.
The attributes of the different characters create for four convincing lead characters – each with a role to play, each a pawn in political maneuvering, yet all having flaws and obstacles that need to be overcome. Maybe they’re all alike after all.
I was first introduced and quickly deemed a fan of Laura Navarre’s work in The Devil’s Temptress ( a completely different historical romance). And after now having read By Royal Command, I think it’s safe to say that Navarre has a gift for writing historical storytelling with dark and political undertones that compel a reader to keep turning the pages to find out what’s next.
It is more than obvious that careful thought and research has gone into the making of By Royal Command, and I can safely say that I am officially a true fan of Laura’s.
The recommendation: I wholeheartedly recommend By Royal Command to fans of historical romance placed in the medieval time period. Fans who love to identify with real world hardships of what it must have felt like to constantly be at the whim of the king, a political pawn to be used at will, and a female, nonetheless, during this time. Fans who aren’t afraid to ask, ‘what would I do if I was placed in Katrin’s position’? And last but not least, fans who want to feel passion with a Viking, and fall in love with dark, handsome, mysterious, and protective man all while heating up the pages with their own form of passion.
I would definitely recommend By Royal Command with the intelligent and historical contextual writing style that transports the reader to the Medieval ages.