Friday, 3 April 2015

Review: An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

Publication Date: 3rd March 2015
Publisher: Zondervan
Length: 254 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley & Zondervan Publishers for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Due to her parents' promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father's enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents' will left a second choice. If Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow. 
Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights the one who appears the most guilty had not already captured her heart.

I love romance books and usually I stick with regency romances, but occasionally I like to dabble around in other historical loves and this blurb just really caught my fancy. And it was exactly the sort of book I needed to read today. It was quick, it was light, it was tense and it was romantic. There were some elements that were a little obvious and frustrating, but on the whole it was a great read that really swept me up in the magic of it.

My frustrations were twofold. Firstly that the villain of the piece was so obvious right from the start. It left me wanting to shake Rosemarie for not noticing and for everyone else to take so long to cotton on. It meant the reveal wasn’t the shocking moment it was supposed to be but more a moment of finally you noticed! Secondly, Rosemarie lost a rather large portion of my respect about three quarters of the way through by lapsing back into her weak ways. She is a weak heroine to start who slowly gains power and confidence throughout, but she loses all of that and relapses back into her initial mindset at the drop of a hat and it takes her a while to regain her agency. It’s incredibly frustrating to read and there were several moments that I really wanted to shake her because she had come so far and then seemed to regress for no real reason.

Those problems aside this was a great book. Like I said, it was light and romantic. I loved the competition, and seeing how she interacted with the other knights (although it was clear right from the start who she would choose.) The whole month of events and days with each of them was wonderful, although I would have liked a little more depth to the two knights who weren’t so high in her affections. I also loved that as the pieces came together and the villain was revealed, how quickly the pacing and tension ramped up. Even though I knew that we must get a happy ending I found myself tearing through the pages, desperate to find out what was going to happen next. The time deadline really added to the tension!

Rosemarie was a good heroine. I loved her compassion and her determination to take care of others and her realization that she needs to regain her power and authority in order to rule properly. However there were moments when she was weaker and it was quite frustrating – she just buried her head in the sand and left others to deal with it, but it was really great to see her take back that control and demand her own life on her terms.

The epilogue was a little mixed for me though. It felt like the story could have been left very satisfactorily at the end without the epilogue, as it was the epilogue just added questions and confusion and I really hope that it means we will get another book following another of the knights in the trio. I would dearly love to see each of the men get their own romance and happy ending.

If you’re in the mood for a quick read with plenty of smiles and fluff and romance with a fast paced and nail biting end then I definitely recommend giving this book a try. It was a step away from my usual romance books, but I really loved it and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books with these knights!
This was a borderline three/four star book that tipped both ways at points, but ultimately I enjoyed so much of it that it ended up as a four star read.

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