Monday, October 6, 2008

22 Nights-Linda Winstead Jones

22 Nights
Linda Winstead Jones
Berkley, Dec 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425224915

Six years ago in an act of desperation to keep her freedom Princess Bela Haythorne of Turis drugged General Merin who was leading a local military force; while he was not fully aware of his situation she bedded and wedded him. He left going off to fight for the newly crowned Columbyanan Emperor Jahn moving up the ranks through blood and sweat to the point where he is the next in line as Minister of Defense while she hid in her Turis village in the Eastern Province.

Now Emperor Jahn is choosing a bride from candidates being brought from the corners of the empire. Merin volunteers to his superior General Hydd to escort Bela to the court in Arthes as almost anyone else would end up losing their head; he admits he might too. In Turis he is greeted by Bela ready to slice off his head. Her brothers and papa want his head too as they know what he did to her. Bela admits the truth including that they are married; stunning her family and her husband. They agree to divorce, which in Turis custom means bound together for 22 days and nights. Her mother believes they will either kill each other or realize they are in love.

The sequel to UNTOUCHABLE is a terrific Emperor’s Bride romantic fantasy with a superb premise of having two enemy combatants bound together while fighting enemies who want one or the other dead. Her mystical “talking” sword Kitty adds uniqueness to the caper as the couple follows her sword into the Forbidden Mountain. Subplots involving other key characters enhance the saga as mom is right with her immediate assessment that the General and the barbaric princess will either die or love in a wonderful sword and sorcery romance.

Harriet Klausner

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