Saturday, November 3, 2012

By God's Grace by Felicia Rogers

By God's Grace (The Renaissance Heart Series)

Blurb: Destiny has placed them together, yet “the wolf” threatens to rip them apart…
Duncan Sinclair lives in peace and harmony at Greenbriar until word reaches him of his broth-er’s untimely demise. Answering a summons from the Sinclair elders, he returns home only to be informed of his duties, mainly the duty of producing an heir.
Arbella Kincade has been shuffled between two different families since birth. All alone and running a farm, she is retrieved by her uncle for a special purpose. She is to represent the Kincade clan in a tournament. This event will determine the new wife of the Sinclair laird.
Duncan and Arbella are destined for one another but Lyall has different ideas. Will they discover the plot before it’s too late or will the wolf win her greatest desire?

My Take:

This book had a huge cast of characters.  It was well written in its descriptive narrative.  You could plainly picture every detail that the author shared.

Duncan returns home after his brother's death to take his place as head of the Sinclair clan and proves to be a good leader but is ordered by the elders to have a wife selected by way of a tournament.  The winner of said tournament could then choose the wife for Duncan. Duncan relunctantly agrees but secretly decides that he will have the final say as he wants to marry for love.  Amidst all the preparations in selecting a bride to be, a more sinister plan is being hatched and a murder, that Duncan is convinced took his brother's life, goes unsolved. 

Arbella has had a tough life.  She first started out in the Sinclair home as a child and eventually is reunited with her father.  Her Father's death forces her to return home to the Kincaid clan who wants no part of the young woman. Arbella's uncle takes her to live with his brother and wife who also really want no part in raising a young girl but agree although not without some resistance.  She works the farm alongside her Aunt and Uncle until their sudden deaths in which she continues to try to run the farm on her on.  She is found this way as her Uncle James returns in hopes of presenting her as the bride to be for the Kincaid clan.  Chagrined at Arbella's present state, Uncle James concludes the only way to garner Duncan's attention is to enter Arbella into the tournament, dress her as a lad, and train her to win.  With a little bit of under the table moves and Arbella's strength's they win the tournament hands down.  She presents herself as the winner and reveals her true identity.  The reveal did not go exactly as planned but Duncan is unable to resist the beauty of the young girl he once knew and falls quickly in love. 

Lyall,the wife of Duncan's dead brother, has other plans and sets in motion events that will shock, sicken, and even suprise the reader.  Murder, double identity's, and romance make this story a fun read but at the same time draws the reader into the sadistic side of a woman that has gone mad. 
My opinion:  I did really enjoy the book.  The author did a very good job at making me feel as if I were going through the same trials as the characters. I felt all the emotions that I know the reader was trying to enlist: humor, sadness, disgust, happiness, etc.  I felt a connection with each character personally even though I would prefer never to meet Lyall in real life.  She's a scary character and one you would not want to have as a personal contact.

There were times where the story concentrated to much on Lyall for my taste.  I know that some of the information concerning her character was necessary but i would have loved for that extra attention to be focused on one of the other characters. 

All in all, I really liked the storyline.  It was a good story with lots of adventure, romance, suspense, mystery, etc.  

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