Passing the Mantle – An ill-fated hunting trip
Forging Friendships – Recruiting able-bodied men ineligible for knighthood
The Sword of Korma Monroe – A sword made for trouble
Turning Point – A duke and an earl plot treason
The Bittersweet Pear – A marital misunderstanding
Isbeth’s Redemption – Dentin doesn’t make a good first impression
A Squire’s Love – Reginald’s quest
Restoration – A trip to Braulyn produces unexpected company
Rachel Rossano specializes in clean romantic fiction set in historical-feeling fantasy worlds. She also dabbles in straightforward historical romance and not-so-strict speculative fiction.
A happily married mother of three small children, she divides her time between mothering, teaching, and writing. She endeavors to enchant, thrill, entertain, and amuse through her work. A constant student, she seeks to improve her skills and loves to hear from readers.
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5 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this group of short stories, even though I have not read any of the books that the stories are connected with. The only thing I did struggle with was at the beginning of each new story the narrative perspective changes. So it switches from third party perspective, to first person, then it alternates between who's perspective the first person narrative is coming from. This did tend to throw me off a bit as I first started each new story. However the stories were written well enough that this disjointed feeling melted away within the first page of each new story. The variety of stories means there is something for everyone. There were some that were adventurous, some that were simply about a marital misunderstanding, some that leave many unanswered questions. Needless to say I am now going to have to read the whole series to get some of these questions answered and to see how each little piece of the puzzle fits into the overall story line.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves being able to quickly enter a well written world but doesn't have much time to read a whole book. Each story can be read quickly but the plot line does not carry on so you can enjoy getting sucked into a story but not waste a whole day trying to finish the whole book. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves being able to quickly enter a well written world but doesn't have much time to read a whole book. All the stories are remarkably clean while still being incredibly well written. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre.
The backdoor crashed open before we dismounted. An orange feline emerged, dragging the carcass of what appeared to be a goose.
“Get out of my kitchen, you fiend!” Gelsey tumbled out the door after it. Waving a broom and with her hair awry, she chased the large tabby across the yard in the direction of the back gate. Halfway there, the tabby gave up its prize and abandoned it without ceremony in the dirt while it made all haste to escape Gelsey’s well-aimed blows with the besom.
I scrambled down to fetch the carcass for her and offered it with care when she marched back toward the house.
“Pardon, my lord,” she offered Dentin a hurried bow. “The mid-day meal will be delayed.” Claiming the bird with barely a nod, she disappeared inside.
I watched her go until the door closed.
“What a shrew!” Starneck snorted. “I would hate to be hitched to her.”
“Watch your tongue,” Dentin admonished. “Gelsey is an even-tempered lass as long as you don’t mess up her kitchen.”
“Or steal the provisions,” I added as I caught the bit of Lord Dentin’s horse to hold it still for his dismount.
“Fair journey, my lord?” the groom asked as he emerged from the barn.
“Pleasant enough.” Lord Dentin glanced at Starneck’s turned back with a slight grimace. “The weather was fair.”
Though not the company. I suspected Starneck would not be joining us on the return journey. We settled the horses and Starneck and I unpacked the gear. Once the horse work was done and the weapons stowed, I headed into the main house.
With three sets of saddlebags across and over my shoulders, I wedged my way through the servant’s entrance and began the tricky negotiation of climbing the narrow back stair.
I was just rounding the first turn when Gelsey stuck her head out into the passage from the kitchen below.
“Is that you, Reginald?”
“Aye.” I leaned back against the wall behind me and turned just enough to look down at her over my load. She was a pleasant sight to behold, honey curls escaping her coiled braid and slightly angular chin balancing the softness of her wide eyes. Seeing that was well worth the increasing weight of the gear.
“Food will be ready in about a quarter hour. Will that be enough time for you to see to all that?” She gestured to my full arms with a flour-covered hand.
“Should be. I will be right down as soon as I finish with these.”
She flashed me a wide smile that warmed my middle far faster than any of her good cooking. She ducked back into her fragrant domain releasing a puff of savory scented air as she closed the door hard. Apparently she wasn’t taking any risks that the cat would return for another try.
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