True Love

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

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Romance P.S. is an entertainment blog about two of my very favorite things — movies and books.

The title actually stands for Romance with the page and screen so it's not just about romance alone but all kinds of movies and books. Though I will confess that my favorites always seem to be romances in some way ;)

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April 19, 2014

Book Review: Tortured by Amanda McIntyre

BLURB: Ensnared in the war-torn, untamed Dark Ages of North England, Sierra understands all too well what it takes to survive: the ability to numb the soul. She has learned this lesson the hard way, watching her mother die at the hands of the king's henchmen, her brother cast out into the cold to perish, and discovering the treacherous, leering king holds a crucial secret about her past.

But when he grants Sierra her life, she discovers the pardon is perhaps worse than death. Sierra is made executioner's apprentice, forced to witness unspeakable suffering while encouraged to explore her own sexual power.

Brainwashed and exhausted, Sierra's heart slowly grows cold—until Dryston of Hereford is brought to the dungeon as traitor and spy. Using her sexual allure to extract the warrior's secrets, Sierra finds herself torn between duty and desire. Soon, Sierra is craving the only man who can help set her battered soul free and give her a chance for revenge…

REVIEW: It is the Dark Ages - in the land of war torn Britannia the Saxon invaders have ravaged the land pillaging, raping, burning, killing, and enslaving those who were left in their wake of destruction. Sierra is one whose life was spared but death would have been much easier than what she now has to face.

The malicious Saxon King Aeglech has spared her life because of her gift of the “sight” that she inherited from her mother (who was forced to serve him before her). He is the one responsible for the murder of her family and for taking away all that was dear to her. Now as if to add insult to injury he has ordered her to be the apprentice to his head Executioner. Sierra is forced to witness, and assist in the heinous tortures inflicted upon the prisoners in Lord Aeglech’s dungeon. Growing up for nine years in this hellish existence Sierra soon looses herself and tries to become detached from the suffering and abominations around her. She finds some comfort in the arms of a young stable boy but the passion that she feels, even though it does allow her some stolen moments of escape from her accursed life, isn’t love. Sierra wonders if she will ever again feel like a human being and if there is any chance at hope left. But hope sometimes comes when we least expect it and for her it comes in the form of a new Roman prisoner that is brought to the dungeon to be tortured into giving up what information he has. In this strong and honorable man Sierra sees what she has been waiting for, a possible glimmer of freedom.

Dryston was part of the Roman army until he and his brother Torin decided to stay in Britannia and build an army from the native people. They want to fight the barbaric Saxons and once again to take back their land from the grips of the murderous invaders. When Dryston is captured by surprise in one of the villages and brought to the dungeons of Aeglech, he knows that he must escape and get word to his brother about the movements and numbers of the Saxons if their plans of attacking and crushing Aeglech’s armies are to succeed. When the sees Sierra he can hardly believe that she is to be his torturer but she tortures him in more ways than one. This passionate young woman offers him an alliance if he will help her escape. Together they devise a plan to get them both out of the clutches of this Saxon hell. But what starts out as just an alliance for survival soon starts to become much more. Could Dryston be her savior in more ways than one…could he be the savior of her soul and heart as well?

This is a book that has very complex characters and layers to it and I think you will enjoy each one. Ms. McIntyre has made a strong and yet emotionally fragile heroine in Sierra. Her relationship with Dryston is one that at first was all about survival but quickly became much more. I found this read to be both very intriguing, and passionate as well as very deep. I think she has captured the essence of this violent and dark time in history very well and posed some very good interpretations of how those who lived through them might have felt and how they survived.

Though it is not your typical romance by any means I think that is what makes it so special. Its gritty and passionate uniqueness is one that touches the heart. I loved the complex relationship between Sierra and Dryston and seeing it evolve from one of dependence on the other to escape and survive then watching it change and soften Sierra and give her back herself. That was nothing short of inspiring (And it made me cry more than once lol)! I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I hated to see it come to an end. I can’t wait to read more from Ms. McIntyre, she truly has a unique and powerful voice. And though this was the first book I have read of hers it will definitely not be the last! 


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