Title: The Awakening
Author: Tamara Leigh
Publisher: Tamara Leigh
Release Date: January 19, 2018
Genre: Religious and Inspirational Fiction, Medieval Romance
Format: eBook, paperback, audio
Rating: 5 Lattes
Heat Rating: Light Roast to Medium Roast
The seventh book in the AGE OF FAITH series—featuring Lady Laura Middleton of THE YIELDING and Sir Lothaire Soames of THE VEXING.
FAR BETTER TO LOVE WITHOUT PROFIT…
Even if she must sell herself in marriage to the highest bidder, Lady Laura Middleton is determined to provide her daughter a home and protector. But when Queen Eleanor presents her cousin with four suitors, among them is one who believes Laura betrayed him ten years past. Despite her attempts to discourage his pursuit, he is determined to have her for the dowry needed to save his lands. Should he prevail, how is she to shield her daughter from the enemy who lurks within his walls? And what of her heart? If she reveals the truth of her betrayal, might he love her again?
…THAN LOVE NOT AND REAP BITTERNESS
Beware the Delilah, my son. Beware the Jezebel—advice Baron Lothaire Soames should have heeded as a young man. Now in need of funds, he faces marriage to the woman he lost to scandal. Though he vows to find another way to return prosperity to his lands, his former betrothed proves his only hope and he grudgingly vies to become her worthiest suitor—only to be struck by how little it takes his heart to pick up where it left off. Can he forgive what cannot be forgotten? More, will she forever yearn for the man who fathered her child?
So. Many. Secrets! It drove me crazy that they won’t just talk to each other! The author does a wonderful job setting up WHY they keep things to themselves, but that doesn’t make it any easier to read when you want them to….well….kiss and make up?
Before I get into the main characters of this book, I have loved seeing the evolution of Queen Eleanor’s presence in this series. She is ultra-manipulative, but in this book her intelligence and care for her subjects has never been clearer. I can’t wait to see what she does next!
I was not at all impressed with Baron Soames in The Vexing, but as with all of this author’s leading men it didn’t take me long to fall in love with him.
Lady Laura irked me more than once for her refusal to tell Lothaire the truth, but that frustration also kept me reading.
What kept me reading (or didn’t).
While I absolutely adored Lothaire Soames (I especially like saying his name.), it was Lady Laura, Clarice, and Sebille that drew me into the story.
The way the author handled the topic of rape was sensitive yet left me, the reader, feeling the traumatic after effects. When the truth came out, all my frustration with Lady Laura was removed, because it was clear she might not have been believed if she’d spoken up sooner. I won’t spoil the story by revealing how, but Lothaire needed to SEE the emotional and mental impact her past had on her.
And the amount of respect and honor Lothaire showed her when he finally understood made me love him all the more!
By the time all of this was worked out, I wasn’t anywhere near done with the book, and I had NO idea where the story would go. Which leads me to the reason this book earned 5 Lattes and not 4.
The undercurrent of manipulation upon manipulation between Lothaire’s mother, sister, Clarice, and Lady Laura was expertly written. I truly had no idea who did what until the very end, and I LOVE it when a story surprises me like that.
I don’t think I’ve noted this before, but I listen to these books on audio, and the narrator, Mary Sarah Agliotta is fantastic. I listen to a LOT of audio books, and these are some of the best out there.
While not my favorite of the Age of Faith Books (The Unveiling and The Vexing hold top spots!), it is one I will read again.
I adore the ‘world’ the author has created. I feel like I know the families, and with each book, I can’t wait to see what our dear Queen Eleanor gets up to next!
About the Author *
Tamara Leigh holds a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology. In 1993, she signed a 4-book contract with Bantam Books. Her first medieval romance, Warrior Bride, was released in 1994 and nominated for a RITA award. Continuing to write for the general market, she was published with HarperCollins and Dorchester and earned awards and spots on national bestseller lists.
In 2006, Tamara’s first inspirational contemporary romance, Stealing Adda, was released. In 2008, Perfecting Kate was optioned for a movie and Splitting Harriet won an ACFW Book of the Year award. The following year, Faking Grace was nominated for a RITA award. In 2011, Tamara wrapped up her Southern Discomfort series with the release of Restless in Carolina.
When not in the middle of being a wife and mother, Tamara dips her writer’s pen in ink and nose in a good book. In 2012, she returned to the historical romance genre with Dreamspell: A Medieval Time Travel Romance, followed by the Age of Faith series, which now includes the seventh book, The Awakening. Tamara’s #1 Bestsellers—Lady at Arms, Lady Of Eve, Lady Of Conquest, and Lady Betrayed—are among her general market romances to be rewritten as clean reads. Baron Of Blackwood, the third book in the #1 bestselling series, The Feud, is now available.
Tamara lives near Nashville with her husband, a German Shepherd who has never met a squeaky toy she can’t destroy, and a feisty Morkie who keeps her company during long writing stints. And then there’s Boog, her grandpuppy…
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*For an added bonus – be sure to check out the link on her website to her Cover Evolutions!