Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review: The Sound of Diamonds


The Sound of Diamonds
The Steadfast Love Series #1
Released June 15
Rachelle Rea

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome.

About the Author

Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. As a freelance editor, she enjoys mentoring fellow authors in the craft. A homeschool graduate and retired gymnast, she wrote the Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college.

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In The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea, Catholic Gwyn flees to a convent in Holland from England to escape her parents’ murderer. Aside from the violent Dutch revolution against the Catholic Church, Gwyn only has one problem—the man she accused of killing her parents followed her in order “to bring her safely back to England.”

My first thought when I saw the cover of The Sound of Diamonds was that it was a fantasy story. It is definitely not a fantasy story. Instead, Rachelle Rea wrote a romance entwined in a very real historical era. The bloody conflict between the Catholic and Protestant churches in Europe described in this novel was definitely real, even if the characters were not.

Being Protestant, I was curious as to how the author would portray the Catholic main character’s faith. Gwyn and two Catholic nuns were central characters in this story and their faith played a major part in their lives. It influenced their choices, put them at odds with others around them, and caused problems in their romantic relationships with the male main characters. To my satisfaction, the ladies were influenced to change their religions to Protestant, or rather, a more personal relationship with Christ, using definitive arguments and personal evidences. I will leave it up to the reader to learn who changed and who did not.

Because of the religious background featured in The Sound of Diamonds, I was extremely happy with the history described. It is obvious the author did her research into both the cultural and religious history about the time in which the novel is set.

The romance was interesting. Gwyn and Dirk went through many problems and arguments before Gwyn finally realized Dirk was not as terrible as she imagined. Only then did she finally allow herself to realize she was falling in love with him.

I look forward to book two, The Sound of Silver, to read the next part of the couple’s journey. They still have the problem of the deaths and authorities to work through. I would highly recommend this sweet historical romance.

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