Today's Review is Dangerous Favor, by Joyce DiPastena.
Mathilde needs a champion!
Her father has been accused of stealing from the king, an allegation that has reduced her family to poverty. She has one chance to find and marry a man who can help her prove her father's innocence. Lord Therri, heir to a rich barony, has the wealth and connections Mathilde needs to delve into the mysteries of her father's past. Furthermore, Therri embodies all her romantic dreams.
Etienne, the younger son of a disgraced family, has neither wealth nor connections, but is smitten with Mathilde at a glance. She finds the knight intriguing, but believes he is only out to seduce her. While she seeks for a way to win Therri's attention, Etienne tricks her into granting him her favor, an embroidered white ribbon, for a tournament, setting in motion a dangerous chain reaction of events. Can Etienne save Mathilde from a nightmare from her past and prove himself the true hero of her dreams?
First off, I must say that I loved this book! I don't know what it is about the way Joyce writes her stories, but I am easily transported to another time and another place. I simply love becoming lost in her world!
I have to say that Etienne is the sweetest thing I've encountered in a while. He's everything a hero should be. He's buff, he's hot, he's yummy, he will do anything for Mathilde, and he has no money! Mathilde is the epitome of the desperate heroine who wants to prove herself and restore her family's honor, but she also wants be happy. The struggle that ensues as these elements combine leaves the reader captivated.
There is adventure and intrigue, love and hate, sorrow and deceit. I was absolutely astounded at the level of emotions Joyce can evoke from her readers. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a good clean romance!
Mathilde’s violet eyes turned misty again. Etienne imagined she longed for some man to be thus stricken over her. No doubt it was of Therri she dreamed. What had she called him? The Vision? Etienne’s mouth quirked up in rare envy of his friend.
She sighed and forced her gaze—reluctantly, he thought—to refocus on his face.
“Pray, sir, it is most unchivalrous of you to tease me this way. If you are a true knight, you will honor my request and give me back the ribbon.”
Etienne hesitated. He wanted to wear her favor, but he realized it was equally important to him that she should think well of him. If he continued to refuse her request, she would think him a churlish brute.
Before he could decide how to answer, Hermaline swept through her half-circle of mounted attendants, apparently tired of waiting for her would-be champion to return. She bore down upon Etienne and Mathilde with sparkling eyes, her veil fluttering in her hand like a banner of war. If he were to surrender Mathilde’s ribbon, he told himself, then he must at least arm himself with some other shield in its place.
“If I give it back to you,” he said quickly to Mathilde, “what will you give me in exchange?”
“You agreed last night to grant me your favor for the tournament today. If you insist that I behave as a ‘true knight’ and return the ribbon you gave me, then I demand you keep your word as a ‘lady’ and grant me some other favor in its stead.”
“But I told you last night that I have nothing else to give you.”
Hermaline was nearly upon them.
“Then,” he murmured to Mathilde, “I hope you will forgive me, for I am about to behave most unchivalrously.”
Tune in on Friday for an interview with Joyce DiPastena!