Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Illuminations of the Heart by Joyce DiPastena

I do love a good romance, and I mean a good romance novel. Illuminations of the Heart is clean enough for teens to read, unlike a lot of the romance novels I've read lately where I've had to skim over paragraphs and pages of raunchy sex scenes. What makes it even better is that it is a historical romance novel which, in my opinion, is the best kind.

Set in medieval France, this book by Joyce DiPastena is fun to read with knights and highway robbers and lecherous villains and all those things that make romances set in the period so fun. Sure you may be learning things along the way, such as what an "illuminator" is, [to decorate (as a manuscript) with gold or silver or brilliant colors or with often elaborate designs or miniature pictures (Merriam-Webster Online dictionary)] and details about castles but it is done in a way that you don't really notice that you are learning because the story is so interesting.

Lady Siriol de Calendri was born and raised in Italy but after her husband and brother die she has no family left in Italy to protect her and ladies at that time did not live alone. Her brother asks a friend in France where her father was raised, to be Siri's guardian. Triston turns out to be young, handsome, and mourning the death of his wife, Clothilde. Siri, who is very beautiful looks astoundingly like Clothilde which makes things very difficult for Triston. He can barely look at her at times. However, Triston's son Perrin forms an attachment to Siri which is a good thing since he is inexplicably afraid of his father. Triston's cousin Acelet also seems fond of Siri and endeavors to spend time with her instead of practicing his sword fighting in preparation to becoming a knight. Triston is determined to find someone quickly to marry Siri in order to give him relief from her presence which is such a painful reminder of Clothilde. Siri is just as determined that she can support herself as an illuminator.

Through many twists and turns and thrilling chase scenes and, of course, romantic scenes, the book ends in an exciting and unexpected way. Appropriate for adults and teens, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good romantic novel!

Just a reminder: if you post a comment on this blog or on any blog in the tour, you are eligible to win an autographed copy of the book OR one of three $10 online gift certificates towards the purchase of the book which can be purchased at:
Deseret Book
Barnes and Noble

You can find other books offered by Walnut Springs Press on their website:
Walnut Springs Press
and check out Joyce DiPastena's blog at:


Mon Chéri said...

I just purchased Illuminations of the heart from Desert Book, I’m only half way through, but so far I LOVE it!

Mon Chéri said...

Oops, I meant Deseret Book...

Cass said...

Illuminations of Heart is a book that is hard to put down. It has you reading and excited for what happens next all the way through.

Joyce DiPastena said...

Thanks so much for the review, Kimi! My goal is to write romances that readers don't have to skim over. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! (I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Cass, and hope Mon Chéri continues to enjoy it all the way to the end. :-) )

MarthaE said...

Thanks for the good review, Kimi. I agree that it is nice to find romances that are "sweet".

JenniferB said...

Another good review, I do love good "clean" romances too. It is very refreshing that you can still find one that is NOT raunchy.