Nessadella of Cold Spring is a middle child. If that isn’t bad enough, she is also big. A head taller than her sisters and most of the other women at Cold Spring Keep. She hates gowns, she intimidates most men, and she can’t dance or embroider. She doesn’t quite fit in.
Except as commander of the keep’s homeguard.
And as a fighter.
While she’s found comfort and acceptance at home, her dream is to leave the walls of the family’s castle and fight in a tournament, to prove to the king she’s just as good as any other knight in the land. She gets her wish and more. She ties the melee with a man who kindled a fire within her at first sight. The king’s bastard brother, Sir Eirle. He’s heard of Nessa and wants her just as badly.
The beginnings of their relationship are tested when the princess is kidnapped and the House of Cold Spring framed. Nessa, her brother, and Sir Eirle must first escape the king, and then track down the real kidnappers, to clear Cold Spring’s name.
What fun! I have never read G.G. Royale before. What drew me to the story was the cover. Once I read the blurb I knew I had to read it. Nessa’s family hasn’t sent a representative to the king’s tournament in many years and their loyalty to the king is in question. It is imperative that they send someone for the tourney. Nessa wants to represent her house a participant in the games. She is the commander of the homeguard and she has trained alongside her soldiers, becoming loved and respected by them. She has studied history, warcraft, and weapon play from around the world. Even with all these accomplishments, her mother won’t risk her at the tourney, instead commands her to go as chaperone of her sister and her little brother, who would be the next lord.
I loved Nessa. Even though her mother wouldn’t allow her to go as commander of the homeguard, Nessa wasn’t detoured. How would her mother find out if Nessa participated in the tournament or not? The other thing that I loved about Nessa was she didn’t resemble the female character norm when it came to stature. I read a lot of BBW heroines but it’s hard to find female romantic leads who are over six feet tall. This recites issues very tall women have and many times I nodded my head, sympathizing with Nessa. I really enjoyed Alosius, Nessa’s little brother. Even when people laughed and snickered at his sister, he was proud of her. I was excited for Nessa when Eirle was introduced. Their romance was steamy and I was really worried that they would have to fight each other. The crime blamed on Nessa and her house was crushing but the action and adventure that came afterwards had me grinning. I really enjoyed everything about this story and would definitely recommend it. I will be looking up other books written by this author!