Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: Loving Lucianna by Joyce diPastena

Title: Loving Lucianna
Author: Joyce diPastena
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Digital Copy
Content Alert: a clean romance

Several years ago, when I was new to reading romance novels, I read Joyce diPastena's Illuminations of the Heart, and it seemed to reinforce everything I didn't think I liked about the genre. It felt clunky, with badly attempted medieval dialect and a convoluted plot, and if I remember right, the book felt a little rapey to me (it's been years, so I don't remember why, but I think her virtue was in question several times). So I wasn't thrilled when I saw Loving Lucianna was a continuation of the previous story. Lucianna is Siri's companion, a contemporary of her deceased mother, and she's engaged to be married to Sir Balduin de Soler, but events from her past and her own insecurities may prevent her from the love she has waited so long for.

All in all, I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. The couple is already engaged at the beginning of the novel, so the question isn't as much whether they will end up falling in love, but whether they can overcome obstacles (both external and internal) that stand in the way of their marriage. I really liked the idea of focusing on an older character (although in early early 40s, she really isn't that old!), and found the internal conflict that plagued Lucianna to be fairly interesting. The book is a little confusing, with lots of names and languages, and I'm still not sure I'm a fan of the very old historical romances, but I think diPastena's craft has progressed nicely over the last five years.

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