It is kind of an interesting book for me. I am not so crazy about it but at the same time, do not dislike it. I am actually very interested in reading it, wanting to find out more about Torin and Shannon. I read the book with enthusiasm and finished it with a certain level of comfort that readers experience after reading a good book, all the time. I decdied on 3 stars because I always base my reviews on my personal reading experience. It is the only way I feel that I can bring some credibility to my reviews. I am, in no way a writer and do not feel that I am in a position to pass judgements on the writers caliber. I can only speak from my personal experience and whether I was able to connect with the book.
And that is exactly why I find it difficult to rate this book. I was not emotionally connected. The plots were very standard, feuding clans and laird falling in love with his enemy's daughter. Betrayal to the king and minor clan politics. All that being said, I did not mind the book at all. Usually what I have just described means a difficult reading experience. I expected to struggle through the book. Yet I continued with much antiicipation. I can only surmise that it is the writing style that draws me. I wanted to listen to Ms. Wine's story. This is one story-teller, who I could listen to.
I wanted to write more about the plots but I am afraid that I have said it all with the few sentences above. There really isn't anything else to the plot. Torin fell in love quickly enough and much to my relief, did not fight too much. Thankfully he also was not acting like a besotted fool. I expected to dislike Shannon because she seems to be very stubborn. I usually dislike a heroine who insists upon silly things that should not matter. But Shannon's resistance somehow made the story for me. It is all very odd, me liking the lead characters, who are not exactly my kind of heros and heroines.
I would say that there are 2 main plotlines:
1. Shannon's traitor father, whose actions put Shannon's life in danger
2. Torin insisted on making a display of Shannon's soiled dress. Showing off her purity appeared to be a main theme in the story.
Everything else seems to be buildling on the above plots. Mere extensions.
I also do not think that I am convinced of their romance. I know that they are attracted to each other, because I was told so. I did not really feel the attraction. Love and attraction are not to be described. They are shown in acts, gestures, words that are said in the opposite direction. I am conviced of the affection when they are shown in the most impossible way. To be kind and gentle when it was against everything you are used to. To be challenged to go out of your way to make it better for the other person. Maybe I am too harsh. I do think Ms. Wine's feuding plots were supposed to ilustrate just that: to love someone you should not love.
I would continue reading Ms. Wine. I usually do not do that when I give 3 stars to a book. But as I said in the beginning, I am intrigued and hope to find out more.