1. It’s more than just a romance
War Bride by Elise Marion is primarily a romance, but it’s so much more than a love story. The book covers a lot of social issues today, even though it’s a medieval fantasy romance. Lady Emery Calliot fights for equal rights as a woman in a misogynist world. Leofred grieves over his brother’s death. Both of them have PTSD from a recent, brutal conflict between their kingdoms that almost turned into a devastating war. Even though this is book is a lot of fun to read, nobody can ever call it a piece of fluff.
2. It’s a diverse book
All anyone needs to do is look at the romance covers at their local bookstore to know that there’s very little diversity in the main characters. Most of them are heterosexual caucasions. Other ethnicities are even often segregated from mainstream romance on the shelves. They might be under the label “African American and Multicultural Romance Novels” if they are stocked at all.
Elise Marion fights for diversity with every book she writes, and War Bride is no exception. The two main cultures– Dinasdalians and Dalerians– in the story are fully developed and different in every way even though the people belonging to both are equally good. The different skin colors is only one difference between the Dinasdalians and the Dalerians. But luckily Leofred and Emery can overlook cultural differences and skin color to fall in love.
3). It’s a stand alone novel
War Bride is part of the Chained world. The two main books in this series is Chained and Bound. And while these books are equally excellent, you can’t read one without the other. But War Bride is a complete love story with a final ending. It will leave you satisfied, not scrambling to get the next book.
4) Emery really is a strong woman
Too many times I pick up a romance novel with a “strong” heroine only to find out that they’re just really mouthy or cranky all the time. Hurling a good insult does not make a strong woman. Emery can do much more than give a good jibe, though.
Despite being raised to be a noble lady, Emery always had a wild spirit. She would have rather become a knight than learn embroidery, but she was forbidden to do so. That didn’t stop her from teaching herself how to use a dirk and a bow and arrow.
She can use a bow and arrow as good as any man, and she’s not afraid of violence. She is quick to dive into battle when needed and she comes up with cunning plans of attack to take down rogues.
Sometimes exasperating to Leofred? Sure. But nobody can say Emery isn’t strong.
5) Leofred makes a great husband
It’s really rare to find a love interest as great as Leofred. He’s not perfect, by any stretch, and he doesn’t get sappy, but his love for Emery is so apparent in almost everything he thinks and does. He’s patient with her when she tries to hold him at arm’s length and he gently breaks down her barriers and erases her fears and doubts.
Even though he didn’t want an arranged marriage to a stranger and he’s often annoyed with Emery, he’s always trying to make their marriage a happy one and to make Emery happy. It’s clear that he would do anything for her.
He’s definitely one of the best love interests out there and it’s a crime to miss out on him.