A Daring Sacrifice (#2 of 3) by Judy Hedlund
Published Year: 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction
Subtitle: Not a fan (2 Stars)
The only thing harder than fighting for what’s right…is fighting their feelings for each other.
For three years, the Cloaked Bandit has terrorized Wessex, robbing the nobility by knifepoint and a well-placed arrow. But little dos anyone know, this bandit is in fact Juliana Wessex, the rightful ruler of the land and a girl her tyrannical uncle—the current Lord Wessex—believes was killed along with her father.
Juliana has become skilled at hiding from Lord Wessex in the forest, using her stolen goods to provide food and shelter to the peasants her uncle has taxed into poverty. But when she robs Collin Goodrich, her red hair betrays her true identity. Lord Collin remembers Juliana from their childhood—and challenges her to stay on his estate for a week in hopes she will leave her thieving ways and become a proper lady once more. Juliana is intrigued by Collin and his charms, but only time will tell if he can overcome her distaste of the nobility—as well as win her heart.
I'll be honest here, I thought this was more of an adventure novel than a romance novel. I was wrong—this is a romance novel through and through. Sure, there's an "adventure" plot-ish, but largely this is the story of Juliana and Collin. Which was fine, but I was not looking for a romance when I picked it up. I wanted a little less broody doe-eyes and a lot more bow-and-arrows.
Juliana has a tragic backstory that I felt should have resonated with me more. She had been ruthlessly attacked by her uncle and her father was killed, leaving her and the other peasants to live in the forests after their revolt. Throughout the whole book all we hear about is Collin this and Collin that. We don't really hear about any of the secondary characters. I mean these are people she has been living with for years! She should know women and children by name, and all we know are Thatch and Bulldog. It made her feel a little crass and selfish to me, even though JH was clearly trying to portray as the selfless contrast to the nobility...
Collin was also irritating. The way he treated his sister completely rubbed me the wrong way. He kept trying to justify it with she'll understand later, or she just doesn't have all of the information. But truly, it didn't matter, his treatment of her was still wrong. I just didn't like it. He was like a one track mind on Juliana and it was a little odd.
I won't get into the actual plot because I don't want to spoil anyone who hasn't read it and still plans to, but just know that it's like watching a tennis match. Back and forth, back and forth. At one point, I think I snorted.
Also, it's the second book in a series, but no need to read the first (I didn't!) to understand what's going on in this one. Overall, I wasn't a fan of the characters or the plot. Though the epilogue was very slightly intriguing (3%) and if I'm in the mood for some historical fiction, I might come back to it.
2 out of 5 stars.