First, it was delightful to dive into this world again. And the setup of a female "Robin Hood" really worked, especially when Juliana had a certain knight to contend with. Their verbal sparring is fun, but when they go head to head with the bow and arrow, you'd better watch out! Both are quite competitive and it was just so great to see Lord Collin get taken down a peg or two. He's had a relatively easy life, so he needed a reminder of the suffering around him and how much good he could do. Which Juliana was all too glad to show him!
She's a fierce young lady who's been forced into hiding and scraping together a living for herself and those in her care. She's also a crack shot with the bow and arrow and a little too reckless sometimes, so she needed a bit of learning how to be more careful. But what's a girl to do when a handsome guy is doing all he can to woo you? :) They both have some growing to do and much to learn from each other; and their ability to affect the other tends to frustrate them, which means more fun for us to read about!
With her target audience of young adults in mind, Ms. Hedlund does a superb job of writing characters with whom one can relate. The romance happens relatively quickly, but always carefully and is very sweet. Also I appreciate the types of heroines she's writing in this series. Juliana is strong, yet realizes her own weakness (sometimes ;) and knows when to seek help. She also never gives up on those she loves and is willing to sacrifice her own comforts for the sake of others. A great role model for young ladies today! :)
**I received a complimentary copy from Zondervan in exchange for my honest review.
Then before I could react, the boy stood on my hose and with perfect balance leaped off and landed behind his accomplice. Their mare seemed prepared for the jarring movement of receiving the new rider, obviously having been through the routine plenty of other times.
Several of the huntsmen raised their weapons and began to move toward the bandits, but I held up my hand to stop them. Surely my servants had heard of my daring deeds in battle, and knew I could disarm these two waifs by myself if I chose to do so.
As the thief clutched his accomplice, I could see the size difference. The thief was just as thin as the boy, but taller and definitely older.
Their horse shied back. Only then did I get a glimpse of the thief's face beneath the hood of a cloak. Though remnants of dried mud peeled away from his nose and forehead, I could see past the thin disguise to elegant cheekbones, a gracefully curved chin, and full lips. Such features couldn't belong to a boy.
No. This was no boy.
This was a woman.