When Emperor Louis of France decrees that Rochelle of Alda will marry the Bavarian warrior David, Rochelle is on the brink of defying him—and in the process losing everything. After meeting David, however, she begins to develop a grudging affection. Just when she realizes that she loves him, though, events conspire to threaten their relationship.
Unbidden by Jill Hughey is the first book in the Evolution Series. It introduces a rich cast of characters from the period of the early French empire, complete with complex histories and psychologies, contributing to a fascinating tale. We meet Rochelle, in charge of her estate after the death of her father, and unaccustomed to being under the control of any man; David, a warrior who must come to terms with the tender feelings Rochelle evokes; David’s brother Doeg, who has his own demons to contend with; and Theophilus, on the surface a dandy who also once loved Rochelle, but has conceded the field to his best friend.
You’ll read with rapt interest as Rochelle and David grow to love and respect each other, bite your nails as their love is threatened by Rochelle’s impetuous act, and cheer as they grope for each other in the dark—quite literally. This story had a bit of everything. Nicely inserted historical and cultural details for the lovers of history, a bit of mystery and suspense, and a couple of hot, but tastefully done, flesh on flesh scenes.
A great summer read. I give it five stars without reservation.