Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Adrian (Brotherhood of Fallen Angels #2) by Heather Grothaus

* * * 1/2

In the medieval Holy Land, four brave Crusaders fight tyranny and betrayal. They are the Brotherhood of Fallen Angels—and one by one, they may discover that love is the greatest adventure of all…

From palaces and cathedrals to fortresses, Adrian Hailsworth’s engineering genius is evident across the land—including the castle of Chastellet. But a bloody siege has left the stronghold, and Adrian, in ruins. Now a wanted man, he is forced into hiding at The Brotherhood of Fallen Angels Abbey, his brilliant mind plagued with nightmares, his spirit broken—until Father Victor presents him with a fiery redhead in need of help only Adrian can give…

Maisie Lindsay is the lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Wyldonna, a small kingdom off the Scottish coast that is being blackmailed—by none other than the Brotherhood’s most treacherous enemy. The only chance of saving Wyldonna lies in unearthing its vast fortune, hidden within a labyrinth of deadly traps and secret passages. The challenge enlivens Adrian—as does the passion Maisie ignites. But she is far more than she appears, and the truth may force Adrian to sacrifice his heart’s longing to save her, before it’s too late for them all…

Heather Grothaus kicks things up a notch in this second installment of The Brotherhood of Fallen Angels. Adrian, a very sullen nobleman, is called upon an adventure that takes him from the quiet refuge of the monastery in Melk, to the mythical island of Wyldonna. Everything that he knows and believes comes into question as he is forced to face his demons.

Adrian is one of the survivors of a brutal attack that took place in the Holy Land. His wide-eyed curiosity and thirst for knowledge led him away from the safety of his English homeland to the far off Holy Land. When he was captured, he was tortured mercilessly. His scars – both mental and physical – have remained with him. Adrian would like nothing more than to quietly continue his scholarly pursuits at the monastery but when his help is needed, he goes.

Lady Maisie is desperate to save her home of Wyldonna and needs Adrian’s help to do so. She’s hasn’t fully disclosed all the details of their trip or what they will face when they arrive there. In fact, she’s not so certain that Adrian is even the one to help her people. But when she comes to know of the horrors he has endured and the scars and marks that have been left upon him, she realizes that their fates are entwined. They share a common enemy who has upended countless lives and who promises to do more damage. And Adrian has a personal vendetta against the very nemesis of the Brotherhood that he means to see through. He and Maisie can succeed only if she can bring the fact-checking, pragmatic, Adrian, and her numerous enemies around to her side.

The inclusion of magical elements along with Adrian’s torment elevated the story. This is a man who has lost faith and lives with the painful reminders of his torture. With Maisie, he is in uncharted territory. Once again, the love scenes are passionate while leaving plenty to the reader’s imagination. Believe me, picturing the guy on the cover during these scenes is not a bad way to pass the time! 

I've enjoyed both of my forays into this world that Grothaus has created. As I mentioned in my review for Valentine, I'm a sucker for this time period in history and now with the inclusion of magic and myths, it's become even more exciting! If you’re looking for a romance with a wounded hero who’s looking for his way back to redemption, Adrian is the guy or rather the book for you! 

~ Bel

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