Saturday, July 19, 2014

Liza review Beleaguered by Jenna Jaxon


BLURB FOR BELEAGUERED:

When death holds sway in the world, can even the greatest love survive?

Finally in France, Alyse and Thomas return to their roles as courtiers to Princess Joanna.  Their passion for one another continues to smolder hot and deep—until one fateful encounter changes everything.

During a formal banquet, Alyse must share an intimate dance with Geoffrey, her first love. His searing touch proves Alyse’s love and desire for him is as strong as when they first met. Tormented by this revelation, Alyse is bitterly torn between the love of her life and her love for her husband.

Into this agonizing situation, the disaster of the Black Death rears its head, decimating the princess’s retinue and threatening all their lives.  Alyse, Thomas and Geoffrey must try to save the princess from the ravenging disease but at a dire cost to themselves.  With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both of the men she loves.  But which love will survive?

 AND HERE IS LIZA'S REVIEW OF THE MATTER

Jenna Jaxon has written a fabulous series, but I am declaring it one outstanding epic tale that MUST be read in sequence. This is no hardship, since each of the three books are superb. But I will hunt you down if you dare read these out of order.

In some ways, this book is like Gone With the Wind, except:
1. the heroine is much nicer,
2. there are only two key men vying for her  love, and
3. instead of a Civil War, the black plague  kills half the people.
4. Oh and there is a happy ending, which did not happen in Gone With The Wind.
So I declare this book far better than GWTW.

Book 1 lures you in with a young girl’s flirtations with one fellow, and a betrothal to another, then ending at a high point when she falls deeply in love with  her betrothed. By the end of book one, you will love Alyse enough to follow her anywhere, even through hell and back. And unfortunately, that's where we are headed.

Betrayals and trauma lurks in both in books 2 & 3 that will make you cry. 

In Book 2, Geoffrey is betrayed by his own father and forced to marry another. Alyse must put aside her all-consuming love for Geoffrey and learn to love the man she has married.

In Book 3, which is what I review today, Alyse is happily married to Thomas.  She and Thomas follow the princess to France. Unfortunately, her first love, Geoffrey, and his wife, also serve the princess. So once again, Alyse must face the extraordinary love she has lost.

The first night, Alyse is ordered by her husband to dance with Geoffrey. Upon a single touch, both Alyse and Geoffrey realize their love for one another is as strong as ever. Only Alyse loves her husband and fights not to lose those feelings, regardless of what she feels towards Geoffrey.  But soon far more serious problems raise their billion little heads.

tiny fleas of death

The black plague sweeps France. In case you didn’t know, the plague was actually three deadly diseases, infecting the lymp nodes, the blood, and the lungs, making it a trifecta of death. You could contact the plague by flea bites, by a sickened person coughing, or by a simple touch.




The rapidity of the black death killing almost everyone in Princess Joanna’s entourage shocked me. In a mere two chapters most everyone dies. I wanted to object it happened too fast, that I wasn’t given time to accept the deaths, but that is exactly the point. People would have a slight cough in the morning and be dead by nightfall. There was no time to prepare, not in real life, not for the people in the book, and not for me the reader.


And finally, the show down came. Alyse loves two men. There is only one way to resolve the matter plotwise. One of these fabulous men has to die with the plague. (I won’t tell you which) At least with this death, Jenna allowed time to slow so the couple could say goodbye, so that I could say goodbye, but all too soon he dies.

 ’Twill be…all right, my sweet… I promise…’twill be…all right.” Then his hand went still in hers, and she watched the light in his eyes dim, retreat, and extinguish.

Even now I cry for his death. Jenna made me love both Thomas and Geoffrey, so I was going to cry whichever way the plague fell.

Having only one man to love does not settle Alyse’s trials. Not by a long shot. I swear I have never seen a heroine more tortured than this fabulous young woman. But finally at the very end, she gets the happy ending she has so strongly deserved. So I promise you, the pain, horror, and death this book submerges you in will be worth it when you reach the end. You will be utterly satisfied and relieved that poor Alyse suffers no more. She is finally whole and well loved by her husband.

I give this book an absolute five stars. 

I also give the series a 5 stars.  


And here are three links you need to have:

Beleaguered:


Betrayal:


Betrothal:

And Betrothal andf Betrayal are FREE now on ARe and Smashwords through the end of the month. 


SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
Find Jenna online at:




TWITTER:  @Jenna_Jaxon

18 comments:

  1. Liza, I am both humbled and fantastically joyous over your splendid review, not only of Beleaguered but of the entire Time Enough to Love series. That you compare it to the classic Gone With the Wind is some of the highest praise I have ever received, and I can't thank you enough. Mostly, though, I am thrilled you enjoyed the book and series so much. :)

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    1. I'm still crying over one particular death each time I read his last words. To be honest, I was hoping for a menage so neither men had to die. But realistically this is the way it had to go down. Thank you for ending with an HEA.

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    2. Well, the ménage is in the works. A little idea I have that I hope to start writing soon. There is a little more to this story.

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  2. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, that's it!!! I'm starting this book today! I love Jenna's books--I love this series. And Liza, thank you for trying to prepare me for the tears I'm afraid I will shed.

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    1. yes, don't waste another day, read it today.

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    2. Awww, thank you, Brenda. I hope you enjoy them through the tears.

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  3. I'm definitely reading the series after this awesome post!

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    1. I encourage you to do so. Come book two you will require tissues on occasion. Or you can wear cotton t shirts, the sleeves work well in a pinch.I know.

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    2. Thank you, Jennifer. I hope you enjoy the books despite the emotional roller coaster I've created. :)

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  4. These are great books! I tweeted and shared on FB.

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    1. Thank you, Ella! High praise from another of my fav writers.

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    2. Thank you so much, Ella!

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  5. Wow, Liza! You should write reviews for the Times or something. I am going to finish this series the minute I can find a minute. *looks around* I had one there for a second.

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    1. LOL D'Ann. Minutes are few and far between in our line of business. But I hope you do get a chance to read my series. And yes, Liza writes a fabulous review!

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    2. I fear Times wouldn't let me put up a long row of tiny fleas. They'd want me to be serious, which I can only manage to do if I get to create a band of fleas.

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  6. I am scared to read the story because I don't know who I want to be the winner in the end. I've come to love them both. :) Great review!

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    1. I loved them both too, Melissa. Which made this book devilishly hard to write. I'm glad I managed to give readers a satisfying HEA in the end. Hope you do enjoy it!

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    2. Ditto here. You can't even yell at Jenna for choosing the wrong one. Alyse was lucky enough to love two great men...while I get stuck with with heart breakers and attempted murderers.

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