Review: A Royal Marriage by Rachelle McCalla

Despite her protests, Princess Gisela, headstrong daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, must enter into a diplomatic marriage. Yet en route to her wedding, her ship is attacked and she’s gravely injured. Rescued by a renowned healer, King John of Lydia, Gisela recuperates at his Mediterranean castle. The handsome, widowed ruler soon has her reevaluating her beliefs on love and marriage…but only if King John could be her groom. Their love is forbidden, and duty requires him to deliver her to her betrothed. Unless they can find a way to join their hearts—and kingdoms—with love, faith and honor.

This is my fifth book by Rachelle. I read her “Reclaiming the Crown” series set in the fictional country of Lydia on the Mediterranean. A Royal Marriage takes place in the same country well over a thousand years earlier.

Gisela is the daughter of Charlemagne – she did exist but next to nothing is known about her but her name. Rachelle uses her – and what we do know of Charlemagne and the world at that time – to weave a love story into ancient Lydia.

It was great fun seeing the places from the first series [Love Inspired Suspense] as they were centuries earlier or as they were being created. But it isn’t necessary to have read those books to enjoy this one.

Though the conclusion [Gisela and John together] is foregone given the genre and line [Love Inspired Historical], Rachelle kept me guessing to the end as to how they were going to manage it. And she pulled it off wonderfully.

The interactions between Gisela and John were fabulous and the other characters were brought to life – real, flawed, and I fell in love with the country of Lydia all over again. I’m so glad to hear that there is a sequel [one of John’s brothers – he has two and a sister] plus Rachelle’s next series for LIS involves Lydia as well.

This one had a bit more suspense than I seem to remember from other LIH books, but that didn’t take away from the romance.

Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ecopy in exchange for my review.