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Genre(s): interracial romance, historical romance
House Toustain … House Maignart … two royal houses once embroiled in a bloody feud … Twenty years of peace now broken in an instant …
Sir Caden Maignart has been captured, beaten, locked in a dungeon, and wrongfully accused of kidnapping and oath-breaking. Determined to free himself and his men, and clear his besmirched name, Caden does not count on the willful nature of his captor, Lady Gwendolyn Toustain, the daughter of the man who was once his father’s mortal enemy. After several attempts at escape, the lady orders him bound and chained to a wall in her chambers—where he will remain under her personal guard at all times and kept from conspiring with his men. While the lady’s high-handedness infuriates him, Caden cannot deny that everything else about her drives him to distraction. Forced into close proximity with her, Caden soon finds it hard to remember his mission of escape.
When Lady Gwendolyn of House Toustain first lays eyes on her prisoner, one thing about him is abundantly clear: Sir Caden of Daleraia is a dangerous man. Yet, she must show him no fear. The captured band of knights from Daleraia are her only clue in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of House Toustain’s sons, and it falls to Lady Gwen to seek justice. Is this kidnapping merely the ploy of mercenaries out for a ransom? Or has Sir Caden acted on the order of the High Lord of Daleraia and broken the peace? As she searches for the answers, she never expects the surge of passion that ignites between herself and her prisoner. The longer he remains in her clutches, the more Gwen realizes that though she has him chained, she is the one who has been captured.
The amount of nuance and depth given to this story is deeper than I was expecting from a self-published, interracial romance, or just romance novel in general (at least not this early getting back into the romance genre). Historical fiction has not excited me in a long time so this was a treat. I agree with the many other reviews have compared Chained to A Game of Thrones. It is so much like Game of Thrones in the amount of characters and back story that I was expecting some fantasy elements to come out during the first couple of chapters. One of the biggest surprises is that this story is multicultural and the brown characters were not pushed to the servant positions.
It did remind me of why going back into the medieval time period is not fun, misogyny.
Pumped would be an understatement to how much I was into where this story was going. I compared this to Game of Thrones which is good but the problem is like GoT the amount of characters and back story can get overwhelming, quick. I wish that this book had the backstories and names of the houses at the beginning of the story instead of the end. Then again I kind of feel this would’ve worked better as a physical book so I could flip back and forth to learn the characters backstories.
While there was a lot of depth and honesty in Gwen and Caden relationship there was still a lack of connectivity that I wish they had. I wish that their relationship was developed more because it seemed to swing a lot towards that sex=love thing romance novels do. As characters separately I did not feel connected with them as I hoped I could have been.
Towards the ending the story seemed to slip into these are the baddies and the goodies. I hope that the bad characters get some depth in the next book.