There’s a man who used to live in our town—rather average in every respect. Height, weight, hair, eyes, skin. Well, not skin. You see, he had the largest port wine stain on half his face that I’d ever seen. It looked rather like the mask worn by the Phantom of the Opera.
I remember children being fascinated and afraid at the sight of him. Though, he always acted as if he didn’t mind, I can’t believe it didn’t hurt even a little. So, ever since then I’ve dreamed of writing a character like him. Someday. I have the book planned. In fact, I even have the opening scene written. I just need the time to finish…
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All of that has a point to it, of course. You see, in For Love and Honor, Jody Hedlund has created a character with a rather large port wine stain on her arm—in medieval times. Look, my own research of medieval times shows some pretty scary superstitions about everything from cleft lips, to albinism, to other distinctions like port wine stains. So, when I saw that she had that stain, I requested to review the book, and Celebrate Lit provided it.
What I thought of For Love and Honor
Sabine: I’d say that characterization is the best part of this book. By, oh… half a page into her first scene, I wanted to slap her. Oh, it was glorious! Seriously, I haven’t had so much fun disliking someone in a very long time.
She drove me nuts—and all in the best ways. Even better than that, I learned to love her to bits—without her really changing. She was the same character and yet she managed to change my opinion of her.
That is some seriously good writing right there.
Sir Bennet: what a cool guy. I couldn’t help but love his flawed but honorable self. Ms. Hedlund did a fabulous job of creating a consistent character who still managed to grow and be uncertain at times. Too often when authors do that, they create wishy-washy characters. I read another book this week and that’s exactly what I got from it. NOT in this one. This was fabulously done. Of course, it’s what you expect of a hero. She delivered.
Grandmother: Okay, she’s just the perfect blend of feisty, lady, bossy, and gentle—all when they needed to be. In fact, while she manages to keep herself in check with what is expected of her station, I do suspect we know where Sabine gets her sharp wit and repartee.
Don’t believe me? What about this bit between Grandmother and Sir Bennet?
Finally, she released me and stepped back “Can he sire children?”
“While he’s never had the opportunity to discover that,” I replied, unable to keep my sarcasm at bay, “it’s highly likely that he’s quite capable of doing his duty when the need arises.”
Speaking of repartee:
The book is full of it. Chock full of it. LOVE every single solitary absolutely amazing word of it. Not once did it fall flat. Not. Once.
Not only that, she also really pushes the repartee line. I’m not kidding. There are several times where the banter goes on and on—for pages! And it is just as sharp and witty at the end as in the beginning. I seriously love it.
Plot: I really thought the plot was beautifully developed. Hedlund takes those fabulous characters and matures and improves them through the course of a story that while not distinctly original is quite original in the execution of it. At bare bones, this story is like that of every fairy tale and of none. Come on, battles, secrets, priceless artifacts, romance—all wrapped up in a deep story that tugs at your heart. What more could you ask for?
Oh, yeah. One more thing–a fabulous cover. Just sayin’.
All things considered, I obviously recommend the book.
In fact, I’m giving it four stars because I really liked it. But for one thing, I would love it. However, that one thing did take away some of the enjoyment.
Honestly, I don’t know how to describe it. And it’s probably just me. I suspect that it is. But elements of the writing, the phrasing of things—they kept jarring me. Sometimes they just felt rather modern (phrases etc.) and other times it was probably the first-person aspect.
Yes, this book is written in first-person dual perspective.
And with that came things that just irritated me. Mostly some of the fatalistic elements. Look, I know this is YA and therefore, authors feel like they have to do that, but you know what? As a matter of fact, I don’t know any kids as fatalistic as so much of YA fiction portrays them to be. For what it’s worth, and like I said. It’s probably just me.
And, you know what? I still really liked it—almost loved it. And I might actually change my rating later, because hey! Who doesn’t love a book with a line like this in it?
My silver coins are quite capable of doing all the impressing. They don’t need my interference.”
For Love and Honor is on tour with Celebrate Lit!
Lighthouse Academy (May 2)
Inklings and Notions (May 2)
Bibliophile Reviews (May 2)
God’s Little Bookworm (May 3)
Ashley’s Bookshelf (May 3)
Blogging With Carol (May 3)
Faithfully Bookish (May 4)
Smiling Book Reviews (May 4)
A Greater Yes (May 4)
The Fizzy Pop Collection (May 5)
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner (May 5)
Just the Write Escape (May 5)
The Scribbler (May 6)
Moments Dipped in Ink (May 6)
Zerina Blossom’s Books (May 6)
Back Porch Reads (May 7)
Jeanette’s Thoughts (May 7)
The Artist Librarian (May 8)
A Baker’s Perspective (May 8)
Book by Book (May 8)
A Path of Joy (May 9)
Cafinated Reads (May 9)
I Hope You Dance (May 9)
Kristin’s Book Reviews (May 10)
Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot (May 10)
Neverending Stories (May 10)
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS (May 11)
Radiant Light (May 11)
Karen Sue Hadley (May 11)
Pause for Tales (May 12)
Just Commonly (May 12)
Have A Wonderful Day (May 12)
Bigreadersite (May 12)
Daysong Reflections (May 13)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations (May 13)
God1meover (May 14)
Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit (May 15)
About the Book
Author: Jody Hedlund
Book: For Love & Honor
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?
Guest Post from Jody Hedlund
Is Chivalry on the Brink of Extinction?
By Jody Hedlund
With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its popularity, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term consequences that such ideology will have on how people view relationships.
Already, too many couples struggle to maintain happy, healthy relationships. In fact, it’s become almost a weekly occurrence to get news of another friend or acquaintance who is dealing with a spouse cheating or leaving.
Mutual respect, loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice have become out-dated, forgotten, or tossed aside in place of short-term pleasure that often leaves people feeling hollow and empty.
I honestly can’t help wondering where chivalry has gone, and not just the man-doting-on-the-woman chivalry. But mutual chivalry, the kind where each person in the relationship puts the other in high esteem, uplifts them, and makes a concerted effort to protect and cherish (both emotionally and physically).
Has chivalry become antiquated in our modern society? And even if it has, should it be outdated and on the brink of extinction? Should we be making more of an effort to reclaim mutual respect in relationships?
The kind of respect that does things for someone with no thought of getting anything in return.
The kind of respect that is graciously honest about problems instead of sneaking around and being unfaithful.
The kind of respect that is willing to sacrifice and see the needs of others instead of demanding our way and our own needs be met first.
As my teenage children enter into dating relationships, I worry about the influence of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey. I worry that they’ll see dysfunction as the norm. I worry that they’ll settle for a lot less than they should in their relationships. I worry that they won’t even know the meaning of chivalry.
Of course, we’re having candid conversations about all of these issues. Of course, my husband and I attempt to model mutual respect. And of course, I’m praying my teens work on growing their own character so that they can be strong and ready for whatever they might face.
But one of the things I’ve done over the past couple of years is write a young adult (YA) series that is aimed at some of these very issues
The third book, FOR LOVE & HONOR, just released this spring (and can be read as a stand-alone). Since the story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies, chivalry is already a huge part of that era.
More than giving readers a glimpse of chivalry, however, I hope the book sparks some discussion about what it means to have healthy, respectful relationships. The book contains reader questions at the end that youth groups, moms and daughters, or friends can use together.
It’s not just another dating book. Instead, it’s a fun and entertaining story that can hopefully facilitate discussion regarding what it means to truly demonstrate chivalry in our relationships.
So what do YOU think? Is chivalry on the brink of extinction? What are some ways we can make sure that we don’t lose it?
Step on over to Celebrate Lit to enter their giveaway and learn more about this series (this book is book three!)