Joyce DiPastena has done it again!
Illuminations of the Heart, a historical romance novel by Joyce DiPastena is more than just romance--it's a compelling read. This book, her second, is set in 1179 France where women were regarded more as property and the object of men’s lustful desires, than humans whose feeling should be considered when making decisions involving their lives.
Exciting, with moments of 'chew your nails' action, Illuminations of the Heart takes us to Vere Castle where Triston de Brielle (a character from DiPastena’s first novel, Loyalty’s Web), is now its master. Unfortunately, life holds no joy for him because his beloved wife, Clothilde, passed away a year ago and he cannot move on.
Triston now has guardianship of his son, Perrin—a child who has unexplainably feared his father since his mother, Clothilde’s tragic death. This causes Triston further pain, yet he hasn’t the wherewithal to discuss it with the lad.
When a beautiful young stranger is placed under his responsibility—a woman who resembles Clothilde so completely that most, upon seeing her, believe she is Triston’s tormented wife returned from the dead—the eligible bachelors line up to make lewd passes and try to gain her hand in any way conceivable.
Donna Siriol de Calendri is not such an easy catch. She has fire in her soul and checks her ungentlemanly suitors with a boldness not expected from one so petite. There is only one person who owns her heart—Triston, and Siri refuses to settle for anyone less—that is until Sir Raynor de Molinet comes on the scene with his silver tongue.
The stakes rise as Raynor, recognizing Siri’s maiden name, searches out her lineage and discovers she is the sole living heir to a vast fortune now under Duke Richard’s hand.
As Triston faces charges of Tyranny, he battles his liege lord Roger Fauke, Raynor, and even Duke Richard himself for Siri’s safety, but will he ever be able to love her the way Siri desires him to?
DiPastena writes with a loving knowledge of medieval times and adds little details of the era in such a delightful and unobtrusive way that upon reading her novel, one is willfully transported back into a time when history was rich with knights in shining armor, fair maidens, castles, and highway robbers waiting to steal what treasures they can from their unsuspecting countrymen.
DiPastena’s Illuminations of the Heart gets five stars (out of five). It’s a novel so well written that it can be read over and over again with equal enjoyment.