Thursday, April 19, 2012

DANGEROUS FAVOR, by Joyce DiPastena

A single silken ribbon. A harmless thing. And yet, author Joyce DiPastena weaves a brilliant tale with this simple charm as the catalyst. Dangerous Favor is categorized as a medieval romance, but it's so much more. In Dangerous Favor, the stakes are higher than the, will they get together, of most romances. The stakes are life or death, and with a madman on the loose, it looks as though death is imminent.

A tournament is being held at Violette De Maloisel’s estate, and she plans to marry the winner. Many knights have lined up for the opportunity to inherit her wealth by virtue of their prowess on the field, but it’s Therri, Etienne’s lifelong friend, that she loves. Unfortunately for Therri, he has a reputation as a scoundrel. That, and the fact that he mistook someone else for his beloved Violette, has angered her. Now, Therri must prove that he loves Violette, and more importantly, that he will be faithful.

At their father’s insistence, Girard reluctantly parts with his silken ribbon as an adornment for his sister, Mathilde’s, hair and takes her with him to the tournament hosted by the wealthy Violette De Maloisel. At the pre-tournament banquet, Mathilde hopes that she will find favor with a wealthy knight, and that he will use his wealth to help her clear her father from a disgrace that happened before she was born.

The first man to see her is, indeed, wealthy—but he is also fat and sweaty, and, she discovers, is the cousin of her father’s enemy—a man she had been betrothed to before he died. Chesnei makes her skin crawl, but he is there, wanting the favor in her hair, and saying he will wear it in her honor during the tournament. As he reaches for the ribbon, Mathilde puts him off, saying she must ask her brother, and rushes away. In her effort to get away from him, she accidently bumps into Therri (the Vision) and his friend, Etienne.

The Vision is obviously wealthy and could help her easily, but it’s Etienne who talks to her and charms the favor from her hair. Mathilde has heard of men like Etienne—men who use their seductive charms to prey on innocent women such as herself. She shouldn’t let him have it—her brother wouldn’t want her to give a token to a seducer. But once the favor is in his hands, Etienne won’t give it back.

This starts a series of assaults on Etienne, and he is seriously wounded during the tournament, but only Chesnei, Girard, and his father’s mortal enemy—the not dead after all Sir Alun d’ Amville—are aware that the ribbon is a significant key in a plot against the crown.

Before Mathilde decides whether Etienne is a seducer, as she originally feared, or actually a wealthy knight in disguise, she has fallen in love with him. Unfortunately, her father is virtually penniless, having had several of his castles and nearly his whole estate taken from him by d’ Amville, and so Mathilde has no dowry to offer a worthy suitor.

Etienne is not a wealthy knight, and realizing that he has no way to support a wife, tells Mathilde that his heart belongs to another.

These are the players. These are the stakes. Dangerous Favor is a whole lot of action, and two romances in one. And when you’re done reading, you’ll know and love the characters so well that you’ll want to go visit them in their castle, or invite them over for dinner just to see how they’re doing. I did anyway.


Joyce DiPastena said...

Thank you so much for taking time to read and review "Dangerous Favor." It absolutely thrills me that you enjoyed it so much! :-)

Tina Scott, the writing artist said...

Joyce, you know that I'm your #1 fan. I'm waiting for your next one. When's it coming out???

Cindy R. Williams said...

I LOVE Dangerous Favor. Nice posting Tina!

I will blog about it on May 2 on
Love to have you swing by then.

Valerie Ipson said...

Can't wait to read this one!