In The Heart of the Rose, author Kathryn Meyer Griffith weaves a tale of elicit romance among historical tidbits. In this delightful novel, we are introduced to a young peasant girl, Bronwyn, who is destined to live a life of strife and heartache. Her father – once a brave soldier in the King’s army – struggles to feed their family, and her mother is ailing. Bronwyn herself is beautiful, talented, and has a secret she can’t very well hide.
While some books – especially those involving historical information – take a while to warm the reader to the characters, Griffith does not have this problem. She gives us reasons to love Bronwyn immediately, but never lets us grow comfortable with any thread in the story. We may expect the twists and turns, but we’re never quite sure how far they will go, nor do we know whether it will lead us somewhere dark, or give us something to look forward to in the next moment.
Griffith’s storytelling leads us down many a perilous path, but does not leave us wanting for romance and beauty. She brings many emotions to light in the telling of this tale, weaving it around names, dates, and places with which we are familiar. It is this familiarity that draws us deeper, leading into a sense of urgency to discover whether Bronwyn’s tale ends as we hope, or if there is another twist at the very end.
Kathryn Meyer Griffith captured my interest in the Prologue, and did not release it until I had read every last word. This is the kind of book romance lovers of all ages – from late teens to front-porch rockers – enjoy getting lost in for an afternoon.
Title: The Heart of the Rose
Author: Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Publisher: Eternal Press
Bronwyn is kind and resourceful, a healer and a woman ahead of her time who cares for her aging father and two young sisters. She can entrance a man with her sweet voice, the beauty of her face. However, she’s an impoverished peasant who lives in the dark, suspicious times of fifteenth-century England where such a woman is feared. Witches are believed to be everywhere, waiting to ensnare a powerful man…like Edward the Fourth of England, who comes across her one day singing in a tavern and makes her his mistress.
Edward’s powerful adversary, The Earl of Warwick, is seeking to take over the throne of England. Bronwyn is torn between the two; one she loves, the other she loathes. One cherishes her, the other wants to possess and control her. As the battle lines form, and the country is torn apart by political upheaval and bloody carnage, the two sides wrestle for the crown. Who will she end up with? Which man, when she’s condemned to burn as a witch, will save her and which man will let her die?
~ Angeles Winesett