(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Princess Elwytha wants revenge on the monster who murdered her brother. In a false exchange for peace, she offers herself in marriage to the enemy Prince. The plan? Kill the Prince’s battle-scarred Commander-the man who ended King Thor’s life with one filthy sword thrust through the back. To her horror, the Commander agrees to take Elwytha as his bride. Worse, the wedding date will be sooner than expected. Not all is lost, however. Now she has more opportunity to be alone with him-and exact justice. But the deed becomes difficult to carry out. Fighting her innate sense of honor, she begins to see the ironclad integrity of the man behind the scars. And with this knowledge comes doubt. Did he slay her brother? What exactly is the new king’s plan? Whom can she trust? Elwytha must decide well, for more than her life is at stake. Soon she must betray either allegiance to her kingdom-or the man who is quickly claiming her heart.
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
Even a week after reading The Commander’s Desire I’m still not really sure what to think of it. There were good elements and bad elements, so I might as well start with the bad.
The thing I didn’t like was the historical ambiguity. Sure, Jeanette Green set a time period for the thing but I really didn’t feel immersed in the period. It seemed like your typical quasi-Medieval TV show, if I’m honest. There were a few things that seemed true to the time period and almost made me feel like I was there, but Jeanette Green’s style of writing never really pulled me into the history and we sure didn’t get much background on the time.
I had so-so feelings about Elwytha and her relationship with the Commander. Sometimes their relationship was believable with that sort of push-pull dynamic that would come from being natural enemies. Sometimes their relationship bordered on ridiculous as Elwytha kept blowing her cover by threatening the Commander and giving him mixed signals. At times she was ready to kill him and sometimes it was like she was totally in love. I can understand the hot-cold feelings, but they were present far too often to make it believable or even for me to like Elwytha. Sure, the reader was told over and over that Elwytha was a fierce warrior on a mission but I never really got that vibe from her. She just seemed like a wannabe tough girl.
With all that said, I actually didn’t mind The Commander’s Desire. If you leave out some of the more ridiculous aspects you’re left with a generally sweet romance (if a little predictable) and a reasonably paced plot. The characters aren’t anything special, but they’re not horrible either. Basically, this is a mediocre book written in a decent enough style that if it sounds interesting to you I say give it a go! It won’t hurt.
I give this book 3/5 stars.