Title: Celtic Heart
Author: Jennifer D. Bokal
Published in August 2007 by: Champagne Books
ISBN: None Available
Antonius prepares to lead his people into battle. He gathers all his officers for preparation only to be uprooted by raids and barbarians with hardly any sense to stay away from the fighting. A young tribune by the name of Claudius wonders about the Celts but Antonius informs they have seen none to which Claudius interjects that just because they see none, proves nothing. Antonius assures them that his military training knows when there is no sign of any attacking force he is certain there is none waiting in the shadows. Antonius more or less puts the conversation to rest when he informs he is the leader now, and Claudius should pay no mind to what the Rome leaders teach on military issues. Antonius surveys the area and knows as a Centurion he should trek the wasteland and claim the glory of Rome but he had failed to really listen to his men and now he lay wounded and hurt and with all his men gone, the battle had been lost when the Celts surprised them in attack and unfortunately he had led his own men to slaughter.
Antonius awakes to see the lovely woman caring for him and he knows he has been spared, he is alive. The beautiful girl that has nursed him back to health begins to light a fire in his loins and he finds himself longing to be with her. He wonders why he was brought to the Celts and what they have planned for him, perhaps to serve as a slave but when he learns that he is to be sacrificed he will not hear of the matter. He must find a way of escaping. With no one to really trust, it will be arduous on him but one he must succeed in taking.
Maeve is the daughter of the great Druid. After the Celts win and defeat the Roman invaders and take their leader captive, she is given the task of healing the Roman, Antonius. Maeve doesnít know how to act. This was the man fighting in the battle. The leader whom was cruel and a driven tyrant that sought to conquer the world or was he? There could be a possibility that he is an honorable man and she is wrong about him. Can he be a true man of his word and heal old wounds? In her heart she feels an attraction toward him, a longing that she needs fulfilled. She desires comfort and solace in someoneís arms, now she wonders could he be just the man. When her father insists that the handsome Antonius surrender and be sacrificed as a gift, Maeve wonít hear of it. She must work hard to convince her father she cares for him and doesnít wish him hurt while she tries to reach deep into Antonius heart.
Maeve had never seen a man like the Roman whom she takes care of while tending to his wound. She is surprised of his appearance so much as that of a man and not a boy. With a closer observation she begins to wonder what it would be like to kiss him and touch him. Her father wonders why she seeks to save the Roman, but Maeve fears to look deep into her fatherís eyes and confess her real motive from her heart. But her father insists when he is well he will be a gift for another because the Gods have so declared.
Maeve looks around at all the death and blood in the valley and it saddens her about the war. It has been a while since she has been held and she misses that in her life. She desperately hungers for the Roman in a way she cannot explain. When she finds herself in a compromising position with Antonius, she hurriedly leaves the room. She wonders how she could have easily given herself into his arms. Now she knows she must put the Roman completely out of her mind. No matter how hard she pushes away thoughts of the Roman, she knows within her heart she will never be able to be with Fergus, the man that she is to be given to. She has no desire, no passion for him and finds him revolting. She cannot believe that the Gods which her to marry Fergus nor that the Gods wish the Roman, Antonius to be sacrificed. Maeve also refuses to believe that her father has a hand in all of this and sets out to obey the Gods and make her do something that she is strongly against. Antonius carries a secret flame in his heart for Maeve as well as she him. With time running out for them, he must find a way to get out of the locked room before his life is over. He realizes with his limp leg, that has not fully healed, he will not get far even if he manages an escape plan. With demons from his past haunting Antonius, and Maeve caught in the middle trying to obey her father, the two must find a way to quench their fire that burns through their flesh while trying to survive in a land where battles continue to erupt.
Celtic Heart is a story that is most descriptive in a setting where battles come to life, maidens fall in love with true warriors and families become split. In a time when daughters must obey their fathers and follow their guidance, Maeve learns the heartache of loss and the enjoyment of love when she meets Antonius. She is thrown toward him in a magnetic way where the essence of true love melts all through her heart and down to her soul. She is a strong character who follows her heart but wishes to stay true to her father. Antonius has his own trouble when he is trapped and needs to be free. He is already bothered because he led his men to massacre and the demons rage war in his mind. Celtic Heart is a romance where characters emotions echo strongly in a land that is filled with bloodshed, loss and remarkable duty to oneself. The secondary cast of characters blends in well making this tale one that soars powerfully through the pages.
Jennifer D. Bokal creates an immensely robust tale of chivalry and a touch of ruthlessness among those that wish to conquer everything they can in life. She gives in-depth characters that make the reader feel all their sensations. My heart went out to Maeve and Antonius because of their trials. Ms. Bokal weaves brilliant originality in an extraordinary tale that really jumps from the pages of Celtic Heart. The imagery, imagination, lovely landscape and ambiance that connect in this story show her true gifted talents in a read where I eagerly wait for another installment. She pens a well-written adventure that will not soon be forgotten. Celtic Heart is another wonderful read. Be sure to visit Champagne Books and get a copy of this heated and beautifully detailed romance.
Sincerely good reading,