The River of Time Series: All the romance and suspense of Twilight, with none of the vampires.
I bought the first book in the River of Time series, Waterfall, back in 2011, right when it was released. I was drawn to it because it seemed to be full of everything I loved: knights, medieval history, castles, chivalry, romance, and a kick-butt heroine. It seemed like a clean read, yet still promised a lot of romance. Yes, I knew I would love it. O yes, yes, I did. I consumed this book like there was no tomorrow. I pre-ordered the next one and the next. They fulfilled my expectations and more!
Torrent is the third book in the series. For reasons explained in the book, the Betarrini family travels back in time once again to fourteenth-century Italy, knowing they will be braving the Black Plague, one of the most ravaging pandemics in history. The battle between Siena and Florence also continues and their lives are at risk. Throw in kidnapping, a forced marriage and imprisonment and it makes for quite the suspenseful read. Gabi is set up in an arranged political marriage to Lord Greco, an ambassador for Firenze. Will Gabi be rescued by Marcello or be forced to marry someone she does not love? Or does she? What about the confusing feelings she starts to develop for Lord Greco? What is Lord Greco's real role in the story? What is the fate of the She-wolves of Siena?
On all three of the books:
Bergen writes in a style to which teens will be able to relate. I love Gabi's comments and thoughts; sometimes humorous, other times sarcastic. The story is full of plot twists, making my heart pound throughout most of every book. I had to keep turning the page to find out what happened next. Each book got better than the previous one.
All of the characters are very well done. Each is fleshed out and I feel like I know them. I especially love Gabi's character. She is certainly the "kick-butt, full of heart" heroine that I was hoping for. She isn't perfect and struggles with real-life issues. I appreciate her struggle (in Cascade) with whether to marry Marcello and force her family to stay in the past, or be forever separated from her one true love. That is a really tough decision. What would you do if you had to make that choice?
I love that these books are full of romance and suspense, both things I enjoy in a good read. Faith is interwoven into the series, but in such a way that it is not preachy. The lessons are ones that can apply to anyone, not just teens, and I found myself growing in my faith as I was reading these stories. I have thoroughly enjoyed these books and give them five stars! They are all clean reads.
I am looking forward to reading Bourne, which came out February 27, 2012 and features Lord Rodolfo Greco on the cover. I was so happy when I heard Lisa Bergren was going to be writing this. It is an e-novella and it is #3.1 in the River of Time Series.
BOURNE SUMMARY (from www.lisatawnbergren.com):
In this e-novella, River of Time #3.1, the dramatic tale about the Betarrinis and Forellis continues, picking up directly after where Torrent left off… The battle is done at the front, but the battle is only beginning back at Castello Forelli. Marcello fights for his life; Lord Greco fights to find his place; and Lia fights for love.