Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Freed by Love is a fantasy romance novella written by Ronnda Eileen Henry. Lord Aldous and Lady Opal Rose had two daughters, who, in accordance with the custom for nobility in the dukedom of Corby, would be presented to the court when they came of age . While there, they would attend the balls and galas designed to provide each sixteen-year-old young woman with a suitable husband of her class and breeding. While Lord Aldous was of ancient and noble lineage, like many others, the family was in somewhat straitened circumstances. The elder daughter, Lady Aldena, being rather less a dainty and desirable offering than her younger sister, Lady Violet, suggested that the family delay her entrance into society until Violet was also of an age to be presented to defray the expense of two separate seasons. The family did so, and at season’s end, Lady Violet was married to Lord Grayson’s younger son, Trafford. It was a love match, rather than the sort of contractual affair many marriages became in those times. Lady Aldena had met no such suitor during the season, but was surprised to find that Lord Charlton’s son and heir, Geoffrey, had noticed her at the court and the two fell in love some time after. Thus, both daughters were duly married and lived happily for several years until tragedy struck.
Ronnda Eileen Henry’s fantasy romance novella, Freed by Love, is a sweet and moving tale about two daughters and the unjust accusation of murder which almost deprives one of them of her life. Henry deftly builds her historical world and peoples it with heroes and villains who feel genuine and believable. Her plot is well designed, and she keeps the suspense taut and high throughout the story, giving the novella a legal thriller feeling. I found the author’s use of historical concepts regarding widows, nobility and the restrictions on a woman’s ability to function as an individual to be a sobering reminder of our own history, of the progress already made, and still to be effected. Freed by Love is most highly recommended.