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Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite
The House of Baric: Shields Down by Jillian Bald is a debut fictional novel set in 17th century Europe. Part one of a trilogy, it tells the tale of Mauro Baric, heir to a Venetian barony and his arranged marriage to Resi, the daughter of an Ottoman trader. Neither very keen to wed, they come to the marriage as strangers, having only met once. Mauro, with his small army, arrives straight from battle with little experience of love. His new wife, with no desire to marry a Venetian far away from the home she loves, is spirited and strong. She settles to her new position but finds her husband away more than he is at home. An historical romance, Shields Down portrays the life and times of the period as the Thirty Years' War comes to a close.
This is a captivating story of battle-weary men and wealthy pampered ladies who were used in marriage alliances to further family ambition. I was delighted with the exquisite writing and the two very engaging main characters. Jillian Bald provides an exceptionally well-researched account of the compelling lives of the aristocracy of the time. She includes intimate details of their style of dress, complex social conventions and a generous portion of political intrigue. Shields Down is thoughtfully written with a rich mix of history and romance. There is a timeless elegance to the writing which never faltered. If you like historical romance, you will absolutely love this book. I very much look forward to reading the remaining books in The House of Baric trilogy.