Book Review: The Rebel & The Ruler by Leilani Darling, Rich Linfield

rebelrulerIn war-torn Judea, merchant Samara has enriched her family, yet money can’t mend her broken heart. The Romans exiled her fiancé Caleb for defying their iron rule, so she’s been lashing out at Rome, supporting the underground rebels. Roman ruler Valerius hunts down the terrorists while struggling with bitter memories of a bad marriage and an unnerving conflict with his brother Marcus Aurelius, soon to be Emperor. Valerius meets Samara on a Jerusalem street as she tries to help an injured boy. His loyalty to Rome is overruled by his passion for her, while her love for this Roman oppressor fills her with shame. Her father is forcing her into a noxious marriage for business reasons, so she asks Valerius to flee with her to Alodia, an African land ruled by women. Can she escape the arranged marriage and wed the handsome, powerful Roman who has stolen her heart? Their flight is halted when he discovers a shocking truth about her, leaving him no choice but to lock her in a Jerusalem dungeon.

Received from the Jan 14 batch from Librarything

Sent as a paperbook, with glossy cover and large print. Nothing to indicate that it’s an uncorrected proof, but I hope it is….there’s a couple of things in the book that put me off a little: a there/their error, which is minor; a slightly bigger problem, unless I have completely missed something…… Samara saves a boy, is spotted by Valerius, then (I think) goes out into the desert to come to terms with what her father is proposing. Then through the rest of the book, there is reference to “the boy’s rescue yesterday”. That niggle stayed with me throughout the rest of the book.

The basic story is decent – a books set in occupied country, the possibility of Hebrew tribes in Africa and China (setting it for another 2 books), the restriction of being a woman in a male dominated society in a Occupied Country. There are some good set pieces – the orphan children for instance, the offspring of Hebrew woman needing protection and the Roman men who have since moved on. This is not a “classic” romance however, and there seems to be a lack of magnetism between the lead two characters (this may be because of the niggle with regards to the timeframe I mentioned above).

My interest in this book dribbled out if I’m honest. Whilst there are some good pieces, overall there was little to bring me to the end, which is disappointing


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