Loyalty to family is a concept imbedded into Lady Olivia Norfolk's DNA.
When Ludlow Castle is under siege, she and her younger sister Isabelle are taken captive by their father's enemy Lord Pitt.
Commanding this attack is Sir Aldric Windsor who discovers firsthand how feisty and strong-minded Olivia can be.
He soon finds out just how far her allegiance reaches...doing anything to save her sister's life and obey her father's order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.
Lady Olivia is thrown into the dungeon for "attempted" thievery and sentenced to be executed. To save her life, Aldric considers a mandate that he be betrothed to Olivia. This promise to marry a lowly knight would have been a stark punishment for a noblewoman such as Olivia. It meant she would most likely live out her remaining days in poverty and anonymity.
So while Aldric knows that his plan is the only way to save Lady Olivia's life, he's deeply conflicted about actually going through with the betrothal.
Olivia was a distinctive heroine. She's fiercely devoted to her family and is skilled in combat. Her skills with weapons made me want to know how to fight with a sword! Throughout the story her commitment to those she loves is tested. Her views of loyalty change. As you can see from this passage in the book, "Loyalty wasn't a birthright. It was earned...Instead I had to live in allegiance to God and His ways first." (Hedlund, 245). She was challenged on what loyalty really means to her and not just her father.Through all the challenges Olivia faced I found myself hopeful that she would find the strength to make the right decision, and celebrated with her when she made the tough choices.
Aldric was a honorable and clever hero. He has a very compelling and heartbreaking back story that makes you want to root for him all the more. Because he is a man of integrity, you find yourself secretly longing that he'll outwit the schemes working against them. You champion him in his quest to save Olivia and overcome his fears with love.
I sped through A Loyal Heart within a day and a half. Every spare second I had I was eagerly devouring Ms. Hedlund's tale bursting with adventure, danger, political intrigue, and romance. This is medical romance at it's finest, so I highly recommend running, not walking to your nearest bookstore or library and grabbing this book off the shelf.
Reading is an adventure,