by Rachelle Rea
Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.
With the Protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle’s castle. She doesn’t dare to trust him…and yet doesn’t dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.
Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her—but what is he to do when those goals clash?
The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope…or be overcome.
Opening in the Low Countries in the Netherlands in late August 1566, Rachelle Rea’s “The Sound of Diamonds” sets the stage for an interesting tale unfolding during the Protestant Reformation. This is not an oft-explored time period for Christian historical fiction, which makes “The Sound of Diamonds” all the more noteworthy. The two primary characters, Gwyneth Barrington and Dirk Godfrey, represent both sides of the denominational divide, the former being Catholic and the latter Protestant. Rea handles both perspectives respectfully and deals with the inner conflict that accompanies a growing and maturing faith.
Told in the alternating first-person viewpoints of both Gwyneth and Dirk, the story progresses at a quick pace. Despite a distressing first encounter months earlier, Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the convent where she has been staying as it comes under siege by Protestant raiders. The journey to return her to her home in England is fraught with dangers and perils, not the least of which is the condition of her own heart. Although the shift between characters in each chapter is slightly confusing, the plot unravels cohesively, flowing from one event to the next without interruption. This is a quick read. It is mostly a romance, and while the love story is perhaps somewhat overdone and advances too quickly, it is a clean, wholesome narrative. “The Sound of Diamonds” is the first book in a trilogy, and although it does not end on a cliffhanger, it prepares for the continuation of the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.