Review: Eleanor and the Iron King

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Eleanor de Lacy has been bartered: her hand in marriage in exchange for a truce with her father’s sworn enemy. Now the headstrong beauty must leave her ancestral home and the man she secretly loves to become the wife of the infamous Welsh king Brach Goch. Tales of this cruel leader paint a chilling picture of a ruthless warrior, and all Eleanor knows for certain is that he is the villain responsible for the vicious attacks on her people and the death of her beloved brother. Though she must marry against her will, she vows Brach Goch will never possess her heart. Her arrival at the inhospitable castle Bryn Du confirms her worst fears—a ghost walks the halls of the castle, and Eleanor receives an ominous warning from the uneasy spirit: Brach is not to be trusted. Though resigned to a life of misery, Eleanor soon realizes all is not as it seems, for Brach is not the monster she dreaded but is a handsome and charming man whose gentle ways soon undermine her resolve to lock her heart. Clinging desperately to her pride, Eleanor finds herself trapped in a web of murder and deceit. And as the lines between good and evil become blurred, Eleanor must decide for herself who is to be trusted—and loved.  

Eleanor and the Iron King by Julie Daines

Published August 1st 2015 by Covenant Communications
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed on August 13, 2015
This review can also be founds on Goodreads.

My Review

Loving a woman that scorns you is like licking honey from a thorn.

Or it’s like picking a rose from a bush on fire.

Whichever makes you feel better.

You can imagine what the romance in Eleanor and the Iron King is like— slow burn, light, realistic, beautiful, dangerous, and irresistible.

I’ve run out of adjectives, so let me take you to the very first page of this book. The story gets right to the matter at hand: War’s a bitch. Eleanor De Lacy is hauled off like “cattle” to her enemy in exchange for a truce between countries. Eleanor’s father, along with his right-hand-man Gilbert, delivers her straight to the doorsteps— or I should say— arms of Brach Goch, the Welshman responsible for killing her brother.

”I, Eleanor de Lacy, do plight thee, Brac Goch, my toth."

With these words, Eleanor sealed her fate.

As if leaving her English home, having been rejected by the man she has feelings for, and being married to a murderer aren’t enough, she is tormented by an apparition on the night of her arrival. Soon, she will learn she has enemies on all fronts.

The mystery unfolded reasonably and I didn’t feel like it dragged on or was underdeveloped. I honestly can’t find any fault with this book. I can not. Not with the mystery, the drama, the pace, the plot, the romance, the characters, etc. I like it all!

From a critical eye, both Eleanor and Brach are strong leads. Brach is patient and kind. Eleanor is prideful and stubborn— which I find are good equalities in a strong-headed woman. Her ignorance can easily be mistaken for hostility and I guess that’s only fair when she’s living with the enemies.

From a fangirl’s view, Eleanor and Brach are perfect for each other. Don’t argue with me otherwise. Don’t. They’re totally awesome characters. I love them.

They start as purely enemies, but when they actually meet, “stranger danger” becomes a scary reality for Eleanor. They go from enemies-strangers to frenemies to something more and I love the growth of that undeniable bond between them. Their easy bantering is cute and to die for. Yet, I wouldn’t want to be caught in the crossfire. All in all, I am surprised and pleased by how much I enjoyed the romance.

The one thing I didn’t enjoy was the healing herb information. It was interesting the first and second time. But then as the story went on and the poultice / healing process continued to be described in details several more times, my eyes just sort of glazed over the sentences. I wholeheartedly didn’t bother to care. Why? Because it was repetitive and it wasn’t worth my time to read about Eleanor giving out the same orders and “telling” us, step by step, what she was crushing or mixing. I reached the point where I had to stop caring, you know?

Other than that, every sentence of Eleanor and the Iron King was worth reading and I thoroughly liked the book from beginning to end :)

An ARC was given via Netgalley.

(Wow, I haven’t done Tumblr edits in a long time. Tumblr edits are made by me, although none of the pictures used are mine.)

My Rating


Nancy Her


Cee named The Mistress Case after Sherlock (BBC with Benedict) and Supernatural (Dean, baby). She writes mainly book reviews. On occasions, movies and TV shows. She reads and reviews in many genres, including fantasy, historical, contemporary, romance, erotica, mystery, etc. She personally rains more love on fantasy and historical romance and hopes you won't hold it against her. Caoi.


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