Review: To me “A Daring, Devoted Heart” read very much like a yaoi novel in that there is great contrast between so many aspects of the story. The main characters Emeric and Calder are radically different, older and noble versus young and more impetuous. Also the writing style was quite different from one section to another, so narratively I did wonder if there had been a “clear” voice planned, yet perhaps this was intentional to have the extremes.
I like historical fiction. I enjoy have distinct, visual settings and I did find this evident throughout but I struggled greatly with the sexual aspects of the book. I found them either confusing because of the very florid terms or at other times rather clinical and not representative of my life as a gay individual. I’ve come to understand having some explicit content is what is considered to be di rigeur in m/m fiction, which is why I do not read it generally, but I felt the romance between the two men evident enough during their dialogue and descriptions that graphic sex was unnecessary for me to find them believable as a couple.
I know it’s billed as also quest fiction, but a structure which included names of secondary characters, their background, other information and locations in special sections where they weren’t regularly interspersed within crucial scenes would have made for an easier, more flowing pace in my opinion. I like those things but I found them distracting. Poetical in nature, yet too descriptive for me at times (rather like the official description below), “A Daring, Devoted Heart” is a passionate story fans of m/m fiction might enjoy.
Description: Years ago, revenge brought Emeric von Gondrecourt to New Mexico. Now, the force keeping him there is loyalty to the Metairie faily — and his love for the young Calder Metairie, who has grown up while Emeric watched.
The two men are separated by geography, history, language, culture — one, born an Austrian prince just before upheaval in Europe would rob him of his birthright, the other born to head a cattle ranch as vast as small European countries. Both were born to different kinds of power, positions of command, and lives bound by duty. And both share a secret.
Being gay at this volatile time in America’s history is damned dangerous. Being two men in love is a hazard Calder and Emeric fully recognize —
But the simmering frustration with which Calder grapples, every moment of every day, is Emeric’s stubborn refusal to allow himself to love, and to express his feelings in any physical sense. For Emeric, the situaion is a labyrinth of duty and loyalty, desire and the determination to honor promises he made to the Metairie family in the wake of his one terrible mistake. The Metairies forgave Emeric once, and he enjoys a certain comradeship within the great Alteza cattle empire. He has worked long and hard to earn their trust and respect … but would they forgive him a second time if his crime, this time, were to lay a lover’s hands on Calder? For an Austrian warrior prince, the dilemma is bleak.
The situation between the two men is already like a powderkeg on a short fuse only waiting for a spark, when horsethieves steal Emeric’s priceless Andalusian stallion, Lagrimas. The horse’s name is prophetic … it’s the Spanish for tears, and this magnificent animal is at the epicenter of troubles, danger, which will bring Emeric and Calder face to face with their personal devils, once and for all.
A DARING, DEVOTED HEART is a Western with a difference. Not merely an m/m romance, it’s also “quest fiction,” taking a pair of mis-matched heroes through country which brings to mind the works and words of Zane Grey, and culminating in a double-barelled climax — it’s a hail of hot lead and a struggle to survive, before Calder Metairie and Emeric von Gondrecourt take those devils by the horns.
The sunny and warm Deep South of the United States is my home. Long-married, my energetic husband and two fine sons are supportive in all I do.
Like many of you, I live to read and love to write. Words – the meanings of words – fascinate me. Oh, the joy when a character grabs the reins! And no matter the time or situation, one must strive heroically to convey his intent before the dramatic words he whispers might too quickly fade away.
The unique bond strong men share has always intrigued me. Exploring the depth and nature of that special bond is what my literary exercises are now about.
I write what I love, and the dynamic and innovative Nineteenth Century, with its audacious entrepreneurs and literary giants, is my favorite period in which to play. There I can entwine in some form or fashion all my fancies! The ranchers and renegades of the Wild West; the military history of the European and American wars; the poetry, literature and music of the Romantic Period and, most especially, tales of the horses I adore.
I collect antique books. Surrounded by these jewels of the past, in bindings sumptuous or shabby, I am most content. German Romantic Literature is my particular passion – specifically, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century translations of the exquisite lyric poetry which inspired the Romantic composers to create their German Lieder … the glorious Songs of Art.
Historic authors like Goethe and Schiller were servants of princes during revolutionary periods. Nobleman Friedrich von Hardenberg, known as Novalis, conceptualized the yearning of a generation into the Blue Flower. Warrior-Poet Theodor Körner wrote swordsongs, rode with Lützow’s Free Corps, and died at a tender age upon a Napoleonic battlefield. Holding pride of place among my treasured collection are more than a score of the earliest English translations of Goethe’s masterwork “Faust.”
These are just a few of the Literary Princes who command my shelves and inspire my thoughts.
Strong, complex yet flawed individuals in challenging relationships interest me most. Many of the characters portrayed in my tales have evolved in my heart and mind since I was a girl. Now, after the experiences of a lifetime, I present their stories to you.