The Bachelorette Goes Medieval!
An Uncertain Choice
by Jody Hedlund
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, shortly before her birthday, a friend of her father’s enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents’ will left a second choice—if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.
Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the knights’ arrival results in a series of attacks within her land, she begins to wonder if the convent is the best place after all. If only one of the knights—the one who appears the most guilty—had not already captured her heart.
As her bio attests, Jody Hedlund is “an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances”. An Uncertain Choice (along with its prequel, The Vow) is her first foray into Young Adult literature. But the historical aspect is pushed into the background, the novel’s setting being sketched more than painted, in favor of the all-out romantic plot, which once begun, never yields the stage.
Unfortunately, in an effort to get quickly into that plot, our trio of contenders for Rosemarie’s heart are left somewhat two-dimensional. How nice it would have been to have read a prologue wherein we witness a thrilling battle scene featuring the three noble knights dominating in their true element, followed by a shorter scene in their Duke’s tent where he simply informs them that, war now being over, it is time to turn their attention to love. When next they appeared, our heroes would enter with a history and a swagger. As it is, the novel’s opening scene, though captivating, shows us only one knight behaving in a militaristic manner, and it isn’t long before his identity becomes obvious. And that leaves the other two challengers seeming almost foppish in their gushingly sentimental wooing of Rosemarie.
But that aside, the tale moves crisply along, with a dastardly villain or two, a pleasant cast of good guys (though none are drawn with depth), a pair of assassination attempts, an abundance of romantic scenes, and a bloody whopper of a climax. Interestingly, the “choice” in the title ultimately becomes less about falling in love with the right man, and more about understanding and following God’s wishes for your life. Rosemarie agonizes over her decision, wavering between her commitment to the abbey and her budding love. Eventually, she finds answers not only from her advisers, but from heartfelt prayer and contemplation, and comes of age in more ways than one.
A warning for the squeamish: There are several scenes depicting torture, some of them on the gruesome side. Although it must be said that these transport the reader back in time more effectively than most anything else in the novel, giving us a horrifying look into a barbaric past. But fear not — the emphasis in An Uncertain Choice is firmly and heavily on love, both romantic and spiritual.
— Jennifer Michelle
3.5 of 5 Hearts. The Bachelorette Goes Medieval!
Full of gorgeous and gallant knights wooing a beautiful young damsel, An Uncertain Choice is a good pick for a YA Christian romance. Don’t expect too much in the way of history or surprises, but if it’s a love story you crave, this one will entertain, especially in its final, exciting chapters.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Zondervan and NetGalley for allowing me access to the title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”