An Offer of Marriage by Jo Ann Ferguson suffers from uninspiring storytelling, repetitive dialogue, and a title that doesn’t match its historical setting.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Sweet Savage Flame earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases.An Offer of Marriage by Jo Ann Ferguson
Illustrator: Jon Paul Ferrara
Imprint or Line: Zebra Precious Gem Historical
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Medieval Romance
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
Goodbye Old Era, Hello New One
Jo Ann Ferguson’s An Offer of Marriage suffers from being published during a time of change. When Kensington’s Zebra historical romances died, they didn’t go quickly.
Actually, Zebra romances are still around, but they’re not the same as they used to be in the 1980s and 1990s.
Before their Heartfire and Lovegram lines ended in the late 1990s, the iconic, colorful covers became dull memories of Zebra’s past. Kensington decided they didn’t need any more sizzle to sell the steak. Covers rarely had lush illustrations.
More often than not, they would have crude or simple photoshopped images of flowers or castles. In many cases, they were nothing more than the title and author’s name.
By the end of the 20th century, Zebra dumped most of their best authors. Although some briefly moved on to Dorchester, which had its problems. Kensington canceled the Lovegram and Heartfires and churned out new lines: Zebra Ballad, Splendor, and Precious Gem Historicals.
All of these lines folded quickly. An Offer of Marriage is a romance from his era.
Brenwyn Gunnarsson people are Vikings who settled in England. One fateful day, his family is slaughtered, and he vows revenge. Brenwyn poses as a lowly freeman to deceive the English as part of a new Viking invasion.
English Lady Cyndra, the daughter of Ealdorman Edgar of Manor Saeburgh, is taken by caerl Brenwyn to wed his master, Thane Morcar of Manor Darburgh.
If you were irritated by that last sentence, be wary of An Offer of Marriage because all those phrases therein will be repeated ad infinitum.
Such is the thrilling dialogue in this book:
“I am Lady Cyndra, the daughter of Ealdorman Edgar of Manor Saeburgh.”
“Ealdorman,” he gasped. “That is the highest rank in England, except for the king.”
“And I was betrothed to Thane Morcar of Manor Darburgh.”
“Morcar? Is he Edgar’s father? You said his father was dead.”
“I thought Morcar was dead.”
“Yes you said that. That Thevkil told you. Thevkil the Strong?”
“How did you come to speak to that Viking chieftain?”
“I spoke with him when I was with Edgar’s father to his court…Edgar’s father’s name was Under-Chieftain Brenwyn Gunnarsson. He was a Jomsviking and captured Manor Darburgh. Part of his prize was me.”
Brenwyn turns the tables on Thane Morcar, and instead of giving the beauty to his overlord, Brenwyntakes Cyndra as his bride.
Over time, they fall in love and have a child. Cyndra’s father had been named Edgar, so she bestows that name upon her son in her father’s memory.
Then Cyndra and Brenwyn are separated, and that’s when we get this scintillating crap:
“Edgar’s father’s name was Under-Chieftain Brenwyn Gunnarsson. He was a Jomsviking and captured Manor Darburgh. Part of his prize was me.”
Huh? Sorry, was I nodding off again?
Besides the writing, another terrible thing about this book is its title. An Offer of Marriage sounds way too Regency-ish. It should have been My Beloved Enemy (pg. 253) or some similar crap to go with the medieval/Viking theme.
Alas, that was the least of this book’s offenses.
Final Analysis of An Offer of Marriage
Passionless books like this are why the historical genre lost popularity to paranormals. And paranormals seemed to have lost popularity to New Adult/50 Shades of BDSM. Wonder what’s the next thing?
Perhaps well-written, sensual yet tawdry, plot-and-action-driven, non-wallpaper historicals with amazing, painted covers will make a comeback? (I kid, I kid!)
When I read a tepid historical romance published in the 21st century, I shrug it off. The new style isn’t my thing. But when I read a sucky historical written when old-school historical romances were in their death throes, it makes me sad.
I used way too many words to describe this book. Simply put, this was dull, dull, dull.
No, Sir, I Don’t Like it
But don’t take my word for it. Let’s ask others what they feel.
Baby, what did you think?
And kitty, how about you?
Puppy, do you agree?
That’s it—a full consensus! All the pictures I’ve stolen off the net agree. This book was:
COVER POINTS DO NOT COUNT!
|Rating Report Card|
Marriage to the vile Thane Morcar of England was Lady Cyndra’s destiny from the day the barbaric Vikings had stormed her family’s home-until handsome Brenwyn of Manor Darburg rescued her from that cruel fate. In Brenwyn, Cyndra believed she had found a warrior worthy of a lady’s love, not realizing that her rugged protector was none other than a Viking himself-and her family’s mortal foe.
…OR BELOVED BRIDEGROOM?An Offer of Marriage by Jo Ann Ferguson
Honor had driven Brenwyn to steal Morcar’s bride, but it was fierce passion that drove him to seduce sweet Cyndra, though he knew she was forbidden to him. Now, as he held her in his arms, Brenwyn hoped that she would see the man beneath the enemy armor. For only if he won her heart, could he truly claim this noble beauty as his own.