Author: Dina L. Sleiman
Series: Valiant Hearts #2
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: September 2015
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
A newly drafted tale of yet another young Heroine that coincides with a well-loved character from the previous book.
Lady Gwendolyn Barnes wishes she had been born a boy. The only girl in a family of three brothers, Gwen never took much to the duties of women. Instead, she learned to joust and wield a sword by the time she was sixteen. But her father will have none of it. Now that she is of age, she needs to be wed to a family befitting of the Baron Barnes. Unfortunately, the man her father has chosen is as much a brute as he and she believes her life will hold no happiness. In a last ditch effort at freedom, Gwen imposes as a male jouster in a local tournament where she faces Sir Allen of Ellswoth in the first round. She succumbs to Sir Allen, but not before he earns her respect and possibly her heart.
Newly knighted Sir Allen decides it is time to get away from his merry band of outlaws include Merry, whom he loves, and Timothy Grey, to whom she is betrothed. He arrives at Edendale in time to join the jousting tournament. He rises through the tournament, but loses at the last match in an effort to save a child rather than himself. Impressed with his sense of humility and duty, the Duke offers Allen a place at the ruling council. He also begins to be quite taken with the Lady Gwendolyn. Then one night the Duke is murdered. The Dukedom is in shock and the council is reeling to hold onto control. Someone remembers a Authorian prophecy about a young lad that comes to save the Dukedom at a trying time and it is decided that it must be Sir Allen. But to become the Duke, he must marry the grieving Duchess. What does this mean for his future and his heart?
I really enjoy the tales that Dina Sleiman spins out. Dauntless was based more around a female Robin Hood and her merry band of thives. Chivalrous takes a shot at King Author and the Knights of the Round Table. For whatever reason, I really found this to be a more enjoyable story. The way that she is able to make the female characters so relatable really helps the story move forward. Similar to the first story, there is a love triangle that occurs between the female character and two suitors. But after the first book, I was really pulling for Allen this time. Up until the end I wasn’t sure if I was going to be happy with the ending, but I found satisfaction. However, I do hope that the next book will see some redemption for Rosalind. I really feel for her character and want to see some closure for her.