22 Nights by Linda Winstead Jones

The Emperor's Brides, Book 2

Berkley Sensation


ISBN: 978-0-425-22491-5

Reviewed by Amelia



Years ago, young Bela of of Turis tricked Tearlach Merin into taking her maidenhead. Now Merin is a general, and charged with bringing Bela back to the palace as a potential bride of Emperor Jahn. But when he arrives at the village he is appalled to learn that Bela is already married; to him.

When she was younger, Bela wanted to be free of the burden of her maidenhead, so she drugged Merin and performed the Turi ritual that would bind them together. Since she was no longer a maid, she could fight as a warrior, which was what she desired.

To get out of the marriage the couple must perform another ritual. They must be bound together with a rope for twenty-two days and nights before the marriage can be dissolved. During that time they search for the origin of "Kitty" the magical sword that Bela carries. Will their marriage end, or will they rediscover a passion that once existed between them?

22 Nights is the second book in the Emperor's Brides series, and although I have not read the first book I enjoyed the second one a great deal. Bela is a headstrong woman who matures during the book and becomes a woman not afraid to love. Watching her and Merin together was entertaining.

Merin's reaction to his wedding was also interesting to watch, and his obvious growing love for Bela rang true to me.

There is a second story line in this book, of another bride, Lady Leyla Hagan, who has also been summoned as a potential bride, and Savyn, the wheelwright who is part of her escort group. Their storyline is deep, and is spread throughout the book, so much so that I really wanted them to have their own story so we could explore them more.

22 Nights is a fast-paced, entertaining read. I have to admit I was a little disappointed in the ending. It provides the opening for the third book, true, but I felt as if the characters in this one had not done all they could do, and would have like to see Bela and Merin, and Leyla and Savyn meet. It would have provided me with more closure for these characters in my mind.

Still, I am looking forward to book 3, and will now go on the search for book 1. Ms. Winstead Jones has penned an interesting tale and I will be watching to see how it plays out.


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