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Touchstone by Letitia Coyne

May 9, 2012

When war is all you’ve ever known, the promise of peace is more terrifying than any battle.

For Freya, there is no life worth remembering before the army, and none worth imagining after. Born to the lowest caste of a brutally bigoted society, she’s found no more horror on the battlefield than she knew on the streets.

And she’s earned a lot more respect with a sword in her hand.

As a young man, Dragan was blooded on the rush of adrenaline and sated by the euphoria of victory. With Freya beside him as his partner, he was indestructible. But age and mortality are gaining ground, and cracks have started to appear.

He’s had fifteen years of war and he’s earned his retirement.

Together they survived the war. But can they survive peace when it means different things to each of them?

Full Disclosure: I requested this book for review from the author, Letitia Coyne.

I had a hard time writing a review forTouchstone, not because it isn’t beautifully written and thought-provoking, it definitely is. The trouble lies in the fact that the blurb is just a little too good at telling you everything you need to know about the story. This is a very straight forward tale. There aren’t many surprises to be had. This isn’t a criticism, as I feel the book is mainly character driven and luckily for me the characters are very interesting.

Freya is the perfect soldier, married to the job. She is a hard woman to love, something Dragan hasn’t yet begun to suspect. He’s all too eager to take her away from this life and settle down. But settling down was never in Freya’s plan. Touchstone doesn’t just ask can two people who’ve only known war survive peace, it also asks what happens when you only love the idea of a person, and not who they really are deep down in their core. This is something I’ve thought about a lot in life and so the book really resonated with me on that level.It also looks at what happens when you take away the thing that we feel defines us as individuals, and whether or not we can live with ourselves afterward.

For all of her flaws-hell, because of her flaws, Freya is a very relate able and enigmatic character. She is human and falls victim to fear when she realizes the life she planned for herself is being compromised by Dragan’s dreams-good intentions-for them.  She’s always known she’d die on the battlefield, but Dragan’s having none of that. He’d prefer she end up some “fat-ass farmgirl”, fat and happy on his farm in the mountains. But she’s not so sure their ideas of happiness are one and the same. I admit…I found it very hard to like Dragan, even though I understood his motivation.

Just in case I have any followers in the HEA crowd (only God knows why you’d be here), Touchstone is not the book for you.

Everyone else? Go read it with my blessing.

You can purchase Touchstone from Amazon or Smashwords.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2012 12:58 am

    Thank you so much!! Sorry I didn’t find the review ’til I followed the #Merge link here today.

    I agree! I was chatting to a reader this morning who has decided Dragan and Lenka were the stars of the show, and best of luck to them with Freya out of the picture. She loved Dragan and thought if Freya would just realize what she was being offered, they would both have been better off. I’m with you, tho. Freya is a realist.

    Thanks for the thoughtful review.
    Best wishes,

    • Soleil Noir permalink*
      May 19, 2012 11:16 pm

      Not at all. It’s my fault, I completely forgot to send you a link. Terribly sorry about that!

      I agree, that was one of the things I really loved about her character.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read. 😀 Best of luck to you!

  2. Cate Black permalink
    May 22, 2012 7:03 pm

    A good review… and having now read Touchstone I can concur with a lot of your insight into the story… there were for me some bits that dragged… I felt the horse ride home with Dragan was too long… though the conflict with Paske was intense… and the domestic conflict with mother, lenka and dragan and later with Freya was reminiscent of the day to day of many families… though the lenka and mother conspiracy to ensnare dragan is a twist on the usual mother in law tale… an entertaining read… and a very good review…


    • Soleil Noir permalink*
      May 22, 2012 7:05 pm

      Hi Cate! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

    • May 22, 2012 7:26 pm

      Thanks Cate. Glad you enjoyed the read and the review.

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