Mercy Book #3 from Rhynan Series by Author Rachel Rossano – Blog Tour





Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the children are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. 

Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.




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The royal wedding approaches and the country is alive with anticipation. 


 Among the craftsmen traveling to the capital is Constance Rendare and her family. An artist, a widow of an unhappy marriage, and the mother of a young son, she dreams of escaping the cruel servitude of her father’s household. 

 Wilard Naron serves the Earl of Dentin. He returns to the capital, his childhood home, to collect his earnings and finally free himself from his father’s reputation. 

 Kidnappings, bandits, and a plot against the king complicate the journey. The conflicts throw Constance and Wilard together as their circumstances grow steadily worse. The more the pair uncovers, the direr the future looks for the country and for them.

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Wilard
The noise of the marketplace reached us a block before the first booth came into sight. Vendors hollering the virtues of their wares mixed with the sounds of animals and children. The shoppers weren’t much better. Animated bargaining exchanges broke out and subdued at random among the stalls. As we approached the city’s marketplace—a six-block-long open area filled to jostling capacity with people and animals—I eyed the crowd. Once we entered the edge, we would be lost in the crush, unless we had a general direction to head.
I turned back to the women. “What do you want to shop for first?” “Cloth,” Alice declared. “We need to make your wedding clothes as soon as possible. Have you set a ceremony day yet?”
“Father hasn’t approved the union yet.” Then, before she could point out the fact I was of age and means to choose my own wedding date, I turned to Hugh. “If you escort Alice and Esmay, I will take care of Constance. The women will need help navigating this crowd.”
Hugh nodded and offered his arm to Alice. I moved to claim Constance’s hand. “Stay close and don’t let go,” I advised as I tucked it under my arm and pulled it close to my body. “This could get rough.”
“I have been to a marketplace before,” she protested. “Ah, but you haven’t navigated Caraway’s high market day.” “And you have?” Her mouth twitched as though she might be suppressing a smile.
“I grew up here.” Hugh interrupted from behind me. “Where are we headed?”
“The cloth merchant next to the apothecary on the east side three blocks down.” After Hugh nodded his understanding, I glanced down at Constance. She viewed the mob of living creatures with a hint of apprehension in her eyes. “Ready?”
“As much as I will be.” I chose the left of the two available avenues. It was not the most direct route to our goal, but it circumvented the majority of the visible animal vendors and their smells. Even with this precaution, we were assaulted by the fumes of unwashed humanity and animal dung mixed with the scent of the fishmonger’s wares. I was tempted to offer Constance a handkerchief, but that would have required me to pause and linger all the longer in the midst of the strongest smells. Instead, I chose to press forward.
Sometimes I had to physically jostle against people to stay on my feet as the crowd shoved us about. When we were almost pulled apart by an aggressive vendor of jewelry, I shifted my grip from Constance’s hand to her shoulder. She wrapped her arms around my waist.
As we finally emerged next to the cloth merchant’s stall, I was not surprised in the least to discover we had lost Hugh and the other two women.
“I hope they survive unscathed,” Constance commented as she shook the dust and dirt from her kirtle.
“I am sure they will.” I scanned the crowd for Hugh’s fair head. “Hugh is a capable man.”
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