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Dauntless ~ Review

Valiant Hearts 1
By Dina L. Sleiman

Lady Merry Ellison is no more.  Her father's attempt to dethrone King John failed - ending in the slaughter of her family and most of those living in the village that her father ruled.  But Merry along with most of the children survived and Merry is determined to protect these young innocents no matter the cost.

But Merry and her young "band" must remain hidden because if word reached King John that the children of Ellsworth and the Baron's own daughter had escaped the slaughter they would be hunted down.  But to survive they need to borrow and steal upon occasion, earning them notoriety as The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest.

But when Merry is spotted by the young man to whom she had been promised as a bride, life becomes suddenly much more complicated.  Timothy Grey believing she's been held a prisoner is determined to save the young woman he thought dead these past two years.

Timothy is determined that Merry shall be safe, but the King's anger has yet to abate and Merry knows that Timothy's loyalty lies with the King.  But when the heart is involved where does loyalty truly lie?  This is the question that Timothy and Merry must work through if they are to have a future - whether together or separately.

Though marketed for the Juvenile / Young Adult market anyone who loves well-written historical fiction will enjoy this the first book in the Valiant Hearts series.  If you enjoy Robin Hood give Merry Ellison and her band of ghosts chance to join your shelves, you'll enjoy the trip to 13th century England.

I was provided a copy this book by the publisher Bethany House through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book: 
Where Legend and History Collide, One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.

About the Author:
Dina Sleiman writes stories of passion and grace. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Selah Awards. Also look for her novels, Love in Three-Quarter Time and Dance from Deep Within, and her Valiant Hearts series coming with Bethany House Publishers in 2015. Dina serves as an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire as well, and she loves to represent them at writers conferences throughout the US. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace. For more info visit her at