×

The Mystic Marriage

by Heather Rose Jones

Antuniet Chazillen lost everything the night her brother was executed. In exile, she swore that treason would not be the final chapter of the Chazillen legacy in Alpennia’s history. A long- hidden book of alchemical secrets provides the first hope of success, but her return to the capital is haunted by an enemy who wants those secrets for himself.

Jeanne, Vicomtesse de Cherdillac is bored. The Rotenek season is flat, her latest lover has grown tediously jealous and her usual crowd of friends fails to amuse. When Antuniet turns up on her doorstep seeking patronage for her alchemy experiments, what begins as amusement turns to interest, then something deeper. But Antuniet’s work draws danger that threatens even the crown of Alpennia.

The alchemy of precious gems throws two women into a crucible of adversity, but it is the alchemy of the human heart that transforms them both in this breathtaking follow-up to the widely acclaimed Daughter of Mystery.

Paperback

$17.95

eBook

$9.99

Clear

Earn up to 1 Bella Bucks Points.

Genre Romance, Fantasy
Length 358 pages
Publication Date April 15, 2015
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781594934414
Editor Katherine V. Forrest
Cover Designer Kiaro Creative

Extras

GCLS Goldie Awards
The Mystic Marriage — Finalist, Lesbian Science Fiction/Fantasy.

Gaylactic Spectrum Award
The Mystic Marriagefinalist for the Gaylactic Spectrum Best Novel award in 2016.

  • Book Two of the Alpennia series. Book One, Daughter of Mystery, is one of Bella's most reviewed titles!
  • Heather Rose Jones is already known to readers of the Sword and Sorceress anthologies.
  • Read the appetizer! Click to open a PDF in a new window.

Reviews

The Lesbian Review
Heather Rose Jones is a superior author. Any lovers of fantasy must give the Alpennia novels a chance. And if you are not a fan of fantasy but you like period dramas then this will work for you as well.

Praise for Heather Rose Jone and her Alpennia Series!
Tor.com — Daughter of Mystery - Top Book of 2014 Reviewer's Pick!

Where do I sign up for MORE OF THIS SORT OF THING..? - Liz Bourke

...When Heather Rose Jones begins - nearly imperceptibly - to bend reality it took me a minute or two to realize that she now had led the reader into the realm of fantasy. Well done! Brava! - Curve Magazine

Jones has done a wonderful job in creating the world of Alpennia. - Lambda Literary Review

Well built world is populated with a wonderful cast of believable characters. - C Spot Reviews

Heather Rose Jones writes masterfully. Her style is at the same time beautiful and easy to read, delightful and commanding of attention... - The Lesbrary

Customer Reviews

1 review for Mystic Marriage, The – Paperback

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    cheekybugger13

    This second installment of Heather Rose Jones’ brilliant Alpennia series was another wonderfully crafted story for me! I was very excited to read this installment particularly because it was going to be about Antuniet! I was captivated by her mysterious persona since her introduction in Book 1 “Daughter Of Mystery.” I was so happy that HRJ told her story in this one.

    Whereas Book 1 had more action (because of Barbara’s profession and her quest to find out about her past and settle her family’s debts), and celebratory intrigue (Margerit’s discovery of her magical skills), “The Mystic Marriage” was more internal, quieter, with darker thrills involving cynical plots. It delved into the inner sanctum of alchemy and all its technical properties and characteristics as performed by Antuniet, who seemed to be a natural talent as a very proficient alchemist. Whereas Book 1 dealt with the spiritual side of magic aka miracles, mysteries, Book 2 dealt with the scientific side of magic aka alchemy. The contrast and similarities of these two practices are FASCINATING to read and discover!

    The thing I particularly enjoyed about this book was the intricate procedures of ancient alchemy (science, really!) being written and described in detail. I was mesmerised by all the technical aspects and processes of how the stones and their natural properties were mixed together, combined with astrology to perform different functions, or produce different physical and emotional effects. I felt like I was with Antuniet in an ancient chemistry laboratory using ancient tools to mix various chemicals, burning stones, sharpening them into specific shapes, “fermenting” them accordingly to produce the desired effects! Yes, Antuniet was a nerd. A science nerd. She was an introvert, exceptionally bright and smart, socially awkward, had absolutely no interest in all the girlish frills or the opposite gender, to say the least, deeply engrossed in her work. Her work was her salvation, her refuge, her entire existence…..(well, at least until she met Jeanne! )

    I. . ANTUNIET.

    In contrast, Jeanne, was the polar opposite – a social butterfly, a flirt, an extrovert with no worries about money. She and Antuniet were no strangers, except that they’d only met briefly in the past. This time, when Jeanne laid eyes on the much younger Antuniet, something tugged at her heartstrings. I adored Jeanne as I discovered more about her. On the surface, she was this loud, flirtatious, beautiful and attractive socialite who only cared about her social standing and being included in or hosting frivolous engagements. But in actual fact, she was a sensitive, loyal, generous and kind soul who’d do anything for those she loved or cared about. She was fortunate to have money and in a respectable social standing but she didn’t let that go over her head. Instead she used her position to help those who were in need. Despite her beauty and wealth, she was unlucky in love. She’d always been partial to loving women and had been “playing” the field without any commitments, primarily as a defence mechanism to prevent her heart from being hurt again but deep down, she really wanted to find true love & spend the rest of her life with her. She wanted what her friend and ex-lover, Barbara, had with Margerit. Someone she could wake up to in the morning and go to sleep with every night. Someone to share her life with, someone she could give her heart to. Someone to love and be loved.

    So when Jeanne met Antuniet again, she found herself drawn to her and slowly but surely falling for the younger, anti-social workaholic alchemist. Antuniet, on the other hand, also found herself attracted to this flamboyantly beautiful Jeanne who, she knew, was out of her league. So she never dared to believe that she was ever worthy of love especially not by Jeanne who always had other women pining over her affections, especially at those countless “parties” that Jeanne was known to host or attend regularly. She couldn’t believe that someone like Jeanne would want to be with an anti-social, dowdy, unattractive (in her own opinion), strange nerd like her, let alone be in love with her! Obviously nothing was further from the truth as Jeanne found herself having to prove to Antuniet time and time again.

    I utterly loved Jones’ flair in telling and depicting all the subtle verbal and non-verbal nuances between these two lovelorn souls who were struggling to declare their love for each other simply because neither believed they deserved the other. Case-in-point, Antuniet’s quiet jealousy when she spotted Jeanne with other women who were flirting with her, assuming that the flirtation was mutual; Jeanne’s unusual lack of confidence with herself when she thought Antuniet preferred to spend time with scholarly women, like Margerit instead of “useless” socialites such as herself. All the endless yearning…ahhhh!! These two poor sods! If only they could just bare their souls to each other without fear! Oh, the angst! Utterly captivating to read!

    Their slow-burn romance was depicted so aesthetically that when Antuniet and Jeanne finally believed in the heart of hearts that their love for each other was pure and true, their commitment steadfast, I felt utterly elated, joyous, excited, dead happy for them in my heart and soul. SUPERB!

    My favourite exchange between Antuniet and Jeanne….

    “Non in solo pane,” she [Antuniet] said at last.

    [Jeanne] A curious glance. “Not by bread alone?”

    “Jeanne,” she blurted, before she could lose courage, “I can be your bread and water, but I can’t be your cake and champagne. It isn’t fair of me to ask you to give up champagne. I would…understand if sometimes you wanted more.”

    Jeanne’s mouth parted in surprise. “Toneke, that’s a generous offer. Are you certain?”

    “No, I’m not certain!” The words burned on her tongue and she kept her eyes on the floor for fear of not being able to get them all out. “I’m terrified. I’m terrified I might lose you to someone more charming, more beautiful than I could ever be. But I’m also terrified that I’ll lose you by holding you too tightly. I don’t make you laugh the way she did. I can’t flirt and I can’t dance. And the parties you enjoy so much only leave me tired and lonely. I can see where it will end. What you feel for me will shrivel up into regret and obligation.”

    She felt the touch of a kidskin glove under her chin and Jeanne’s fingers warm through it, drawing her face up so that she couldn’t avoid her eyes. “Toneke, no one can see the future, but have more faith in me than that.” Jeanne’s eyes searched hers, looking for that faith. “Do you trust me?”

    “I trust you,” Antuniet said, “but I want you to be happy.”

    “I am happy. I am more happy than I deserve to be. And it wasn’t what you thought.”

    THIS…pure lyrical love poetry (imho). Truly THE essence of romance between two unlikely souls. So sensual. So poetic. So romantic!!!

    And my favourite narrative of the book? This

    “That day when she’d [Antuniet] returned to Rotenek, near penniless and alone with nothing but DeBoodt’s book and her vow, she never would have believed that her brightest gems would come in human form. Jeanne, Anna, Margerit, Barbara—all tried by fire and enhanced through the long, slow layering of work side by side. Was there need for any other talismans than these?”

    – says it all about the book and its message. At least to me.

    Apart from Antuniet and Jeanne’s compellingly memorable journey, we also got to find out more about Barbara and Margerit. More crucially was how Antuniet’s contentious relationship with Barbara and Margerit (because of events that occurred in Book 1) was dealt with and rectified. The whole journey of reconciliation between Antuniet and Barbara, and then between Antuniet and Margerit was written with intense realism. It was an emotional ride and an utter joy to experience with these 3 superbly developed characters.

    All in all, this is a MUST-READ! I absolutely this book! I was an instant fan of the Alpennia series since reading the 1st chapter of Book 1! I’d recommend starting with Book 1, “Daughter Of Mystery,” though, followed by this, “The Mystic Marriage.” A brilliantly written historical fantasy series!

    Well done & thank you, Ms. Jones!

Add a review

More Titles

  • $23.95
  • $9.99
  • $9.99
  • $9.99