A Bed of Spices reader à 343 pages ¶ moneyexpresscard

doc ¹ A Bed of Spices ✓ Barbara Samuel

doc ¹ A Bed of Spices ✓ Barbara Samuel Win sister loved Another man a stranger set her blood racing and understood her bold searching heart Yet he was denied her foreverShe set him afire with forbidden desireSon of a wealthy Strassburg merchant and determined to become a physician Solomon had come to study the h After reading A Bed of Spices by Barbara Samuel I am left with the impression that MOST romance plots are just plain silly Hardships are not REALLY hardships common plot obstacles such as the misunderstanding are not REALLY that hard to overcome and many plot lines are shallow I HAVE NEVER FELT THIS BEFORE so I guess I will blame the richness historical accuracy and perfection of this novel on my change in perspective None other compares to this book This book is not a light hearted romp These characters are facing REAL crisisThe Plague is ravaging through villages in Europe and is leaving thousands dead in it's wake Jews are being blamed for the plague tortured and killed and marriage between a Gentiles and a Jew is punishable by death Soloman is a Jewish physician in training and Fredricka Rica is a German nobleman's daughter They meet in a spice garden owned by a local midwifemedicine woman He is studying herbal remedies from Helga and Helga is a sort of mother figure to Rica Love at first sight seems too elementary to describe what happens when these two meet It is like it is a collision of soulsnot to get to dramatic The CONNECTION that Soloman and RIca share is what sets this couple apart from other couples There is no reason these two should fall in lovethey are of different class race and religion and yet their love just is The odds these two face seem insurmountable even right up until the end I couldn't put this book down until I knew what would come of these two star crossed lovers There are secondary charactersEtta Rica's twin and an evil pursuer of the sisters but nothing can compete with what goes on between Soloman and Rica Their relationship is absolute beauty I'm usually kinda cheapI paid 1500 for this book and don't regret a penny of it Find this book

doc A Bed of Spices

A Bed of Spices reader à 343 pages ¶ moneyexpresscard Ó Only love could bridge the dark abyss that threatened to keep them apart foreverHe filled her dreams with desperate longingThe exuisite Frederica der Esslingen fled the castle to the herbalist's cottage Rica could never give in to her father's wishes and marry Erbalist's art It was there in a wild garden that he first set eyes on Rica Her golden haired beauty and bold spirit bewitched him As plague ravaged Europe he struggled against his passion risking his life for the woman he longed to hold in his arms forever onA Bed of Spice What a beautiful story Twists and turns and seemingly no way out of lots of problems Many people highly recommended this and I wholeheartedly agree It was uite angsty and sad at times This is my third book by Ms Samuel I loved them all but I think the first one I read by her still holds first place Night of Fire What I especially loved about this one was the love the two fathers had for their children As parents we always want the best for our children If we see them taking some misstep we want to stop and protect them It is so hard when logic and emotion collide There was a whole lot of emotions here

Barbara Samuel ✓ A Bed of Spices text

A Bed of SpicesOnly love could bridge the dark abyss that threatened to keep them apart foreverHe filled her dreams with desperate longingThe exuisite Frederica der Esslingen fled the castle to the herbalist's cottage Rica could never give in to her father's wishes and marry the man her t Reviewed for THC Reviews45 stars For the second time in as many months I have been gifted with a little gem of a read that I don't often see mentioned in romance discussion circles yet I found it to be so uniue in both content and presentation that I can't imagine it not satisfying any romance reader who is looking for something different from the norm A Bed of Spices is an inter ethnic story of forbidden love between a Jewish man and a Catholic woman who literally risk their lives just to be in each other's company much less realize the fulfillment of that love by marrying They are also from opposite sides of the tracks for Solomon is the son of a merchant while Rica is the daughter of a nobleman In addition both characters struggle freuently between their passionate natures and the puritanical ideology of the time and whether their feelings and desires for one another are right or wrong If the main characters aren't unusual enough the story has an out of the ordinary setting as well While most medieval romances take place in England A Bed of Spices is set in and around the bustling city of Strassburg Germany against the backdrop of the Black Death no less This made the story uite fascinating but until reading it this was certainly not an environment which I would have thought to be conducive to a good romance novelWhile this book is anything but politically correct it is very historically accurate actually teaching me things I didn't know particularly about Jewish history I had known that there were other historical persecutions of Jews besides the World War II Holocaust but I didn't realize that there were other instances of widespread genocide of Jews In fact nothing short of another holocaust took place in the mid 14th century when Jews were ignorantly accused of causing the Plague although greed and religion also played a part and were executed by being burned alive a literal meaning of the word holocaust The Jews of that time also had to wear a yellow patch on their clothes to denote their ethnicity All of these elements in the story both fascinated and horrified me to the point that I had to do a bit of study on the subject myself In my mind it is the mark of a good author for them to be able to draw me into the history of a novel so much that I not only learn something from reading it but want to know The other thing in this book that is very un PC is the ineuality of women Women even nobles were typically uneducated and unable to read Young ladies were pledged in marriage at a very young age which is illustrated by a vassal of Rica's father asking for the hand of a 12 year old girl though he was one of the kind secondary characters and said that he would wait a while to actually take her as his wife I thought it was rather ingenious that the author doesn't specifically state Solomon and Rica's ages leaving it up to the reader to imagine whatever age they felt appropriate but I got the sense that Rica herself was probably no than a teenager There is a secondary character who was raped at the tender age of six and because of her non virginal status is thought of as a whore by some of the men in the story and women in general are ingrained with the idea that they alone are responsible for inflaming the passions of the men around them I was fully able to reconcile all these things in the historical perspective in which they are presented but any reader who considers themselves a true feminist should definitely be prepared for some brutal reality in this book In addition to the actual history I was impressed with the author's use of a realistic grammar and syntax for that era While I know that it wasn't entirely accurate it would be very difficult for the average person to understand real Middle English in modern times I thought that it did lend another air of authenticity to the storyAside from all the uniueness in the plot I absolutely fell in love with the two main characters Solomon and Rica Solomon is a sweet beta hero who is very tender and loving and isn't afraid to show his true feelings to Rica Instead of the typical knight hero of medieval romances Solomon is a physician in training and uite well suited to that profession in my opinion He is a very gentle soul which is evidenced by the grief he feels at the the loss of life due to the various medical conditions and diseases of the time He also possesses an unuenchable thirst for knowledge of the human body as well as why and how certain individuals are able to survive the Plague He is one of the few men in the story who doesn't try to exert his dominance over the women instead appreciating Rica as his intellectual eual which is a large part of what attracts him to her in the first place In addition he does not think himself too good to learn medical knowledge from Helga a renowned herbalistmidwife in the area and he is in constant appreciation and awe of the general beauty of all the women around him Rica is a very strong capable and intelligent young woman who was fortuitous enough to have been educated by the castle priest who couldn't contain his enthusiasm for teaching and since there was no male child in the family Rica became the beneficiary of his knowledge She too has a hunger to read and learn and wishes that it were possible for her to attend university like the men Rica is an all around admirable heroine who is kind and gentle but also independent and filled with fiery passionSince the history of the story isn't romanticized at all it can sometimes feel rather intense and heavy Even Solomon and Rica's relationship is constantly tinged with danger and bittersweet moments yet their love and the joy they share in each other's company stands out as a beacon of light against the dark backdrop of pain and sorrow around them I loved that Solomon could always tell the difference between Rica and her twin sister Etta and near the end when I thought one of those cliched misunderstandings was going to get in the way low and behold he actually figured things out for himself which was utterly refreshing Both characters have very deeply complex family relationships mainly with fathers and siblings but I always felt like I understood everyone involved even if I didn't agree with them Helga who was like a second mother to Rica and Etta after their own mother died was a wonderful character as was the kind vassal Lewis Rica's twin Etta was a very heartbreakingly tragic character but I liked that the author kept an air of mystery surrounding her so that the reader is never uite sure if she is sane or not Rica's suitor and Etta's love Rudolf is also mysterious in that one moment he would seem like a good pious man and the next he would exhibit hints of evil Although Rica and Etta played a game of who's who with the other characters in the story I appreciated that the author made sure the reader was always in the know otherwise it would have gotten very complicatedEven though I really enjoyed A Bed of Spices there were a few small things that kept it from uite being sheer perfection for me Some passages were rather simplistically rendered and I thought that a bit details in those areas would have added vibrancy to the narrative There were also some repetitive word choices in a few places I thought the author did a very good job with conveying the sexual tension between Solomon and Rica when they were together and their unreuited longing for each other when they were apart so I found myself wishing that there had been just a little steam when they finally consummated their relationship Normally sweet non explicit love scenes are perfectly fine with me but in my opinion the mildness of this one didn't uite fully communicate the intense passion and deep emotional connection they seemed to feel for one another Also the author was very clear that Solomon and Rica's mutual attraction had an intellectual as well as physical basis This was an element that I really appreciated and found to be very believable but there wasn't uite as much demonstration of that cerebral connection as I would have liked to see These are relatively minor complaints though which didn't significantly detract from my enjoyment of the story and I can't help but give it a few extra points for its historical significance and depth of characterizations Overall A Bed of Spices was a wonderful book which I would highly recommend to any romance reader looking for something out of the ordinary which breaks the typical romance novel mold This is another one of those out of print books which I sought out through library channels but will now be looking for a copy to own for my keeper shelf This was my first read by Barbara Samuel but it has definitely left me open to trying out other books by her Barbara Samuel's most recent release was written as Barbara O'Neal and she has also authored a number of category romances for the Silhouette imprint as Ruth Wind