by Beth Bernobich

Tor Forge, $14.99, 367 pages

Beth Bernobich has created a full, rich world in Passion Play. This is the story of Ilse a young girl sold in to marriage by her father, a man used to a life of merchant trades and acquisitions.  Rather than marry a man she fears, Ilse runs. Through a series of truly horrible circumstances she finds herself in the home of Raul Kosenmark where the games really begin. Passion Play is a novel steeped in secrets, political maneuvering and intrigue. The story is well written and if political intrigue is your preferred genre then this is the book for you. However, the novel is billed as a romance and in that context it leaves something to be desired. Not until after 300 pages is love or romance even mentioned. What is referred to as a fierce passion and never ending love is at times hard to understand. The characters use words of love and passion, but they are hard to believe when their behavior is so restrained and proper.  All in all, the genre this book is placed in, romance, is misleading. This story is more of a political fiction with a touch of romance on the side.

Reviewed by Rebecca Feuerbacher