ARC Reviews


The Blacksmith (Order of the Broken Blade #1) by Cecelia Mecca. Historical Romance Release & ARC Review.

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Lance Wayland has a secret purpose for becoming Stanton Castle’s new master smith. He and his three closest friends are the founding members of the Order of the Broken Blade, formed to blunt the power of King John, whose outrageous taxes and unjust laws have taken a toll on the country they love. To succeed, they need money and men, both of which they can get from the Earl of Stanton. Lance’s mission is of vital importance, and can only be waylaid by one thing—his interest in the earl’s lovely daughter.

Idalia knows better than to think she’ll be allowed to marry a smith, yet Lance Wayland is the most compelling man she’s ever met—a welcome diversion from the stresses of running Stanton Castle and her mother’s illness. Although she knows the entanglement can go nowhere, their connection grows stronger each time they see each other, until she begins to forget all the reasons they should stay apart.

Although fate seems determined to keep them apart, Lance and Idalia are drawn together like moths to a flame. But can Lance pursue the woman he loves without betraying the order to which he’s pledged his troth?


Lance Wayland is only a blacksmith, but he and three of his friends have formed the "Order of the Broken Blade" . Their common cause is to find enough Lords and soldiers that can put pressure on King John to stop his excessive taxation.  To approach the wrong person could see any of them charged with treason,  so great care is needed. 
Idalia Stanton has gradually taken on the role of Lady of the castle because her elder sister has married and her mother is very sick.  She is capable and enjoying it,  but the work is all consuming.  The new blacksmith is proving to be a distraction. 
The early days of undercover investigation bring us a lovely adventure.  Our heroine is an intelligent young woman with a loving but protective father who is worrying about many important things . Our hero has found a place he could call home at a time when it is far too dangerous to allow anyone to get close to him. 
This is the first book in a series that is going to give us lots of great characters and even more excitement. 
I loved it and can't wait for the next one. 


“More than that, I would like nothing more than to lay you down on that altar, strip you of every bit of clothing, and show you much, much more than a simple kiss.”

He stood so close now Lance could smell the unique scent of citrus blossom that was Lady Idalia of Stanton. 

“What,” she asked, swallowing, “would you show me?”

The combination of curiosity and fear in her tone, in her gaze, told him she knew this was wrong. It was madness, really. But she asked, so he answered.

“I would show you every song your body is capable of singing. I would show you what it means to die the little death and come back to life. I would show you all of me.”

That last bit, he’d not meant to say. 

**Join Blood & Brawn to get the first extended sneak peek.**


Cecelia Mecca is the author of steamy historical romance that transports readers to the middle ages. A former English teacher, Cecelia combines two of her passions, romance novels and the middle ages, transporting readers to an admittedly romanticized time of knights and castles. Her first series, set along the Anglo-Scottish border in 13th century Northumbria, turned Cecelia from educator to full-time author. Readers love the Border Series for its focus on well-developed characters and their steamy relationships leading to satisfying happily ever afters. Cecelia lives in Northeast, Pennsylvania with her husband and two young children where she can be found either planning a Disney trip, watching period dramas or convincing her children to watch Star Wars. She is firmly House Stark and Gryffindor.

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