The House of Baric Part One: Shields Down is a historical fiction novel by Jillian Bald. I found this tale on Book Club Reading List.
Set in the Venetian Empire’s colony of Croatia at the end of the Thirty Years’ War, “Shields Down” introduces you to the young nobleman Mauro Baric. Mauro was the last of his family bloodline. With the sudden death of his father, Mauro unhappily took his title as the baron of the House of Baric. His first duty to his family in this new role was to marry and make an heir.
Resi Kokkinos was not interested in marrying an aristocrat any more than Mauro wanted a common, Ottoman Greek girl as his bride. Betrothed as children to repay Resi’s father’s debt to the Barics, the two had no choice in their paired future together.
Life for Resi and her Greek companion, Ruby Spiros, was dull while her soldiering husband and his small army were often away protecting the Venetian Empire’s borders. Even while home, Mauro found little time for his new bride. Disappointed in each other, they questioned just who they had been matched with. Resi’s servants Verica, Jero, Idita, and Nela tried to make her feel at home as the new mistress of the House of Baric.
The Baric’s story takes flight after the young couple’s first wedding anniversary. Unexpected visitors arrive at the castle and add a new dimension to their predictable lives in Solgrad. Mishaps and adventures are a part of living, and Resi and her husband will have their share. After some time and togetherness, the two could no longer deny that their arrangement was more than tolerable.
You are a fly-on- the-wall following Mauro and Resi, their soldiers, servants, and friends of the House of Baric during one pivotal summer in 1649. All are destined for arranged marriages and fixed stations in life. Is there room for happiness? Hiding behind the high Baric castle walls, can they avoid their allotted fates? In book one of this engaging trilogy, you will discover, as they do, that it is not so easy.
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