Story can be found here.
An escaped slave daunted by freedom. A nobleman fighting his destined birthright. Their love defies logic, but when the spirits of the land speak, you’d better listen.
Nikos curses the day his brother died and left him as Lord of Thermanae. What’s an educated man to do in a place so backward his tenants expect the Lord and Lady of the estate to bring rain through sex-magic? Jaenna, a runaway Kulchu slave, curses the fate that forced her to flee a murderous master to the neighboring Soranian Empire. Freedom means frightening choices for a woman whose entire life has been spent serving men’s sexual whims, and she can’t communicate with the spirits of the land enough to work the healing magic that might earn her a respectable place here.
The forbidden desire that burns between Nikos and Jaenna could save them both, if they see beyond what they think they know. But it takes desperate need—and advice from a madwoman who may be crazy like a fox—for Nikos to see that magic isn’t merely a metaphor and Jaenna to learn that love is the most powerful magic of all.
Note: Rain at Midsummer is set in the same world as Lady Sun Has Risen and is part of the Seasons of Sorania cycle.
This was a different kind of story, but in a good way. Reminds me a bit of when I first started reading books from the Dark Sun realm of Dungeons & Dragons – a desert world with few oasis here and there… and while the world that Rain at Midsummer is set in isn’t quite that desolate, it still put me in mind of that. But then, I’m known for making strange associations now and again…
All in all, the story was well-written with a likeable hero and heroine. Jaenna, an escaped slave, is intelligent, eager, and adapts to her new role as a free woman quickly. Nikos, the Lord of Thermanae, isn’t happy in his role as the new lord, but he doesn’t exactly shirk his duty either. He is the perfect compliment to the shy and insecure Jaenna.
I think that if you like fantasy worlds and stories about finding love in unexpected places (like the woman falling at your feet maybe?), you’ll enjoy this novella. Ms. Roberts creates a familiar world that holds so many surprises and possibilities.
Next, I would really love to see a story about Dela and her love. I really liked Dela and would love to read more about her and how she and Nikos came to be such good friends.