Publication Date: June 4, 2019
In Reviving the Commander by Nadine C. Keels, Opal, to the outside world, seems to be happy, carefree and content with her spinsterhood. When she meets the Commander Exemplar of Diachona’s Army, a man who longs for his late wife, she feels an undeniable and yet hopeless attraction. The Exemplar is the first man she’s felt a pull within a long time, but he’s the father of the king. Opal has a dark secret. Is she destined to live her life alone?
Reviving the Commander is part of the Movement of Crowns series and this is the first book in the Crowns Legacy series. I have read the first Movement of Crowns book, but that was long ago and I’d be lying if I said that I remembered anything about the book. Clearly, it would be helpful but not necessary to read the book before embarking on Opal’s story.
I think anyone reading the title of this story knows where it’s going. The Exemplar is a man lost in grief. Opal is a woman lost in fear. Like many of us, she walks around with her public face of sweetness and light while inside the demons are at work. She’s fearful, ashamed and worried that if people knew her for who she really is, she would be hated and reviled. The unique charm of Reviving the Commander is that the characters are so authentic. Often, in romance, the male character is older, a bit of a man-whore and a throwaway cutout. Staid, (yes, that’s his name) is solid and caring. When we meet Opal, she’s simply enamored. Her infatuation has come to an all-consuming point, but she knows that if the king’s father is looking to marry again (or entertain himself) it won’t be with someone no one else wanted.
This is not a snap-together part connection. Keels gives a solid base for why these people should be together and why her audience should cheer for them. They are sweet and in conversation and development of characters, Keels shows herself as a student of human nature. Reviving the Commander is economically arranged but well written. The craftsmanship of the work is especially impressive when you consider that it is set in a completely fictional world.
Reviving the Commander is a novella standing at an easy read of 172 pages. There are some surprises and turns readers may not see coming, but ultimately, Reviving the Commander is a story of love and faith. As a wholly non-religious person, I can appreciate the biblical connection that isn’t overbearing for the reader.
If you like sweet fairytale-like romantic stories, Reviving the Commander is the story for you. We also reviewed Nadine Keel’s fantasy novel Eubeltic Descent. If you like classic literature, stories of the human experience and romance novels, read our review of Love Unfeigned by Nadine C. Keels. For a contemporary, humorous romance, check out our The “She” Stands Alone review.
Read an excerpt and buy Reviving the Commander by Nadine C. Keels on