A Sworn Virgin: Broken Promises by Kristopher Dukes
I'm generally not a big fan of historical fiction, because plots, especially in historical romances, always mimic a classic movie or novel. Sometimes a plot sounds unique and fills me with hope. I will say that A Sworn Virgin did prove to be a pleasant surprise.
In Kristopher Duke's novel, Diana is an 18 year old whose father is killed on a street in Albania. She's left to travel back to her mountain home where her stepmother tries to sell her into a marriage. Diana will not have anything to do with that; she dreams of becoming educated. In order to prevent being forced into a marriage she doesn't want, she declares herself a sworn virgin. Sworn virgins gain the same respect as men, so that makes Diana the ruler in their home, and her stepmother now must do her bidding. The one problem is that a sworn virgin must never fall in love with a man or she may be killed.
When an injured man comes to Diana's home and she helps heal him, she begins to fall in love with him. However, if she really does give in to her passions, she risks her own life.
It took a bit of adjusting to the details of the story, especially the Albanian names and number of characters introduced in the first couple of chapters. Once I settled into the story, I was fascinated by Diana's strength, the unique setting, and the power that a sworn virgin carries. If you're looking for something different to the typical historic romance, A Sworn Virgin is an excellent choice.