The House of Baric Part One

Shields Down

Romance - Historical
444 Pages
Reviewed on 08/12/2018
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Author Biography

I began writing Mauro and Resi's story while I was figuring out what I would do with the next phase of my life. Five years later, I published "The House of Baric" trilogy. (I guess that was what I was meant to do!) It was a labor of love to research this interesting Venetian/Croatian world and the history of the empires of the mid-17th century. I hope you enjoy reading the Barics' story as much as I loved writing it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite

The House of Baric: Shields Down by Jillian Bald is a debut fictional novel set in 17th century Europe. Part one of a trilogy, it tells the tale of Mauro Baric, heir to a Venetian barony and his arranged marriage to Resi, the daughter of an Ottoman trader. Neither very keen to wed, they come to the marriage as strangers, having only met once. Mauro, with his small army, arrives straight from battle with little experience of love. His new wife, with no desire to marry a Venetian far away from the home she loves, is spirited and strong. She settles to her new position but finds her husband away more than he is at home. An historical romance, Shields Down portrays the life and times of the period as the Thirty Years' War comes to a close.

This is a captivating story of battle-weary men and wealthy pampered ladies who were used in marriage alliances to further family ambition. I was delighted with the exquisite writing and the two very engaging main characters. Jillian Bald provides an exceptionally well-researched account of the compelling lives of the aristocracy of the time. She includes intimate details of their style of dress, complex social conventions and a generous portion of political intrigue. Shields Down is thoughtfully written with a rich mix of history and romance. There is a timeless elegance to the writing which never faltered. If you like historical romance, you will absolutely love this book. I very much look forward to reading the remaining books in The House of Baric trilogy.

Michelle Stanley

The House of Baric Part One: Shields Down is the first in a historical romance trilogy by Jillian Bald. Baron Mauro Baric reluctantly marries Terese, the Greek bride selected by his late father, whom he suspects was poisoned. He encounters numerous challenges defending his domain from enemies, so is often away. This affects his marriage to Terese, who isn’t aware of her aloof husband’s painful past. She tries to adjust to her new lifestyle, but is stubborn and often disregards advice given to her. More problems arise when Mauro’s ship is seized, and Terese’s incensed mercenary brother decides to pay them a visit.

I became engrossed in the never-ending goings-on that took place in The House of Baric. It’s such a delightful novel that provided in-depth historical information on the 17th century period. Men were just as fashion conscious as women and loved elaborate frills and jewelry. Society rules and protocols were rigid, and primitive living conditions made me appreciate my life even more. The story takes time to read since the numerous, well-defined characters had realistic issues pertaining to the era. The women can be so wily when they want a man’s attention. Jillian Bald’s writing is strongly structured and a lot of research was evident. My main disappointment was not seeing what transpired with Terese’s brother. The fascinating scenarios led me to believe I would read about it, but apparently, that will happen in Book Two. The House of Baric, Part One: Shields Down by Jillian Bald is a lovely romance novel that readers will enjoy.

Ray Simmons

I liked Shields Down by Jillian Bald. It is the first book in a trilogy called The House of Baric. I love good historical fiction and Jillian Bald knows her European history. She paints a clear portrait of a time in Europe that I am familiar with, mostly from the English viewpoint. In Shields Down we get to see the Europe of that time through eyes that I am not so familiar with. This is Europe through the eyes of the great merchant families more than the great kings, queens, and princes. This perspective filled in some gaps for me. Jillian Bald knows how to write about the lives, duties, and obligations of the lesser nobility and the people that surround them. A lot of the first part of Shields Down is painting a picture of this life.

What I enjoyed most about Shields Down was the attention to historical detail. I felt I was living in this world and could understand why people behaved the way they did. Not just the nobility, but stewards, valets, soldiers, and other commoners. I liked these characters and there were a lot of them. The main characters were interesting too. I liked Mauro from the moment that he took his brother’s death so seriously. I liked that Resi is from a family that loves her, that her parents married for love and she dreams of finding it too. I enjoyed this world of Venetian nobility. It is complicated and can be treacherous but that makes for great stories. I’m looking forward to the next book.