Pairing: Lothiriel/Eomer, with a slice of Eowyn/Faramir to boot
Fic Title: Trust To Hope
Genre: Romance, adventure
Why This Must Be Read: It's the author's original spin on how Eomer of Rohan ended up marrying princess Lothiriel of Dol Amroth in 39 well plotted chapters of *both* adventure and romance, mostly told by the princess ' POV and this fic has one of the most interesting Lothiriels I've read about. She has a temper, a terribly stubborn streak, a number of character quirks that make her very much real to the reader ( cursing in streams of Sindarin when temper gets the best of her, a passion as historian, a certain 'trust' in proper etiquette, a cutting sort of wit). Story begins as prince Imrahil arranges her bethrotal to a man she finds unsufferable, and Lothiriel, angry with her father and conflicted between a duty to her family and her personal distaste for the man, decides to sneak off with her huge pet of wolf Elerion to travel to Lothlorien to finish a research on her family history. Her plans go awry when an attack by orcs causes her to lose her horse, her maps, and lose her way into the forest. Which brings her to eventually run into Eomer, that at this point of canon is still the marshal of riddermark and so has this loner traveler captured and interrogated. Reluctant UST grows subtly as she keeps identity hidden and he tries to figure out whether this strange Young woman is a spy, and a little less subtly when he forces her to travel with his soldiers until she is out of the mark. Inevitably they fall in love as the war of the ring events loom nearer, and they are separated before she can tell him the truth, but of course the overall theme of the tale is that most often you meet your destiny on the path you took to avoid it. And so everything in 'LOTR's s second book happens as Eomer tries to find again the girl he has known as Anhuil and Lothiriel struggles with the spectre of her upcoming marriage, and not knowing whether her marshal is even still alive. It all makes for a very compelling, intense reading where you are never certain of how it will turn out. Last quarter of the story, with the lovers inevitable reunion, revealed identities and the constant issue to put off the table Lothiriel's already very binding engagement is maybe where the mood goes a bit cheesy but after all the aganst it has taken to get there, I dare to guess most of readers will find it a reward. I did.