1347: Calais has finally fallen and Alaun de Montisfryth, first Earl of Montisfryn, powerful lord and companion of Edward III, is dispatched back to England with orders to secure the Welsh border. Halfway home, pride tempts Montisfryn to attend a tournament held by his family's old foes at Versallet Castle.
Eloise de Versallet, the widowed Lady de Cannar, rules her father's castle with a tongue sharper than any sword. She has no great opinion of men in general and of knights in particular.
Montisfryn and Eloise meet and sparks fly. He is intrigued. She is irritated.
He is under royal edict to wed. An experienced lady, well-born, still young, and exceedingly well-endowed with both wealth and beauty, Eloise is a matrimonial prize beyond compare - and has vowed to remain unwed.
Potent and powerful, will Montisfryn be able to breach her walls, storm her castle, and succeed where all others have failed? Or will Eloise, haughty and defiant to the last, prevail? The gauntlet is flung, the challenge accepted. And desire enters the fray.
©2013 Savdek Management Proprietary Limited (P)2014 Savdek Management Proprietary Limited
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"I enjoyed it!"
This was my first Stephanie Laurens. I absolutely love Medieval romance and overall this was a good one. It is nice to see an author with such talent step outside of her comfort zone by trying a new genre. It's a great first effort. I loved the h/h! They were perfect for each other. Alaun was so understanding, protective and loving towards Eloise. Eloise is strong, practical, wary and sometimes a big too stubborn. I enjoyed seeing their love progress. Secondary characters were engaging but didn't overshadow the h/h (Roland was a favorite and I enjoyed the scenes with King Edward III). The descriptions of the castle and surroundings were amazing,I felt like I was there!
I only had two issues w/ the book: The overall length and # of sex scenes. 1) While I enjoyed the plot, the story was drawn out. The book could have been scaled down some and still achieved the the desired result. I love long books in general but not when it is full of fillers. This book was 15 hours long--about 5 - 7 hours more than needed IMO. Which brings me to issue #2, I love a good steamy romance more than anyone else and enjoy the sex scenes but I found myself ffwd'ing through many scenes there were so many and they were over long at times.
Despite those two issues I really enjoyed it. Overall I'd rate this about a 3.7'ish. If you love Medieval and/or Stephanie Laurens, give this one a try. I am slowly starting to get into Regency and Victorian and SL's books are high on my list to read. I say that because I don't want to give the impression that the two issues I had with the story would keep me from this author. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style, she writes beautifully.
The narrator Jim McCabe was great, I enjoyed his accents and tones. He was perfect for the time setting.
"YOU CAN VISUALISE EVERY ENJOYABLE SCENE"
Stephanie Lauren's has done it again - she has written a captivating romance, with richly described scenes, filled them with strong likeable characters and a H/H that are just perfect for each other. Entwined in this enjoyable and captivating story is snappy dialogue, drama, danger, a few battles, humor, lust, sex and a fierce and passionate romance that is slow to heat up but when it does WOW it's a lot hotter than any of her previous books.
Eloise was married off at 15 to a pervert but luckily for her it was a short marriage which has left her never wanting to marry again and so, 9 years later, we find her the beautiful, but sharp tongued, efficient Chatelaine at her Father's Castle. There is going to be a Tournament which encourages Knights and Lords to partake in all the fun, revelry and events with many wagers being won and lost. However, when handsome, intelligent and proud Alaun who's an Earl and a Knight, rides in Eloise's patience is about to be tested as clever Alaun tempts her into wagers.... but his ultimate prize is her.
Alaun has been ordered by the King to marry and when he sees the beautiful, confident, capable and intelligent Eloise he decides to make her his.... but she has other ideas and lets him know them. So starts a slow romance of Alaun's wagers being won and his prizes eagerly taken and, as the two battle it out, Alaun sensually awakens desires and longings Eloise never knew existed. Then, through trust, mutual caring and respect, love eventually blooms.
Worth a credit? If you want to get lost in a very good Medieval romance that's been written by a gifted author.... then you've just found it. So, YES creditworthy and I hope she continues to write many more stories from this period in time.
"Man wants girl, girl makes him work for it...kinda"
I really enjoyed this book. There was no long wait for the romance to begin....but prepare yourself...when it does begin....those steamy scenes go on and on and on. I'm not complaining...but some people may not want that in a romance novel....lots of DETAILED, long drawn out love scenes. Not too graphic....not too cheesy...but definitely more than many other romance books I've read.
I love the interaction between the two main characters. I laughed some...it was sweet, touching, witty, sexy, funny.....enjoyable.
What it lacked was some real danger in the storyline. There was some but it seemed like a last minute addition....or not well thought out. Maybe I just wasn't convinced of the severity of the danger.
The narrator did a good job. I'm not a huge fan of male narrators, but Jim McCabe does a good job and his female voices are not ridiculous sounding...they are pretty good.
I think it is credit worthy...I wanted to give it 3.5 stars.
"Stephanie Laurens writes Medieval, too!"
This is the first book I have read by Stephanie Laurens that is set in Medieval times. I have enjoyed, to varying degrees, her Cynster family novels.
I am of two minds with this book, which I purchased as an audiobook. The first is that I enjoyed all the characters and the way the way the H and h had a slowly deepening love for each other. Ms. Laurens is a master of clever dialogue and steamy, heartfelt bedroom scenes. My problem, as ever, is the seemingly unending roadblocks that are thrown at our couple. Truly, two instances of narrowly escaping death is plenty. Except for the epilogue, which is lovely, the last hour and a half were completely unnecessary. I knew the H and h were in love, they knew, and so did everyone at the castle. I have noticed this tendency in her Regency era books, but it seemed I could tolerate it less in this book.
I really enjoyed the performance of the audiobook and would listen to the performer again. He did an excellent job with female voices and differentiated very well with a great many male voices.
I will have to think hard about purchasing another book set in this timeframe by Ms. Laurens. The details in the book were well done and probably the reason I kept listening when I thought the book had become over long. B.
"Erotic Highlander Story"
I really liked this book, not your typical highlander story. This is the story about a Widow, granted she was Widowed at about 14 years old! Anyway, she's strong willed and eventually she returned home to her father and pretty much ran his house, even though he had a new wife and even her brothers had wives...she ran the house. Our Hero enters the story and he likes the spunk of our heroine and one thing leads to another and she is basically tricked into going back home with the man to run HIS house....she has experience at the job so why not. See, little known fact...once you are a Widow your father can't tell you that you HAVE to marry person X, your hand is yours to give...plus she inherited a good deal of money when her husband died.
It's a nice tale from start to finish and a LOT of steamy scenes, very graphic steamy scenes...once a Widow that whole virginity thing is supposedly gone so people are sort of okay with shaking up at that point :-)
I really liked it, I will have to check out some more of Stephanie Laurens books!
"Not up to Stephanie's par!"
This was really disappointing, Half way through the book and I don't care about either main character. The narration and flow of the book is bad.
Not unless I see some really awesome reviews
She should have stayed with the "voice" she used before. I don't even believe this was written by one of my favorite authors.
"I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!"
I almost passed this book up...so glad I didn't. I loved the characters and the story. The narrator was excellent. A man should always narrate a highlander book...there are maybe one or two women that can do male voices that sound strong enough to be burly men. Jim McCabe was very good with different voices and he didn't race through the love scenes like he was calling a horse race!! Loved it and the reading...
"Too little story or history."
Could have tied the history of the families a little more and put a little more fictional history into it. The lust is fine and was well done. But needed more substance.
Yes I liked him but his voice kept trailing off and had to adjust the volume all the time.
None of them. All added something.
This is the first audible book I would consider returning. I almost didn't finish it.
"Good for passing time."
I listen to books while at work and this one was good, but not great. I didn't dislike the story, but I also didnt feel the need to continue to listen in the car on the way home, like I do on many books.
"very enjoyable story, in a different era to her ot"
loved the story and the narration, wish she would write more in this era. one to re read again and again
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