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Beloved Enemy: The Passions of Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Novel (The Queens of Love and War Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Ellen Jones
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Set against the turbulent backdrop of twelfth-century Europe, as two countries compete for world dominion, one woman will take her destiny, and the future of a nation, into her own hands

“Aquitaine is mine. It will never belong to anyone else.”
 
With these words, fifteen-year-old Eleanor seals her fate. Aquitaine is under the French king’s safekeeping, and Eleanor, the Duke of Aquitaine’s eldest daughter, knows she must wed Prince Louis in order to insure the future of her beloved duchy. Fiercely independent, filled with untapped desire, the woman who would be queen must provide Louis VII, her monkish husband, with heirs. But it is young Henry of Anjou who catches Eleanor’s eye—and sets fire to her heart.
 
Ruled by a raging drive to succeed, Henry vows that he will not be cheated of his rightful place on the English throne. Yet the newly christened Duke of Normandy is thoroughly enraptured by the French queen. In Eleanor, Henry knows he has found a woman whose hunger for life and glory matches his own. So begins a passionate love that will span decades and change the course of history.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brisk, cogent and bristling with engaging characters, this sequel to The Fatal Crown follows the wily Eleanor of Aquitaine through 32 tumultuous years. Set between 1130 and 1162, Jones's new saga is pure romance, with a crusade to the Holy Land, civil war in England and devious political machinations used as colorful yet secondary background. Indulged, raised with pageantry and splendor, the fiery Eleanor becomes at age 15 heiress to the rich duchy of Aquitaine, and reluctantly marries Louis VII ("a huge, harmless rabbit"), the pallid, deeply pious French prince who ascends to the throne of France the day after the wedding. But the strong-minded Eleanor still has ideas of her own. ("If you do not care for the way things are, change them," counseled her equally independent grandmother.) After a divorce is granted because there is no heir to the throne, Eleanor marries the lusty Henry of Anjou, soon to become England's monarch, and the two give birth to a stormy yet fruitful dynasty that will bring prosperity to a land torn by civil war and rampant corruption. Some fascinating historical personages strut across the pages: the hostile Abbe Suger; Henry's formidable mother, Maud; Bellebelle, Henry's compliant mistress; and Thomas a Becket, the shrewd and ambitious chancellor who is about to become Archbishop of Canterbury. Loose ends deftly left untied point to yet another intriguing sequel.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Jones revisits the medieval England she portrayed in Fatal Crown (S. & S., 1991), but this time her characters are the familiar Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II. Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, 15-year-old Eleanor longs for romance and shared power with her husband. Her disastrous marriage to the monkish Louis of France is dissolved for failure to produce an heir. Eleanor then marries Henry, Duke of Normandy, 11 years her junior but her equal in ambition and passion. Their early years are marked by a growing family and empire as Eleanor bears six children and Henry becomes Count of Anjou and King of England. A sequel is likely since Eleanor and Henry do not become the enemies of the title until their sons are grown. Jones focuses here on the personal relationship between Henry and Eleanor rather than the political events of the day, and her work is distinguished from James Goldman's classic A Lion in Winter (LJ 12/1/66) by its focus on Eleanor's early years. Recommended for general collections of historical fiction.
Mary Ann Parker, California Dept. of Water Resources Law Lib., Sacramento
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1159 KB
  • Print Length: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media; 1st edition (January 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AYRI59M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,958 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining tale of Eleanor and Henry November 29, 2007
Format:Hardcover
Before you start off reading this book, be aware that it is historical fiction. And that for all that Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most famous high profile women of her time, very little isource documents remain and as such very little is actually known about her.

What is known about her is quite well represented in this book, but as is often the case, it has been done better elsewhere (Sharon Pennman's novels are far superior). However, if you are new to Eleanor and her turbulent love life, this is as good a place as any to start. It certainly presents her as fesity and compassionate, and indeed I like to think that this is an accurate representation.

However, the author delves into areas such as her relationship with her uncle that have never been proved by the most vigorous research as anything but gossip, and whereas this may make for an amusing chapter or two in the novel, I couldn't help but think that it lessened the reading of the story for me. It is hard to believe that she who was so aware of her status would be so foolish. Similarly this novel deals only with the time when her relationship with Henry is turbulent, but still loving. Fans of the time will know that things ended very, very differently.

That being said, it is an entertaining novel, with some good research into the mores and habits of the time. It paints both Eleanor and Henry sympathetically enough, but it could have been much, much better.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHARACTERS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH!! February 24, 1999
Format:Hardcover
I am a British history buff! I read everything about the British Isles, history and fiction. I loved the Fatal Crown and after finishing it (nothing good lasts forever) I immediately began to read Beloved Enemy, which I also enjoyed to the max. I'm eagerly awaiting the third installment of the series and hoping there would be a fourth one (After all, the Plantagenets could fill many volumes). Please, Ellen Jones, WRITE, WRITE!!! I love your books!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I agree, Please Ellen, WRITE. July 20, 2002
By sharon
Format:Hardcover
Fatal Crown and Beloved Enemy bring to life people, times and places that we can normally only experience through dry facts.
Ellen's novels actually made those facts believable.
Fantastic writing and I have not given up hope on the third of them. I can't wait to read Ellen's spin on Eleanor and her sons running amok on Henry and or Thomas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm going CRAZY w/out #3! November 29, 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ellen Jones "hooked" me with Fatal Crown and Beloved Enemy, and at the end of Beloved Enemy, she writes "To Be Continued..." I've exhausted every resource I can think of to find this elusive continuation to no avail. Does anyone know its title? It isn't merely the story of Eleanor and Henry that has me hooked, but the wonderful richness of Jones' characters. She creates characters with whom I can empathize regardless of whether it is a "she" or "he," royal or penniless, I feel as tho' I'm there beside him or her and realizing events equally. (The occasional romp in bed doesn't hurt either.) If anyone knows of the 3rd book in this series, pls. post the info! thanks.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A history lesson and a great read all in one package. October 29, 1998
Format:Hardcover
I'm English and love to read my country's history. I'm lazy, too, so when an author like Ellen Jones does meticulous research and distills it all into a highly enjoyable story it's like having my cake and eating it. I rank this book right up there with Margaret George's "Autobiography of Henry VIII." The reason I logged on to Amazon.com today was to see if the sequel was published yet. I hope it comes out soon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an enjoyable read! January 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The story starts out in Poitou, 1130 when Eleanor is 8 and she is dealing with the death of her mother and brother. It then moves forward to Bordeaux, Aquitaine, June 1137 when her father dies and she becomes the Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitou. It sheds light on her miserable marriage to King Louis VII, the birth of her two daughters, and her marriage being annulled from him. The story then moves on to her marriage to Henry of Anjou, Duke of Normandy and follows them as they take England by storm with their crowning as King and Queen and the births of their children. There are also details of Henry's relationship with Thomas Becket, his parents, and Ms. Jones take on Henry's relationship with his bastard son, Geoffrey, and the relationship he had with Geoffrey's mother. There aren't a lot of factual records on her but I did like where Ms. Jones took the storyline. The book ends where the children are young and Eleanor has returned to Aquitaine alone for a visit as more or less a renewal of her spirits. I am looking forward to reading Gilded Cages: The Trials of Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Novel (The Queens of Love and War) as the story continues.

There are all the historical facts as well as the rumors that abounded in Eleanor's life and I truly enjoyed Ellen Jones take on the fictional aspects of this book. I never tire of reading about Eleanor and Henry and did not find that I was reading something I've already read, the fictional parts being that good.

*Received from publisher through Net Galley for an unbiased, honest review*
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where's the next part? June 28, 2004
Format:Hardcover
At the end of this book the author states that she's working on a sequel. Where is it? The book leaves off before Henry II banishes Eleanor. That's a pretty important part of both Henry and Eleanor's story.
Aaagh!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Beloved Enemy
Jones' attention to the lives of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine captures, not only their deep passion for each other, despite the age difference but also the pressures for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Donna
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting book on the times of Henry and Eleanor, women didn't have too many choices then.
Published 1 month ago by Kate Prynne
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent! kept me captivated!
Loved the story line in twined with the history! Eleanor was an exceptional woman, especially back in her day. Imagine having so much power.
Published 2 months ago by Colleen S.
3.0 out of 5 stars Poetic License
As a story, this is a pretty good book. It takes place so far back in history it is easier for Ms. Jones to take some liberties with the characters. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!
If you like historical fiction this series is for you. I only hope she continues in the line of monarchs.
Published 5 months ago by Dawn Drooger
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying read
The mix of history and fiction was very well done, with just the right proportions. The characters really came to life. Read more
Published 6 months ago by C. Charlton
5.0 out of 5 stars great historical fiction
for anyone interested in this period of history this is a great read. character development, details of the life and circumstances is all there. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Margaret F. Kubena
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Finished this book and this series last night. I very much enjoy reading books about this period in time. Read more
Published 7 months ago by BeSota
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I have always been intrigued by Eleanor since I first saw The Lion in Winter. This book provides the background to the movie and is a great read.
Published 7 months ago by Cat Lady
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story
There are so many people in history I still know too little about. I know names and some dates, but there will always be more. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Britt R.
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