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The Valcourt Heiress (Medieval Song Quartet) Hardcover – October 5, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This seventh installment in hardworking Coulter's (Knockout) Medieval "Song" series employs stock characters (including a wicked witch for a mother), loyal household retainers, a plucky, resourceful heiress named Merry, a villain called the "Black Demon," a benevolent queen, a medley of wastrels, a conveniently separated-at-birth twin, and Garron, one of King Edward's strong-willed yet honorable guards. With a talent for saucy humor and a tumultuous 13th-century backdrop, the author ably turns such formulaic material into the winsome account of Merry's escape from an arranged marriage. Beginning when Merry flees her mother and joins Garron at Wareham castle, the novel details the woman's efforts in aiding his people, the lies she spins to conceal her identity, and the consequence of revealing the truth. Most chapters conclude at the cliff's edge, and there is little doubt that Merry will eventually achieve her desires, but Coulter's irresistibly escapist storytelling more than makes up for the predictable plot and one-dimensional villains. Fans of lighter historical romances and readers intrigued by an era when honor, power, land, and notions of duty were bound by the mandates of royalty will relish this tale. (Oct. 5)
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From Booklist

After his older brother Arthur unexpectedly dies, Garron of Kersey returns home to Wareham Castle to assume his duties as the new earl. But the castle is nearly deserted, with only a few of its retainers hiding within. It seems that a few days after Arthur’s death, the “Black Demon” arrived at the castle and demanded Arthur’s fortune in silver. When they discovered that the castle’s residents know nothing about a treasure, the Black Demon and his men wreaked havoc. As Garron attempts to restore order to his new home, he is aided by a young woman named Merry. While Merry is smart, with a mouth to match, there is something a bit off about her story, and Garron intends to ferret out the truth about Merry or die trying. Coulter returns to her historical roots with a fast-paced tale of medieval intrigue and high-stakes danger. It takes her a few chapters to truly settle into her story, but Coulter’s colorful characters and distinctive voice should carry readers through to the end. --John Charles

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Product Details

  • Series: Medieval Song Quartet
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399156755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399156755
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Catherine Coulter is the New York Times bestselling author of 75 books. Her hugely popular FBI thrillers include The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh House, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, Tail Spin, Knockout, Whiplash, Split Second, Backfire, Bombshell, Power Play and Nemesis. She has a new international thriller series -- A Brit in the FBI -- co-written with JT Ellison. These include The Final Cut, The Lost Key and The End Game. Also coming out soon is the first in her novella series, starring Grayson Sherbrooke (from the Sherbrooke historical romance series), titled The Strange Visitation at Wolffe Hall. Coulter lives in northern California with her three thriller cats and her thriller husband.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Dianne E. Socci-Tetro TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Valcourt Heiress - by Catherine Coulter

When Garron of Kersey comes back to claim his new castle Wareham Castle and his vast properties, he is surprised to find almost everyone dead and the people who are left starving and with little hope. Oddly there is one maiden left who he doesn't know but seems vaguely familiar to him. Her name is Merry and the others left at the castle have taken to her quite well. Garron believes the lies she has told and that she is the bastard daughter of the slain priest that used to live in the castle. Merry knows that Garron knows that she isn't who she seems. But they are both content to let the lies stand until the castle is put to rights. There is death, destruction, and a very nifty witch thrown into the mix as well as a good old fashioned romance

I have never read a book by Catherine Coulter, but my best friend had been encouraging me to read her, so when I had the chance to read this book I felt that since I love historical romance why not? I am so glad I did. It was so entertaining, so vividly drawn, and the characters felt so real. I don't usually like anything written earlier than the Regency; sometimes I will indulge in a Viking historical though. But now I am anxious to see if Catherine has any other Medieval books under her name. The plot was one that I have not really encountered in this manner. Yes I'm sure if you are a historical fan you have read the "beautiful frightened maiden hiding out as a lad" plot before. But I'll bet you haven't read it done quite like this before.

I loved this book and although I was going to send this to my pal, I think this may be a keeper for me! The comedic oaths to all the saints was nearly enough to make this a keeper. But the story is what really does it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Myra Thomas on November 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Words cannot express what a disappointment this book was. I was on a Thanksgiving long weekend medieval romance reading marathon. I had just completed Maya Banks Highlander trilogy which I greatly enjoyed and wanted to make sure that my weekend reading did not end with a bad read, so I made sure that I went to known author. I have not read one of Catherine Coulter's books in longtime since she does mostly contemporary book now which I do not read. I am so disappointed that I'm near to tears. I have not ever written review and feel compelled to do so since there is not one under the kindle books. I had not thought to check under the other book formats for a review but I did check with my favorite romance magazine for a review and they gave this 4 ½ stars and it was nominated for best British Isle romance. What romance? There was none and not even good sex. The good sex was a brief memory the hero had of a mistress. The one sexual encounter between Garron and Merry was painful and not enjoyable for her. It's like she took a sexless regency romance and threw it in the medieval time to justify powerful witch storyline. The story starts out with potential and then it falls flat. The humor fell flat. The characters nor the relationship was not developed and was as if the author stopped caring about her characters and wanted to get the book done. It seemed that she wrote the main portions of the book intending to go back to fill in gaps to complete the story but had decided that she had the prerequisite number of pages needed and just let it go. I found it very hard to believe that is the same person that wrote the Song Trilogy. This became so ridiculous that I had to place my kindle on audio mode just to get through it. I think this is the first time that I have had an overwhelming need to get my money back.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I just finished this book and I have to say that I'm beyond dissapointed. I love Catherine Coulter's medieval books so much, that I was beyond excited when I saw that she had one being released this year. I jumped at it and added it to my Amazon cart right away. I was so excited when it was finally released that I ended up buying it at a store (spending a few more dollars on it...Amazon has the best prices on media) and not actually Amazon, so that I could start reading it rigt away. What a huge mistake!!!!!

This is one of the worst books I've read in a long time. The characters were flat, boring, and just plain silly. I found myself not caring about any of them a few chapters into the book. I started wishing they would all just die so that I could be done with it already (when I spend my money, I read a book to the end). The story took forever to go anywhere, and by the time it did, I just didn't care what happened to anyone.

The entire story was boring and predictable. The characters were so poorly written, that I couldn't believe any of the people actually knew or liked one another. And, this was supposed to be a romance, remeber that...the two main characters were not likeable or believable as a couple. No spark at all.

The only positive things I have to say for this book are that the font was very readable, the paper quality of the hardcover was nice, and the cover art was beautiful. These things do not a good book make.

Bottom line, save your money. If you want to chance it, get it at the library. At the very least, wait for the paperback. That way, you'll only be out $7.99, and not feel like a true sucker for spending money on this book.
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