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"Wow,loved this book. It kept me reading until 2am. I had to force myself to put it down to go to bed. This author certainly knows her history." Helen Scott Taylor, author of Oceans Between Us
"Markland has done her research and it shows. The plot moves at a nice pace, never lingering. The characters are interesting and likable. The supporting cast of characters helps to round out the story and give the novel its epic effect." Stephanie Burkhart, author
"...the historical detail is impressive, the events helping drive the story, intertwined with a very strong romance...The reader is sucked into...the middle of politics, intrigue, and the trappings of life in that era...masterfully done..." -Fiction is Oxygen
From the Author
Dear Reader, While my books can be read as stand alone stories, here's a recommended reading sequence.
Conquering Passion If Love Dares Enough Defiant Passion A Man of Value Dark Irish Knight Haunted Knights Passion in the Blood Dark and Bright The Winds of the Heavens Dance of Love Carried Away Sweet Taste of Love Wild Viking Princess
Note, **SPOILER** Don't read if you don't want to know. I wish someone had told me this before I wasted my time and got involved with the story and the characters. Unless you like the hero getting another woman pregnant while bethroted to / in love with the heroine (!) you should leave right now. The whole thing was so preposterous. He'd always made sure that he didn't have any 'bastards' running around, then suddenly, all that goes out of the window. On top of it the woman who has his kid isn't just some random woman, but a woman who really wanted him. She was the heroine's rival. If you feel the least of allegiance towards the heroine this will make you sick to your stomach, as it did me.
I cannot understand what the point was, it had no place in the story! It wasn't needed. I cannot comprehend WHY an author would do that. Disgusting.
This will be a spoiler because I can't reveal why I don't like the book without the spoiler. So please don't read further than this sentence if you don't want to know what happens.
*SPOILER*.......... It was stupid. First why did he decide not to marry her when obviously he felt something for her and they were becoming close? Many marry before they leave home so I don't see what was the problem. Second, the Hero having sex with another woman absolutely infuriated me. They go through all the waiting and caring and friendship for him to go be with another woman? Who does that?
Markland writes a sweeping Norman epic with "Conquering Passion." Rambaud (Ram) de Montbryce is a Norman noble and a trusted assistant to William the Conqueror. His own heart refuses to be tamed until he meets Mabelle de Valtess, but dare he give into the passion she invokes?
The story is set against the backdrop of 1066 Normandie. Ram is a young man and heir to his lands. His father arranges his marriage to a Norman noblewoman, Mabelle. Unfortunately, Ram has no desire to marry, especially a woman he hasn't seen. He'd rather follow his lord, William, Duke of Normandie to England.
On his way home to be married, Ram finds a woman laying in the grass coved by bluebells near a lake. It's Mabelle. Both parties mistake the scene. Ram returns to his castle and delays the wedding, insulting Mabelle and her father. Within months he leaves to accompany William to England.
War gives Ram a different perspective on life and he comes to realize what a real gem he had found in Mabelle. William gives Ram land in the Welsh Marches. Ram inspects his land and is injured by a Welsh Prince, Rhodri. As Ram recovers in the home of a Saxon noblewoman, he finds comfort in her arms. Once he's well again, he goes to Normandie intent on winning Mabelle's heart, but will his past actions and previous reluctance make going forward with his life a duty without pleasure or will he find true passion?
Markland has done her research and it shows. The setting's authentic feel makes the reader believe they're a squire in Ram's care along for the ride. The author uses a good economy of words to paint vivid descriptions of the time. The plot moves at a nice pace, never lingering. The characters are interesting and likable. Mabelle is loyal and honest and it's easy to identify with her. Ram embodies a soldier of the time, confident and heroic, but fickle when it comes to listening with his heart. The supporting cast of characters helps to round out the story and give the novel it's epic effect.
For me, the story feels more like the beginning of a family saga than a historical romance, since Ram is not faithful in deeds to Mabelle. There were some formatting errors with the Kindle edition, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. There are several love scenes, while appropriate to the story, are not for the faint of heart.
"Conquering Passion" is full of greed, betrayal, loyalty, nobility, and love. The novel takes the reader on the first adventure of the Montbryce family.
This book has been in my tbr folder for months and months and after being very disappointed in 'Hearts and Crowns', I decided to clear out the unread books I had by this author. I think I'd been avoiding this book because of something I'd read in the reviews that put me off. I'll go into that in the spoilers below. This is the very first book in the Montbryce saga by this author and the H is mentioned in most of the books I've read about the Montbryce family. He is supposedly a legend for various reasons. The H is betrothed to the h and on the day they are to be wed in an arranged marriage, he jilts her at the church and says he'd prefer to wait to marry after the war. He goes off to war on behalf of the Duke William and says that he'll only marry her on his return. He only returns nearly halfway through the book as a matter of interest.
+++Spoilers+++ I know that this story sets up the whole series but there were quite a few irritating things in the book. The fact is that the H and h were separated for most of the book. Firstly by the war before they were married and then secondly when the h is kidnapped by an enemy of the H later on in the book. I'm not really sure how they fell in love to be honest. We know that the H has a bastard son with another woman, who he sleeps with only one time after he is injured in the war but at the time he says he is in love with his betrothed. I know that other reviewers didn't like it and it's the reason I wasn't keen to read the book but it seemed pretty plausible and the h doesn't find out about it in this book. However, and this is a major pain in the butt for me, the H is adamant in thinking that the h isn't a virgin and even accuses her of this when they marry. Seriously?? He's the unfaithful ass but he accuses her. Sadly it probably was a sign of those times. The story also ended quite abruptly but I suppose the point is to read the next in the series.