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Hearts and Crowns Paperback – October 26, 2013
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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.
*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?
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.
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.