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The Prize Kindle Edition
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|Length: 420 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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“[Garwood] attracts readers like beautiful heroines attract dashing heroes.”—USA Today
“Julie Garwood creates masterpieces every time she writes a book.”—The Kansas City Star
“The talented Ms. Garwood keeps you enthralled.”—Rendezvous
“Undoubtedly Garwood is a pro.”—Kirkus Reviews
“If a book has Julie Garwood’s name on it, it’s guaranteed to be a meticulously written...and thoroughly engaging story.”—Sun Journal (ME)
About the Author
- File Size : 1016 KB
- Publication Date : July 5, 2011
- Print Length : 420 pages
- ASIN : B0050OLFYG
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Berkley (July 5, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #33,364 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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After I’d take a break, I’d be so glad I returned because the story didn’t wear me down. Even though Royce and Nicholaa may not be the most passionate couple I’ve witnessed, I still enjoyed them. I loved the supporting characters as well as they added just a little something more to the leads and to the overarching plot.
All in all, my reading endurance may be to blame because although I felt the story to be a tad long, I still found it to be quite charming.
Normandy is invading Saxony and Lady Nicholaa is left alone with the servants and a small contingent of soldiers to protect her family and home. Her brother, Thurston, is leading a rebellion and her younger brother, Justin, lost his hand during the fighting and has given up on life. She's also been saddled with taking care of Thurston's baby. Three contingencies of young soldiers attempt to claim her home and take her before the new king who considers her a prize to be given away to one of his loyal barons. Each is driven away in humiliation. The fourth, Baron Royce, is a trainer of soldiers, and is able to succeed where the others have failed. He's amazed at Nicholaa's cunning and she's not only attracted, but finds he's a very patient and considerate man.
The tables are turned when presented to the new king and his wife, Nicholaa saves the life of the queen's niece and instead of being offered as a prize, she gets to pick her husband from the single warriors in the room.
Humor abounds throughout the story, heavy on the fun chaotic level, much of which involves the dialogue between Nicholaa and Royce. The romance is poignant and you'd better have tissues handy. While struggling over the idea that she's attracted to her home's invader, she comes to appreciate how her life is changed. And while Royce is patient, he is rigid in his expectations and schedule. Nicholaa is pure heat and spontaneity in comparison, as well as a strong strategist, generating much of the humor.
A great story, interesting characters and situations, told with the author's trademark flare, this book is worth a reread.
Upon taking the keep, Royce is very cleverly duped by Nicholaa, who escapes to the local abbey, gaining the protection of the Church by seeking sanctuary on religious grounds. Not to be outdone, Royce demonstrates his excellent strategic mind and outwits Nicholaa, capturing and escorting her to London as per his king's request. Due to her reputation she becomes...you guessed it...the prize. Suitors are able to put themselves forward to challenge for her hand in marriage and also receive her lands as dowry. Before this can happen, Nicholaa's resourcefulness brings her a stroke of luck where the tables are somewhat turned and she gets to choose her own husband. Preventing what would have otherwise been a very strange turn of events, she chooses Royce.
For the most part, I really liked the main characters. When the book started with Nicholaa slinging a rock to strike Royce, she'd won me over. It's often difficult for an author to successfully portray a strong heroine in a medieval time period without her becoming over the top and/or unlikable but Garwood did a wonderful job of representing an intelligent individual that had backbone and personality whilst also being time-appropriately naive, kind and gentle. I can't stand wilting violets whose only personality traits are crying, being distressed and being a virgin so the author did a great job of stopping me from feeling stabby. Royce was also a strong character. To be frank, I found him frustrating a few times as he was very stubborn and prevented his wife from having an opinion. He also seemed to have a weird penchant for lecturing, which to me would equal boring as all hell in real life. What I did like, however, was that the author created a character that was alpha without being a giant tool and he demonstrated kindness and patience throughout the book. He did call Nicholaa daft several times but was smart enough to do it in his head otherwise she probably would have set him on fire. Now that would be a plot twist. And for those that are into the whole possessive male thing, there's a bit of this for you, too.
The writing was solid and wonderfully cheesy at times. Generally I hate it when elements of the story are laid on too thick, but this was done in a romantic way that suited the medieval period and the overall plot. The point of view of the characters changed frequently at times - I'm talking paragraph to paragraph in some instances - but it was done well and didn't bother me, showing different characters' perspectives in a pretty streamlined way. It had a fair, but not overwhelming, amount of historical detail for the time period in which it was set. A good chunk of the story also told of Nicholaa and Royce's day to day life at the beginning of their marriage which I actually enjoyed and found it contributed to showing how their relationship developed. Again, the writer showed talent in doing this as it didn't become tedious even though there actually wasn't an awful lot going on.
I took half a star off because there was quite a bit of back and forth between the main characters concerning their relationship. There was a fair whack of the whole 'I have feelings for them but they couldn't possibly love me' business along with a good dose of ignoring feelings, therefore it felt that some themes had been covered several times. Nicholaa also seemed to be the most accident-prone individual in the whole of the Middle Ages as well, with several plot points revolving around her injuring herself or getting into predicaments.
The story didn't end how I thought it would and while there was drama, it certainly wasn't the hugely dramatic affair I was expecting and assumed the author was leading up to. There were a couple of bonus chapters at the end for other Garwood books, having the novel end at about 92%, but fear not, the story was a great length. This is only the third book I've read by this author but I've enjoyed them all so far and will continue to read her novels in the future. While there are no great surprises here, it's exactly everything you want in a historical romance.
Top reviews from other countries
The story of 'The Prize' is set in the year 1066. It's the time of William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest of England. It's also a time where women of 40 years old were considered old and where women were expected to obey their husbands at all time.
The hero, Royce, is a Norman baron wheras Nicholaa, the heroine, is a Saxon lady. I liked both characters, but my favorite was Nicholaa. She's strong-willed, courageous and she's not afraid to stand up to the men and speak her mind. This results in quite a bit of bickering at the beginning of the story, but it's actually quite fun to read and it often made me laugh out loud.
There is also space in the book for Nicholaa's 2 brothers, although I kind of had the feeling their stories were unfinished at the end. I would have like to see more details about Justin's life and until the very end, I was expecting a confrontation with Thurston, ending that storyline as well. However, that part of the story gets an open ending...
Nonetheless, it's a fun read which made me both laugh and cry. Julie Garwood really knows what she's doing and her books are a perfect introduction into the world of historical romance!