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"Patricia Ryanmoves Rear Window to medieval London, and does things Hitchcock never dreamedof! Fresh, swift and sexy, Silken Threads strengthens Ms. Ryan's reputation asan outstanding author of medieval romances." New York Times bestselling authorMary Jo Putney "Silken Threadsresonates with the sounds, smells, intrigues and passions of the Middle Ages.Add engaging characters, authentic historical details and a well-craftedmystery and you have a delectable tapestry whose threads glide like silkthrough the pages." RT BookReviews "Patricia Ryan isback with another dazzling medieval romance! Ms. Ryan keeps readersguessing--and turning pages--right up till the end! This is a very special andoriginal novel from one of romance's finest authors. Don't miss it." TheLiterary Times "This is a richand rewarding book. The characters are fully realized, the setting isimpeccably accurate, and the mystery kept me guessing....Silken Threads isromance at its best. This one goes on my keeper shelf." The Romance Reader "This medievaltake on Hitchcock's movie Rear Window is simply superb! Ms. Ryan is a superb stylist with words whoweaves the silken threads of her latest medieval romance into a complextapestry of mystery, suspense and passion. If you haven't tried this author'sbooks (historical or contemporary), don't wait any longer. This one isfantastic and not to be missed!" Tanzey Cutter, The Old Book Barn Gazette "A real page-turner, this one will keep readers guessing right to thesurprising conclusion." Bell, Book & Candle
From the Author
Please note thatthere are two other Patricia Ryans who've published romantic suspense novelsrecently, which has caused confusion among readers, critics, and others. If youwant to be sure a particular romance or romantic suspense was written by thisauthor, just click "Patricia Ryan" under the title at the top of thispage. Any book that does not appear on Amazon's Patricia Ryan author page waswritten by someone else.
When I discovered that an author's whose works I liked had written a series of books set in medieval times that were a bit of an homage to Hitchcock films, I immediately thought 'how friggin' cool is that?'
So I picked this one up and dug right in. This book is an homage to Hitchcock's Rear Window. In that movie, Jimmy Stewart plays Jeff, a photographer who is laid up in his apartment in a wheelchair with a broken leg. While there he has a front row seat to all the goings all with all his neighbors (they leave their shades open and they talk loudly). One neighbor in particular acts very suspiciously and Jeff believes he murdered his wife.
In this book, the plot is basically the same. Graeham Fox, having been sent to London by his overlord to rescue the overlord's daughter from her abusive husband, is set upon and has his leg broken. He finagles himself a room in a widow's home to keep an eye on the daughter and her husband. In the meantime he also sees other things going on in the neighborhood.
I must say the idea was a lot more exciting than the execution. This is not to say this was not a well written and interesting book to read. And the romance between Graeham and Joanna (the widow) was really well done. The problem is there is only so much you can do with a guy stuck in a room looking out a window at people. The beginning, set up and denouement were excellent. But the middle dragged.
This is where the film can do what a book can't. The main plot of both the film and the book rely on a man watching people. A film, by it's very nature, is a visual medium. It is tailor made for a plot like this. And a film like Rear Window is all about the visual.
Unless the writer of the book in question can also write incredibly visually then the a book like this is going to suffer. Ryan is a good writer and can convey surrounding and texture very well. The thing is, that didn't happen here. While, as I mentioned, the romance was nice so much of what was going on with them was internal. But when it came to the parts when Graeham was stuck in his room and the book relied on his front row seat to the goings on in the neighborhood, then, yeah, the book suffered from it. I didn't quite get the narrative punch of seeing the serialized drama of the various neighbors that a single camera shot could convey.
While I did enjoy the book, I can't say this is a real knock out the park for me.
Graeham Fox has been asked by Lord Gai to retrieve his daughter. He fears for her safety since she married her husband. When Graeham arrives in London he confronts Rolf Le Fever about handing over his wife. He agrees and asks him to come back. When Graeham returns that night he is attacked, with broken ribs and leg. Hugh rescues him and brings him to his sisters home. Joanna agrees to allow him to stay because of the money he offers, but doesn't want him to know she's a widow. While Graeham recovers in the storage room he's able to see what is going on through the rear window!! As he watches, he gets to know people like Thomas the Leaper, Olive the apprentice, Young Adam or is it Adam and several more!! You have intrigue, scandal, mystery, passion and love all tied up in a wonderful read!!
I enjoyed Ryan's Nell Sweeney series, so I jumped at a chance to read Silken Threads for free. Now I can't wait to read the other book in this "series," and I'll be happy to pay for it.
Although this one seemed to start a little slowly, I found myself thinking about the characters until I was drawn back into it. Then I couldn't stop until I reached the end.
Ryan makes medieval characters and their daily lives and interactions seem perfectly normal (that is, like ourselves and people we know). I can't be sure about the historical accuracy of everything, but I appreciated the detail.
I read it for the romance and thought that was well done. I always like a wounded but strong hero, and I could identify with the heroine's efforts to be independent in a society in which women aren't supposed to be independent. After reading the Nell Sweeney series, I was surprised when the hero and heroine were physically attracted and ended up having sex. Not a problem for me, but could be an unpleasant surprise for some. The happily-ever-after part was a little trite but this is a romance and how else are they supposed to live happily ever after?
I thought the mystery plot was just right. I don't read a lot of mysteries, and I don't like it when there's too much tension or too many details to keep straight. This one did not have either; it kept evolving along with the romance plot and had a nice twist at the end.
I did notice a few typos but not enough to lessen my enjoyment.
A very good early historical English romance with Knights, lady's in waiting and the beginnings of the poor section of London's Cheap side as the setting. A young merchant widow is struggling to make end's meet, when a man who has been beaten is found by her brother and they come to her house for him to have his broken leg set. He has been sent by his employer to rescue his employers daughter from the man she married a few months previously. Her husband feels he was tricked into this marriage, because she is not the man's lawful daughter, but a by blow kept in secret from his real family.
This story was delightful.......it made sense and there was a bit of a mystery too. The players were warm, kind and believable with the exception of the bad guys and they were awful. The whodunit part of the book was a surprise pretty much but if you were clever you could give yourself a few hints. And like a true Agatha Christie novel the answers all revealed themselves at the end.
If you like to read explicit sexual romance novels, this is a book for you. I found the plot to be mangled. The main character is supposed to be watching a house through the rear window of his room. He is on a mission to retrieve a battered wife to her father. The author tried to carry the storyline through copulation, trysts, and the real thing. She wrote of these things too often obscuring the plot. Once is enough.
I gave the book a solid three stars because her grammar was excellent, and the other writing mechanics were good.