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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on June 24, 2004
This book was such a great read i couldn't wait to leave work to get back to it. I left everything behind just to finish it. The history in this book was indeed well researched and sometimes i even felt like i was in the royal plantagenet court when this story was unfolding. I was a bit disappointed in how the Robert issue was dealt with as well as the story with Joan and Edward- Joan was too trusting. Brianna was too staunch in some cases. Ms Henley really has a very graphic talent- I swear i was at Brianna and Christian's home. Just wished she had added an epilogue.i think Hawkesblood made a very satisfying lover- the best i can imagine- just wished he had taken Brianna from Robert sooner.
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on July 30, 2003
Cliche ridden and too predictable. Peppered with graphic sexuality.
Read Anais Nin for better erotica.
Sadly, this author has plumbed the depths of the illiterate. Worse, her women are either infantile in their shape (so much for subverting the child fantasy our fashion media perpetrates) or are so extremely endowed that the fantasy is laughable.
Fatal flaw? Saying "erotic" in your erotic passages. duh!
Thumbs down.
By the end of the book you want the whole grinning mob to die of the black plague.
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on October 29, 2002
This was my first VH book and I have mixed feelings about it. It actually took me about a week to read and usually I read a book within a couple of days if I really like it. If I can't put a book down, that's usually a great sign that its an exceptional book. I actually found it hard to keep picking this book up.
First, I did enjoy the historical aspect. The plot was very interesting and packed with action. Unfortunately I found myself more interested in the wars being fought and in the lives of the knights and royals than I did the actual romantic couple. This kept me reading, as well as the fact that I am stubborn and hate to start a book and not finish it.
I picked this book up for the romance and did not find what I wanted. Sure there was lots of earthshattering sex, but the love between them was not believable. Their characters were too perfect... Neither of them had a flaw... and I think that flaws make the characters endearing and believable. While I don't mind a bit of magic in a book if used tactfully, it just didn't seem to add much to the story here.
The romance between Joan and Edward was lovely and though it was intended as a secondary relationship, they were mentioned more than the lead characters and had more chemistry and love between them. I looked forward to reading about their story more than Christian and Brianna's. But truth is that I really didn't *care* about these people or what happened to them. It was basically a passing interest as I tried to get through the book.
Virginia Henley has a nice writing style and she sure knows her history (her books follow it as it really happened), but somehow the depth of her characters felt lacking to me. I won't say I'll never read another of her books, since she likely has better books out there. But definetely not for awhile as I have several others I've been waiting to read written by authors I'm sure of.
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on November 2, 2001
Virginia Henley is a talented writer, but this particular book was one that I kept putting down. Although I was absolutely in love with Christian, I couldn't stand Brianna. I thought she was too flighty. She gave her loyalty to a man who treated her rather questionably and shunned the man that vowed to love her forever. Usually I enjoy a little taste of the supernatural, but the uses in this book just felt out of place. I haven't written Virginia Henley off yet. I have a couple other books of hers to read that have gotten higher ratings than this one.
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on December 2, 2000
I am not one to know what is or is not historically accurate. What I do know is when I love a story. And this particular story I fancy. Maybe it is the description of the dark,dangerous, and sexy hero Hawksblood or maybe it is the fact that Virginia Henley went out on a limb to write two love stories in one book. That alone deserves praise. The sexual tension between the characters is fabulous. And the "magic" that has been applied to the story in the form of visions is helpful in guiding the story along. And the sexual tension is exquisite...not to mention the sex scenes. Keep up the good work.
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on September 18, 2000
What was the whole point of this long book? If I'm still asking myself this question after reading 400 pgs Henley has not made me happy! Brianna was unappreciative of all Christian was offering her and I did not feel that she truly loved him. In most books love conquers all and if she was willing to marry Robert because of her guilt - then she didn't really love Christian. And what kind of hero still has his one night stand shagged up in the same house where he and his wife are going to live? Joan had no self-esteem, her whole life revolved around Edward and his wishes. Edward disappointed me greatly when he married Joan off to Holland and then way later wanted to make amends?
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on June 15, 2000
This book is rich in history (however convoluted) and is not the sort of book to breeze through. If you really want to understand the nuances of court life during the reign of Edward III, take your time. But be warned, Henley takes many liberties. She condenses so much history into such a short time. Wars are faught and won, loyalties are divided, etc. in a fraction of the time they actually happened in. The romance between Joan and the Black prince was quite good--but very fictionalized. The fair Maid of Kent was married twice before she and her Prince were together. It was years till they got their peace. There were also 3 other romantic subplots--Adele and Paddy, Ali and Glynis, and Warrick and Sharon.
The hero of this book, Hawksblood is too good to be true. I know this is fiction but tdoes the man ever make a mistake? He is like the James Bond of the middle ages only he's psychic too--possesses 7 senses instead of a mere mortal 5.
He is handsome, strong, brave, honest, trusting, sexy, a consumate lover, sensitive, chivalrous, loyal to a fault, rich beyond imagination, and if that wasn't enough, royal to boot. And does his heroine appreciate this? Nooooo!
Damn, I know this is fiction, but the heroine gave me a headache. She is so bratty and whiny. I wish most real men were half as good as the hero!
They are destined to be together, she has had visions of him all her life (her mother passed the gift of seconf sight on to her--I am so sick of all these psychic heroines!) and when they are together it is always passionate and perfect. (Although I must admit the sex scenes were too too funny and after a while, they got so overdone and boring, I skipped the last few--Henley has a penchant for using the same phrases over and again in her books--if I see the words "male marble hardness" one more time...)
It has it's moments. It is fast paced. The other romances may detract from the primary one but since there wasn't all that much substance to Brianna and Hawksblood's destined thing to begin with, that seemed inevitable. A good read, but not one of this author's best.
Stick with her Elizabethan romances--they are alot more fun to read!
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on May 30, 2000
I really enjoyed this book and found story and the characters compelling. Particulary Edward, the Black Prince. So much so that I did some online research about him (and Joan)after finishing the book. I must take the author to task for her "interpretation" of history. This book has almost no truth to the history presented. History obviously got in the way of what the author thought was a good story.
That being said, this is still a good book and I would recommend it. Just be aware that what you read isn't what actually happened.
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on May 17, 2000
I'm a new comer to Virginia Henley and love her books. Desired is the 3rd book Of Virginia's that I've read. I found I couldn't put it down. I've read many historical romances and find that she puts some things in hers that is always a surprise. One scene in this story, Christian is fantasizing about Brianna....and well...let's just say that Virginia is VERY creative....and let's face it...if your into historical romances you've read it all. She proved me wrong when I thought no historical author could suprise me.
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on July 24, 1999
I decided to write a paper on Edward the Black Prince, since I like this book so much. After doing some research, I realized that the author had lifted her descriptions of the Battle of Crecy out of Thomas B. Costain's "The Three Edwards." I'm afraid I've lost all respect for her.
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