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The Loyal Heart (The Noble Hearts series Book 1) by [Farmer, Merry]
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The Loyal Heart (The Noble Hearts series Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description

Product Description

Lady Aubrey has a problem. Several problems. Her childhood love, Ethan, has returned home from the Crusades, but he’s more interested in winning his land back than wooing her. She has to rescue a pair of nuns who are being held prisoner in Derby Castle’s tower by the sadistic Sheriff Buxton. And to top it all off, she’s developing scandalous feelings for Buxton’s lackey, the dark and devilish Crispin. Faced with all that what’s a girl to do but don her disguise as the Derbywood Bandit and take matters into her own hands?

Sir Crispin is at his wit’s end. Not only does he have his hands full keeping Buxton from killing half the shire, now his arch nemesis, the Derbywood Bandit, has joined forces with his old rival, Ethan. And that’s nothing compared to the burning torch he carries for his ex-fiancé, Lady Aubrey. He would do anything to win Aubrey’s love …

… until he suspects that there could be a closer connection between Aubrey and the Derbywood Bandit than anyone has guessed.

Four and a Half Stars

This is a really entertaining book with love, lust, action, intrigue, humour, stress, happiness and sadness and is well worth taking the time out of your day to read.

-Lindsay and Jane’s Views and Reviews

About the Author

Merry Farmer is an award-winning novelist who lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn't have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she is a giant History nerd and a hopeless romantic waiting for her own love story to start.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1661 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005R4K75W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #128,852 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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I enjoyed reading about the main characters especially how the heroine grows and adapts to the changes and shifts in events and people. I don't want to give away the story so I'll just say I really really loved how Merry Farmer took me on a journey of heroism, through a love triangle and then ties it all together in the end. It was a very satisfying read.
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I completely enjoyed reading this book. The story was unusual and believable even though set so many centuries ago. The hero and heroine were interesting, strong and wildly imperfect. The antagonists were equally as strong and dynamically held up their parts in the story. It all kept me coming back for more until the very end. Well done!
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Historical romance that entrances the reader into the lives of the characters. Couldn't put it down with the thrill of sword fights and unwavering love.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1a1f270) out of 5 stars 178 reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1a45cb4) out of 5 stars loved it March 27 2012
By MJ - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
When Ethan returns home from the crusades, he discovers his home has been reclaimed and a new Lord has been appointed in his place. He also discovers that the new adversary in town `the Derbywood bandit' is not a man but is Lady Aubrey; the sister of his old friend and neighbour. Crispin, the man Ethan believes killed his father now lives in his home and acts like he's Lord of the Manor. Much seems to have changed in the two years Ethan has been away!

I think I was expecting a run of the mill romance when I picked up this book but that isn't what I got. `The Loyal Heart' is kind of a reverse adaptation of `Robin hood prince of Thieves'........Our Robin is a tough female who disguises herself as a man and keeps the local Bailiff Crispin on his toes by out manoeuvring him and his men at every turn..... Don't misunderstand me the story quickly moves along and isn't a rehash of this well known legend.

Aubrey our MC has been in love with Ethan for years but it has taken her this long to realise that really he is a selfish ass and not worthy of her attention, on the other hand Crispin who she has spent years thinking is an ass turns out to be rather thoughtful and nice. It takes Aubrey's realisation of this fact for Ethan to finally notice Aubrey as a woman rather than his friends little sister. Definitely a case of not realising what you've got `til it's gone and wanting what you can't have! There were some fairly unpredictable things in this plot........I didn't expect ------ to happen, Well I'm not going to give that away am I! But there were a couple of things that surprised me and I liked that.

I did notice a few typo's, `out' instead of `our' wrong tense and things like that, they weren't excessive but they were noticeable, it didn't take away my enjoyment of the story but I have deducted point 5 from my rating because of them.

This is a really entertaining book with love, lust, action, intrigue, humour, stress, happiness and sadness and is well worth taking the time out of your day to read.

Copy supplied for review
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1a45d08) out of 5 stars Engaging April 4 2012
By Mary Ann - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed reading this book. It was fun and engaging.

If I was going to offer the author some pointers I'd say

a) Add a little more description to set the scene. I kind of know what medieval England might look like but not everyone would. It would also add to the atmosphere.

b) All the characters need a little more depth, back history, motivation and detail. Why and how is Aubrey so good with a sword? What did Crispin do that was so awful in the past? Why don't the people of Ethan's estates want him back?

c) Find another word for smirk!

OK, so the last one was a bit pedantic but it was used enough that I started to notice it.

In spite of these points and a few other minor quibbles it was a pleasure to read and I should say that the sex scenes are really well written. It all moves along at a good pace. I liked it enough that I'll be reading the sequel.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1a4715c) out of 5 stars Terrific re-imagining of the classic tale of Robin Hood July 27 2013
By Chick With Brains - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I initially waffled over how I should rate this book. I loved the storyline, the characters, and the author's voice as she brought everything to life with a deft touch. There was wicked humor, despicable treachery, and steamy romance. However...if you've watched even one episode of BBCA's Robin Hood then you will understand my perceived dilemma. While the character names are different, the location is Derbyshire and not Sherwood, and the story resolves in a new manner, at first I was constantly reminded of scenes from the TV show as I read. As I continued I slowly realized that I love re-imaginings of classics, and I love new novels that pay homage to previous favorites - exactly what this author was doing. After finishing the book my opinion firmed into one of support for the author. The classic tale of Robin Hood has been adapted by such varied talents as Walt Disney, Mel Brooks, and Ridley Scott. The story has been written of, sung in ballads, retold at faires, and adopted as a native tale in more countries than England (France and Germany stake their claims on the tale). Thus I decided why criticize this author for doing what untold others have already done, that is, give us a new perspective of this timeless story. Especially when she has done such a fantastic job.

Without giving anything away, let me say The Loyal Heart of the title is not Robin Hood, or Ethan, as he is named in this version. And while I will admit that I pictured Richard Armitage in my mind every time Sir Crispin entered a scene, the character is not merely a reincarnation of BBCA's Sir Guy of Gisborne (and who doesn't picture Richard Armitage in their mind every chance they get?!). The author no doubt received inspiration from that show but the reader can clearly see she changed the plots and reworked the characters to fit the story she wanted to tell. I loved the plots and subplots, which all worked smoothly together, moved briskly, and were easy to follow. The romance built steadily and was captivating and steamy; I really rooted for the H and h from the outset and felt like cheering aloud when they began to be truthful with each other.

It would be a disservice to the author to claim this is just a rehash of a TV show; afterall, the TV show was just a rehash of the movies, which were a rehash of the novel Ivanhoe, which was a rehash of the traveling ballads, which were a rehash of the story from folklore. You see what I mean? The story of Robin Hood has been around for over 500 years. It has been told and told often, with a variety of scenery and character changes and embellishments. Merry Farmer wrote some terrific fan fiction here, with an engaging style and gift for description that brought her scenes to life in my mind. If you enjoy stories like Robin Hood then grab this book, and be prepared to ignore your chores so you can devour it in one sitting. I'm off now to read the next book in the series, The Faithful Heart.
70 of 86 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1a47144) out of 5 stars Fan Fiction or Plagiarism? July 26 2012
By Ruby Jones - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Are you a fan of the BBC series Robin Hood? If so, this book will seem very familiar -- most of this book is lifted directly from the show. So much, in fact, that this book is either fan fiction or plagiarism, I'm not sure which.

On the show, we have Robin of Locksley, recently returned from the Crusades to find his estate given over to Guy of Gisbourne, who works for the eeeeeeeevil Sheriff of Nottingham. Both Robin and Gisbourne court Maid Marian, who, disguised as The Watchman, robs from the rich to give to the poor. Pretty soon, Robin, along with Alan A'Dale, Little John, Much and Will Scarlet (among others) is also robbing/giving.

In the book, we have Ethan of Windale, recently returned from the Crusades to find his estate given over to Crispin Huntingdon, who works for the eeeeeeeevil Sheriff Buxton. Both Ethan and Crispin court Lady Aubry, who, disguised as The Bandit, robs from the rich to give to the poor. Pretty soon, Ethan, along with Jack/Alan, Toby/Much and Tom/Will, is also robbing/giving.

But that's just the beginning.

-- The characters in the book display the very same slangy, anachronistic language as the characters on the show. It works on TV. Not so much in print.

-- The Sheriff of Nottingham keeps little critters in cages and torments them to let us know he's eeeeeevil. He also has a homeoerotic attachment to Gisbourne that he displays by either being way too touchy-feely with him, or torturing him. Same thing with Buxton and Crispin, critters and bad-touching and all.

-- Gisbourne and Marian have a bizarre on-off engagement that's never fully explained. So do Crispin and Aubrey!

-- Gisbourne grievously wounds Marian, in disguise as The Watchman, just before a major event on the show, which I will not reveal so as not to spoil it. Oddly enough, Crispin wounds Aubrey (in the exact same spot on her side, if I'm not badly mistaken, that Gisbourne wounded Marian), disguised as The Bandit, just before a major event I will not spoil. That's not all -- the dress Aubrey wears to the major event is described as being nearly IDENTICAL to the one Marian wears to the event.

-- Speaking of clothing, a major plot point on the show has Alan A'Dale turning traitor and selling secrets to Gisbourne, who later hires him as a man-at-arms. Can you believe it? Jack also turns traitor and sells secrets to Crispin, who later hires him as a man-at-arms. On the show, Alan A'Dale garbs himself in Gisbourne's clothing, and Gisbourne remarks on it. In the book, Jack garbs himself in Crispin's clothing and Aubrey remarks upon it. Oh, it's also a running joke on the show that Alan has a thing for nuns -- guess who also has a thing for nuns?

-- High drama ensues on Robin Hood when the visiting Duke of Winchester (sic, maybe) decides to demand Marian as part of a negotiation with the Sheriff. Mild drama ensues in this book when the visiting Pennington decides to demand Aubrey as part of a negotiation with the Sheriff.

There's more, so much more, but I won't bore you with the details. Besides, I've saved the best for last:

The descriptions of the characters in the book are almost identical, character for character, to the actors/actresses who played the corresponding characters on the show. As though that were not enough, Crispin's name is an Easter Egg -- it's the same as his corresponding character's middle name in real life.

The two biggest problems with the book are the heroine and hero. The author obviously has a thing for the Gisbourne/Crispin character (and understandably so), but does nothing with him to make him more sympathetic/understandable/believable than he was on the show. If anything, she completely emasculates him! And don't get me started on Aubrey/Marian -- she was a bratty, immature character on the show, and she is in the book as well. When she's not inexplicably lusting over Crispin, she's creating drama. She's an almost unlikeable heroine.

Additionally, the writing, while not unreadable, is so prosaic and repetitive as to be mind-numbing. Major plot lines are either unbelievable or left hanging loose completely (the threat posed to Aubrey by Pennington is one that comes to mind, as is the whole business with the nuns).

But here's the sad thing -- the show could have been lifted scene for scene, character for character, and a great book come out of it, one that fleshed out the characters, particularly Gisbourne/Crispin, who plays such an important part in the book. That, unfortunately, is not this book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1a47504) out of 5 stars POV,POV and plot Oct. 10 2013
By C. King - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are two reasons the author got at least one star. I'm compelled to give a star rating, few errors, which is refreshing and surprising for a badly crafted novel, and her sword fighting scenes were well executed. However, the fact that it's a Robin Hood wannabe/ripoff makes me wonder if the sword fights were indeed original. The heroine's dithering between two men for half the book annoyed me. the covert sexual attention Buxton gives Crispin is stupid as was Crispin's boot-licking of the bad guy. All the characters were contrary except Buxton. There were, in my opinion plot flaws, like Prince John wanting to kill his brother, then miraculously not. I found the use of modern American colloquialism in medieval times ridiculous. I don't expect olde worldy speak, but at least stay close to the truth and realism. the head-hopping did my head in. Perhaps the author should challenge herself and practice writing from one point of view for at least a few pages, but that requires talent and knowing your craft. The worst head-hopping happened in fight sequences, I got dizzy never mind the people fighting. I've seen head-hopping done with skill, but this was not one of them. in the beginning the head hops were dealt with in sections and I could deal with that, but half way through the wheels fell off and it became a free for all. To sum up, the book was annoying instead of enjoyable, but then I have heard the story in it's many variations before. I doubt I will bother with any more of this author's novels, I might end up grinding away all my teeth in frustration.