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Shadowheart: Medieval Hearts, Book 2 | [Laura Kinsale]

Shadowheart: Medieval Hearts, Book 2

A fatally dangerous man...and the woman who stands in the way of all he's ever desired. Beautiful and ruthless, the elegant assassin Allegreto will stop at nothing to regain his rightful place. And the perfect instrument has just fallen into his hands, in the lovely form of Lady Elena - the long-lost princess of the land he intends to wrest back from his enemies. But she is no mere maiden to be possessed.
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Publisher's Summary

A fatally dangerous man...and the woman who stands in the way of all he's ever desired.

Beautiful and ruthless, the elegant assassin Allegreto will stop at nothing to regain his rightful place. And the perfect instrument has just fallen into his hands, in the lovely form of Lady Elena - the long-lost princess of the land he intends to wrest back from his enemies. But she is no mere maiden to be possessed. Even as he forces her to bend to his will, in the heat of desire and fury Elena finds the hidden power in her own soul, a merciless passion and command that will bind her dark lover and bring him to his knees. Her mastery may destroy him…or build an unexpected future from the bitter ashes of his life and dreams.

©2004 Hedgehog Inc (P)2014 Hedgehog Inc

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (111 )
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4.8 (105 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DARA "Beautiful" Niagara Falls, NY USA 01-12-14
    DARA "Beautiful" Niagara Falls, NY USA 01-12-14 Member Since 2011

    ~~~"HOPEFUL ROMANTIC"~~~ ***Love All Romances.....Especially Detailed Historical Type*** ~~ "Reviews Should Never Contain Spoilers"~~

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Kinsale Winner!"

    Once again, Laura Kinsale has delivered a detailed story with an arduous subject for that time period. The medieval world comes alive with power struggles between families and the corrupt Catholic Church.

    I realize this book isn't going to be everyone's 'cup of tea' but if you've read "For my lady's heart" you'll gain more understanding as to why Allegreto has become so ruthless and thinks that he is beyond redemption. We met Elena is the first book as a young 6 year old girl. In this book she has become a young woman of 17. Together they have a strange and unusual relationship. The erotic love scenes (s&m) were intense and sometimes difficult to listen to but their relationship does have an unusual sense of balance. This story is mysterious, intense, sensual and has a love and redemption aspect that I found touching and endearing.

    If you enjoy the deeper darker side of Kinsale books you will love this. If not, you might want to skip this one.

    P.S. I know I've said it before but Nicholas Boulton is one of the best narrators on Audible!! He makes good books even better!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R smyrna, GA, United States 02-16-14
    R smyrna, GA, United States 02-16-14 Member Since 2011
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    "BEAUTIFUL AND TOUCHING STORY!"

    It turned out to be one of my favorites. I find I don't have the right words to say how much I enjoyed this book. All I can say is this was a well-written book, and this author always has a way of using words that makes the passion and love between the two characters almost seem tangible. And Allegretto just simply took my breathe away! I am glad I got this book. Its a must-read for any one who enjoys a complex, yet profound love story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julie mobile, AL, United States 03-26-14
    julie mobile, AL, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2012

    Just a simple girl living the simple life. Nothing is complicated when the power of imagination leads the way. Close your eyes & just listen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another riveting performance by Boulton!"
    Any additional comments?

    Wow... Yes wow! I admit I had to go back and read snippets of Allegreto's character in the first book because I found he was so ill mannered, petuous and unbearable at times. I had trouble accepting him as the main character in this book until I came to know HIM in a different way- so many different ways. This is a totally different style of romance from Kinsale and YES with a bit of dominatrix......AHEM! Nicely done Laura :)

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SQLStitcher Nashville (Franklin), TN, United States 04-04-14
    SQLStitcher Nashville (Franklin), TN, United States 04-04-14 Member Since 2010

    When it comes to books, I don't think fiction always as to be fiction, especially in the grip of a gifted writer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW.. Earth Shuddering, LK out did herself."

    Days later, I'm still trying to take this one in. I believe I will have to have another listen. I'm kicking myself for not downloading this one earlier. Deep stuff, no doubt!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    reasonable critic United States 06-16-14
    reasonable critic United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Another Great Book From One of My Favorite Authors"

    Laura Kinsale never fails to deliver stories that keep the reader/listener riveted until the end. Her novels have powerful sensual chemistry, magic, tender romance, and amazing character development. Wonderful. Nicholas Boulton is a delicious narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    1CheekyLass somewhere medieval 01-11-14
    1CheekyLass somewhere medieval 01-11-14 Member Since 2013

    I love medieval romance

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Absolutely LOVE Allegreto!!!"
    Would you listen to Shadowheart again? Why?

    YES. I love Allegreto. The only thing that could have made this book better was more from Allegreto's POV and not so much of the dom/submissive relationship between him and Elena. Even with that, this book was fantastic! Lots of twists and turns, betrayal and redemption. Elena and Allegreto had a weird kind of connection but it was definitely love.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Allegreto of course. I loved learning more about this heartless assassin and we see him fall in love more and more as the story progresses. The relationship w/ him and Elena disturbed me initially but that feeling deteriorated more and more as I read it. I realized that Elena really did love him and though I didn't like some of her decisions, she had her reasons. We see him become less cold and I feel that though he's done some horrible things, he redeemed himself.


    What does Nicholas Boulton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brought a lot of character emotion to the reading, he's awesome.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes although I paced myself to enjoy the story more :)


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this one better than For My Lady's Heart. This is worth the credit, no worth two credits! Don't pass this one up!

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judi Lake Norden, SD, United States 01-15-14
    Judi Lake Norden, SD, United States 01-15-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "true love"
    Where does Shadowheart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    this is top notch. it doesn't follow the typical love story. there are personal and outer battles to be fought.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Elena and Allegretto


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    yes


    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 01-22-14
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 01-22-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It’s like getting chocolate for the first time!!!"

    I am so in love with narrations done by Nicholas Boulton that I keep checking for his new books and literally squeaked out loud when I saw this book. I can say with certainty that he is the BEST narrator of his time.
    Now that aside, this book was magnificent. It was even better written than the previous ones published on Audible. LK’s books are so very original and amazingly gripping that I can not put the book down. Clever storyline, great imagination and fabulous character building. An A+ for sure.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shopper from Playa del Rey LA, CA 01-27-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why the S&M?"

    I have eagerly awaited every book by Laura Kinsale. Her writing style is unlike any other's I've read. I have consistently given 5 stars to all of the previous books, and in all fairness I must admit this story did not disappoint as an absolutely wonderful story. I had to take one star off due to the heavy S&M. I'm not sure if this form of lovemaking was chosen because everyone seems to be jumping on the "50 shades" band wagon, or if Ms. Kinsale had some other reason for this change.

    I am not judgmental, and respect everyone's right to do what ever they wish with another consenting adult human. I personally do not find pain erotic, and when I read a passage in which one person is harming another, whether it is in a savage beating or for sexual satisfaction, I feel the same level of abhorrence.

    I read the other reviews and knew this book had some rough sex scenes, but I was not expecting that level. I found myself fast forwarding through the sexy scenes (usually my favorite...) so I could get back to what was a wonderful love story. I felt as though that element was just thrown in as a way to attract readers that enjoy books like 50 shades.

    If you don't mind the S&M, or if you can fast forward through them as I did, you will read a wonderful book with characters so finely drawn, it is almost like watching a movie. And for that, I must thank Ms. Kinsale for another excellent story.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elkay Annapolis, MD 05-04-14
    Elkay Annapolis, MD 05-04-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfectly Astonishing"

    This is such a thought-provoking book.

    Laura Kinsale is known for sending her characters on long, difficult journeys, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. It's one of the things I really like about her books; the characters' struggles have costs and transform people over the course of the story. This story is no exception to that trend. The story begins with a setup familiar to many readers of historical romance: the young and innocent maiden taken captive by a violent, troubled outlaw and forced into a marriage, or at least into bed, where she eventually comes to love him. This is one of the most problematic things about the genre, but Kinsale, as usual, quickly mixes up the formula and creates something completely new.

    Instead of presenting us with a milquetoast heroine who succumbs to piratical ravishment, Kinsale gives us Elena, who never misses a lesson and continually finds some agency even when she seems most helpless. One review I read of this mentioned the "disturbingly alpha hero" as a possible problem for some readers - I'm almost done with this book, and I'm wondering if maybe they meant the "disturbingly alpha heroine?" Yes, Allegreto is powerful, wicked, menacing. He does things that are not okay to advance his own interests. But pay attention to Elena and I think you'll find an capable, intelligent heroine who takes charge of every situation through the application of a little wit and daring. I never saw her as anything but an equal to Allegreto, and I didn't think he was over-the-top macho - in fact, he was desperately, beautifully vulnerable.

    Much has been said about the sadomasochistic nature of the sex scenes; I didn't find them troubling at all. Everything made sense within the context of the story and the characters' experiences, and the romance between the H/h was so intense at times I actually found some of their conversations more overwhelming than their physical intimacy.

    Laura Kinsale really pushes the boundaries of romance, but it pays off in this sensational novel. Nicholas Boulton totally kills the narration, too.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 17 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Kristin
    Lancashire, UK
    4/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Medieval Hearts: Conclusion."
    Would you listen to Shadowheart again? Why?

    I have read this book in paperback form and listened with Audible; I would love to have the time to read it again but I doubt it because I have so many other tomes to listen to and read.


    What other book might you compare Shadowheart to, and why?

    Laura Kinsale books are in a class of their own but if I was pushed, they remind me of Dorothy Dunnett but on a much smaller scale, simply because she is unsurpassed!


    What does Nicholas Boulton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Without Nicholas Boulton, I cannot imagine anyone else who can bring a book to life and add a completely new dimension to this or any other Laura Kinsale book. He is unsurpassed as a narrator. His voice is pure magic!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Sorry! I haven't a clue. I cannot think of this or any other LK book as a film in this day and age as it/they would be mutilated. Please keep something sacred and special for our imagination.


    Any additional comments?

    I can find no fault at all with any of Laura's books or Mr Boulton's performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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