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
~~"HOPEFUL ROMANTIC" ~~ ( 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Poor, 1 = Awful ) ~~ "Reviews Should Never Contain 'Spoilers' " ;-)
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!
this is top notch. it doesn't follow the typical love story. there are personal and outer battles to be fought.
Elena and Allegretto
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.
I love medieval romance ♥
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.
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.
He brought a lot of character emotion to the reading, he's awesome.
Yes although I paced myself to enjoy the story more :)
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!
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.
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.
I just Love the Allure of a Great Romance...a Pair of Rose Colored Glasses...some Fine Wine, and a Subscription to Audible...
Laura Kinsale brings to her readers, a book 2 that is an absolute credit worthy continuation to Medieval Hearts. In Book 2, LK creatively brings about a seemingly loveless character to his knees in love and redemption. Nothing short of a miraculous and believable character transformation.
As Laura's fans have come to expect from the her, you will experience a jaw dropping, awe-inspiring, can’t put down, captivating historical romance.
This novel is exhilarating; gratifying and exhausting (in the best sense of the word) experience (and I mean experience: see, hear, smell taste, and feel everything along with these amazing characters) the talented work that is Laura Kinsale.
I remain addicted.
I do have one concern in my recommendation – as mentioned in another review, there are a few S&M scenes introduced in this novel. This was not particularly appealing to me, and I found it somewhat troublesome, however, artistically speaking, I could, to a certain extent, see how it might have been warranted for this story, as the alpha male had been severely abused as a child, adolescent, and young adult. Of course, the abusive upbringing of this character also made it more sad than tantalizing. Even so, I absolutely loved these characters and wanted the best possible outcome for them.
Again, the combination of Kinsale’s writing style and ability, with the brilliant narration of Nicholas Boulton, is perfection. I have said it before, and it will always bear repeating, Nicholas Boulton has got to be the most outstanding male narrator of Historical Romance of all time. His rich baritone voice is mesmerizing and is one to absolutely LOVE. This collaboration is nothing short of excellence!
Nope. It was a good story but for some reason I did not enjoy the main female character.
I can't think of any one.
The first time the main characters met.
Not really. I did felt some mild annoyance with the main female character at times. This is especially the case when her actions hurt the main male character.
It was a good story overall.
This is my first Kinsale novel but likely, not my last. It is a great story of redemption and self-discovery set during medieval times, I think. There were times that I wished the story was shorter, but I can’t say that the space was wasted. Kinsale does an amazing job at developing every nuance of the story and not in a wasteful, gratuitous way. Unlike some stories that I want to continue on, I was a bit more anxious to get to the conclusion of this story. At the same time, I didn’t want to miss any aspect of the story. So I couldn’t fast forward or skip over any parts, either. So it created great ambivalence in me that was not wholly distasteful. And the ending was well worth every second. There were some unexpected twists; this book is far from predictable but always makes sense. Watching the development of the relationship between the H and h was magnificent. The push and pull of their relationship amidst their own developmental struggles was expertly done. And the development occurred in a way that was utterly believable, without question.
There are maybe 3 or 4 sexual encounters, which include female domination of the H by the h. They are sensual and uniquely erotic but not explicit, in the contemporary sense, though consensual harshness is present. For some, this part of the relationship may seem too strange; it is unusual but seems to fit and make sense within the scope of the novel and the charactes.
Because of the intricacy of the novel, the writing may seem over-the-top for some. The way Kinsale describes almost everything in immaculate but unique ways was lovely to me. I can’t think of an example, but it’s worth noting when listening to the sample. So the listener is able to clearly see and vicariously experience the story as it unfolds. Kinsale’s writing combined with the expert narrator is better than watching a movie and just as detailed. I’m left feeling like I could find the places she describes and recognize her characters if I ran into them in the street. Finally, there’s really nothing to say about the narration. I agree with another reviewer about the absolute and unquestionable skill of this narrator. He may indeed be “the best”.
I usually love Kinsale... I bought this because I occasionally like to read fantasy lit. Magical worlds. But if you aren't a serious devotee of S and M, the "love" scenes will make you ill and leave you empty. I couldn't finish the book. These scenes are long, numerous, and quite graphic... and it's harder to skip ahead with an audio book than a hard copy of the text.
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