To love him is to face her deepest fear...
In search of a legendary mare, Lord Winter enters the crucible of the red sands, forging unbreakable bonds of loyalty and trust with his young companion in the desert. But hidden beneath the ragged costume of a Bedouin boy is a remarkable young woman: Zenia Stanhope, daughter of the extraordinary Queen of the Desert.
Zenia wants nothing of the danger that Lord Winter lives for. She wants only to reach England, far from the blood and sand of the desert. But in one night of terror, condemned to death, their lives are irrevocably bound. Zenia escapes to an English world of elegance and comfort, leaving behind the lonely, fearless man who has changed her life and conquered her heart... until he returns to invade her sanctuary.
Now she must choose between safety and love, but can she find the courage to be the person she was truly born to be?
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Of all of Laura Kinsale's books, this is so far my least favorite. Of course, Nicholas Boulton is a wonderful narrator and the author is a great writer, but sometimes her characters leave a lot to be desired. This is especially true in this book. She likes to flush her characters out with a lot of baggage and angst. However, the heroine in this story, Zenia, is so damaged from being raised by her harridan of a mother that she takes out her insecurity on everyone around her, especially those who love her the most - her lover and her daughter. Why Winter still loves her despite her treatment of him, defies logic. I just could not feel empathy for this woman and even at the end of the story, I did not like Zenia and doubted that if this were reality and not a story, there would be no happy ending. She would continue to create her own unhappiness unless she got a lot of therapy.
I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything
I purchased this book for three reasons; I needed something to listen to on a drive from Indianapolis to Dallas, Laura Kinsale is now on my favorite authors list, and Nick Boulton could never put me to sleep.
The heroine, while naive in many ways, is engaging. I liked her bravery and endurance, and her fear of being found out gave the story more depth. The hero has a lot of misanthropy, and there is the added fact that the heroine had heard him express misogyny, thus her fear of being found out as a woman. The hero is dismayed and confused by his growing feelings of tenderness toward the Bedouin "boy".
I like the complexity of Kinsale's characters, though they aren't always exactly likable. Both of the protagonists grow in the course of the story. The plot is nicely textured without being too convoluted. This is definitely on my re listen list.
I"m a audible addict. My eyes have gotten really bad so I really hadn't read much in the last 10 years until I discoverd books on CD and Audible. Now I'm a fiend. Other than audio books I enjoy my family, work and dabbling on the computer.
This is my second Laura Kinsale book. I really like her writing. The narrator, Nicholas Boulton is exceptional. He isn't able to change his voice as Rosalyn Landor does but he is quite wonderful. He narrated this book and Flowers From the Storm.
Her books are very detailed. At times it may seem a little too detailed. I think though with the subjects Laura tackles in her writing the need to be detailed is necessary.
In Flowers From the Storm with Christian and Mattie it was definitely necessary. Christian a mathematical genius Lord suffers a brain hemorrhage. Since there was little to nothing known about this at that time it was thought he was MAD. He was institutionalized. She weaves her story well and wonderfully. Mattie gets a bit on the maddening side with her wishy washy self. She has a great internal tug of war with what she feels she should be and what she actually is. I was literally in tears with this book. I loved it.
Now on to my review of this book.. The Dream Hunter.. the first part of the book is an exciting tale of a jaunt in the desert for Lord Winter to find a spectacular horse called the string of pearls. Of course it takes some twists and turns and Zenia comes into our story. Although at first I thought this story was about Arden/Lord Winter to me it was more about Zenia and her inner struggles of who she is and the treatment of her by her mother. A young girl raised as a boy in the desert. A girl who never owned a pair of shoes.
A compelling story of what these two people came to mean to each other through the hardships of the desert. How they came to admire the strengths of the other.
I think Zenia is mad.. even though she tells Lord Winter many times he's a "madman".
Two very flawed people that make it work. They love each other in-spite of the flaws.
I will listen to another Laura Kinsale book... I just love her. Nicholas Boulton is worth listening to as well. He has his finger on the pulse. =]
I admit I'm a Smut Glutton, I prefer Male Narrators, Sexy Book Covers get me and I'm 32 years Happily Married.
Anyone that follows me can see a theme that I prefer male narrators so first let me say that Nicholas Boulton has to be up there with the BEST so for him, 5 Stars. But, for the story, only 4 Stars. This is based on my overall annoyance of the female characters repeating expression, mental and verbal, "you only want Elizabeth...you are going to take her... you are going to leave me..." (blah blah blah) WE GET IT!!! She is insecure and has some abandonment issues!! This went on for at least 9 of the 12+ hours of the book which became a bit tedious to me. I'm not sorry for the credit spent but while not bad, not the best of the four books.
A story about Lord Winter who gets commissioned to go to the Arab world and find a horse unlike any other. While searching the red sands, he attends the services for the Queen of the Desert and while there runs into the queen’s daughter who is dressed as a boy and trying to pass for one. Assuming she is a boy, he asks Zenia to help him in his quest and in return promises her a safe passage to England, where she longs to be. They get captured and her identity is discovered. They get sentenced to death and locked up together in the same room on what they believe to be their last day alive. After they make love, they are freed by an Egyptian group and taken away from their imprisoned location. They get chased, discovered and attacked. To save her life after he gets shot, he pushes her up to an Egyptian’s horse and she gets taken away but finds herself in another bad situation. She manages to get away from the Egyptians as well but finds herself pregnant. Assuming Lord Winter dead, she goes along with the assumption of her being Lady Winter since she is pregnant with his child and does not wish the babe to be considered a bastard. After all being Lady Winter also ensures her safe passage on board the ship to England. Once in England she reunites with her father and finds herself truly happy until approached by Lord Winter’s father. He takes pregnant Zenia with him to watch over and protect since she is carrying his only heir. All is goes smoothly until Lord Winter shows up healthy and well and unhappy with the turn of events.
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