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In the Shadow of the Storm

Narrated by: Greg Patmore
Series: The King's Greatest Enemy, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
3.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty: he owes Lord Roger for his life and all his worldly goods; he owes him for his beautiful wife - even if Kit is not quite the woman Lord Roger thinks she is. So when Lord Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him - no matter the ultimate cost.

England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favorite, Hugh Despenser. The barons - led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer, and Humphrey de Bohun - have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down.

Adam fears his lord has overreached, but he has other matters to concern him i first and foremost, his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumors concerning her and Lord Roger, and Adam hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of "used goods".

Kit has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth - which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name.

But domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons, and the Welsh Marches explode into war. Soon, Lord Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man - if she can.

The first in Anna Belfrage's new series, In the Shadow of the Storm is the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.

©2018 Anna Belfrage (P)2018 Timelight Press

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A deeper, meatier version of the usual HR

This book is like those people in our lives (maybe you’re one of them) who are blessed with beauty and brains- Miss Universe with a Ph.D. in European History from Oxford. Yes, it definitely is a solid romance, with all the requisite steam, but what sets this one apart is the author’s skillful rendition of the story’s setting. Rather than a dry documentary, this tale provides all the facts surrounding King Edward II/Queen Isabella/Edward III/Roger Mortimer/Hugh Despenser in the context of what it was like to live during that time. Walking down the street in 13th century London, for example, with all the squalor and despair that pushed starving street urchins to brutality in order to survive. The utter ruthless nature of successful leaders and the absolute vulnerability of everyone else. The tenuous hold on life that touched every single person regardless of age or class. She brings to life all those details and makes us FEEL right along with the characters. The narrator is absolutely spot on, whose widely ranging talent provides the final dimension needed to fully immerse the listener. No joke, there are situations (misogyny, domestic violence, rape, torture) which may be difficult to get through, but they are presented right along with other behaviors that were accepted for the time and enhance, rather than detract from the texture of the writing. So, now that I have experienced this level of historical accuracy and moving prose in a romance novel, it will be a little disappointing going back to the usual fare. Absolutely worth a credit.

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  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 10-03-19

just sex<br />

not historical fiction but ridiculous scenario, and not as described, no mention was made of sexual content

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  • Kathleen F Barac
  • 10-20-19

‘Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’

It’s not often I find an HR author that checks all my 5-star boxes – an excellent story centred around a slow-burn romance between two likeable protagonists and fabulous writing (with no jarring modernisms), all wrapped up in a well-researched historical background, containing a cast of factual characters of the time, some of whom, I have long harboured a sneaky regard. (Roger Mortimer and his mistress, Queen Isabella for instance. In this series, we see Mortimer wrestling with so much angst of conscience for the abandonment of his wife for Queen Isabella, you almost feel sorry for him ….. almost.)
Our hero, Adam de Guirande, is a knight in the service of his lord, the charismatic Roger Mortimer. He may not have either noble blood or fortune – but he does possess a sharp mind, superior battle skills and unshakeable loyalty. Talents that will take him to the seat of ultimate power, with all its inherent dangers, as Mortimer’s sworn man.
Will Adam and his newly acquired wife (the feisty Kit), be able to tread the delicate balance between loyalty to each other, their lord and the King - or find an early grave - as they become embroiled in the dark intrigues of the royal court? A place where treachery lurks around every corner and trustworthy men - or women, for that matter - are not easy to find.
From beginning to end, this novel is the perfect balance between the reality of life in medieval times -the daily struggle of the lower classes just to survive, to the opulent decadence of a royal court - and the ups and downs of the romantic journey of a fictional young couple, thrown together by the machinations of people and events beyond their control.
This book was a new author and narrator for me. Although I am not usually a fan of male narrators doing female voices, Greg Patmore’s performance was way above average and it didn’t take long to become accustomed to his style. I love it when a narrator gives each character a different ‘voice’ and is able to maintain the differences - in this case, over 4 books in the series.