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Publisher's Summary

Laura Kinsale Presents… a second novel by talented new author Elizabeth Kingston. FAIR, BRIGHT, AND TERRIBLE is the riveting companion to THE KING'S MAN.

Wales is conquered, and Eluned has lost everything: her country, her husband, her hope. All that remains is vengeance, and she will stop at nothing to have it.

When Robert de Lascaux is asked to marry the woman he has loved for eighteen years, he never hesitates. No wealth has ever mattered to him as much as Eluned has. But she, it seems, does not want him at all. Trapped in a web of intrigue, revenge, and desire, they cannot forget their past - but can they dare to share a future?

“The title of this book tells you everything. We’re accustomed to loving heroines and dark heroes, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, the power of Elizabeth Kingston’s tortured and ferocious heroine Eluned creates one of the most unforgettable stories of love you’ll ever experience. Of course it's narrated by Nicholas Boulton. Like many of you, I've been waiting a long time to hear him read new works by fresh new authors, and we're making it happen. Enjoy! Be sure to let us know what you think of Nick’s performance!” (Laura Kinsale, author of FLOWERS FROM THE STORM).

©2017 Elizabeth Kingston (P)2017 Hedgehog Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Part history lesson, part romance and wholly engrossing, this book is fair, bright and wonderful. I loved it, hated it and in the end, I can't recommend it highly enough. Readers new to Ms. Kingston - clear your book queues and get ready to immerse yourself in her medieval world. You won't regret it." - All About Romance (Desert Isle Keeper Review)
"Elizabeth Kingston writes historical romances that make me fall in love with the genre all over again. Fair, Bright, and Terrible is a ravishing, vividly rendered journey through medieval Britain - and a truly epic romance. Kingston's luminous prose draws us back in time and holds us in breathless suspense as we ache, cheer, and sigh for two extraordinary characters destined for each other." - Meredith Duran, bestselling author of LUCK BE A LADY

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A second chance romance for the ages

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this audiobook for someone who enjoys historical romances outside of the normal regency era. The narration by Nicholas Boulton is spot on.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the hero and heroine equally. Elunid is a complex woman who is flawed but there are reasons for it that make it easy for the listener to understand her choices. Robert de Lascaux is a nice guy hero in a world where nice guys rarely win.

Which character – as performed by Nicholas Boulton – was your favorite?

I can't choose - I love the way he narrates all the characters!

Any additional comments?

I hope to listen to more set in this fascinating medieval world.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

If you loved King's Man this is a fabulous companion

I was so sad to have the King's Man end and I was thrilled that there was a companion to that story. This book expands on the time period while also reminding us that well written characters are not one dimensional.
I am a huge fan of well written intelligent historical romance and Elizabeth Kingston fits that bill where few others do. I love her strong female characters and the men that fall in love with them. I hope she continues to write such captivating novels as her career continues.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great ending

Did not realize the extent of research done on this book and some characters being based on real life u too the very end. As usual for Elizabeth Kingston, beautifully written and narrated. Hard to follow but the ending was clear and well done. This is not EK's fault, rather my inability to follow so many names and stories told I believe.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I don't do many reviews, but this deserves one.

I love the development of the characters. It's realistic yet passionate. Historically interesting ties give a genuine feel and make the time come alive. I liked the first book, but this second one is far superior in my opinion. I was moved to feel what the characters felt. Beautiful and interesting story that I hated to have to pause.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KRH
  • Dallas, TX United States
  • 05-08-17

Excellent narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Highly recommend this sequel to The Kings Man. If there is a finer narrator than Nicholas Boulton, please tell me his name and I will spend my money and be grateful to know of him.
Every writer does their story a disservice by not hiring Boulton or someone of his caliber to give life to their words. As a female and an avid reader & listener of this genre, I find hearing a man tell the story, improves the story.

Have you listened to any of Nicholas Boulton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Everything Boulton narrates is memorable, every character he breathes life into is unique. Loved all of his Laura Kinsale works, David Copperfield was spectacular.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Laura Kinsale recomends this book. 'Nuf said!

What made the experience of listening to Fair, Bright, and Terrible the most enjoyable?

Besides the prose, it was the narration of Nicholas B. that made this story swoon worthy!

Who was your favorite character and why?

This one's hard, but I'd say that the heroine made this story for me worth the read. Eluned imbued humanity that is all of us. The layers to her character made this woman very relatable.

Which scene was your favorite?

Eluned's realization that her revenge wasn't worth loosing her love of Robert.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I had tears in my eyes as Robert notices that the birthmark on her neck is not on the side that he remembers it being. This small, seemingly insignificant fact has a profound affect on him.

Any additional comments?

I loved the first book in this series and was on pins and needles waiting for this story. I have to say that I had my doubts about the author’s ability to make me like let alone love the character I so thoroughly disliked in the previous story. Let me say that I was stunned at authors ability of expanding and developing such a rich and deeply flawed, yet likable heroine. Eluned imbued humanity that is all of us. The layers to her character made this woman very relatable.

But I digress! Let me start at saying that this story is of Gwenllion’s mother, Eluned, who was dead set in the first book to fight King Edward I of England and who worked hard at deceiving Ranulf and even her own daughter by attempting to drag her into war. Ranulf spoiled her plans and in this story we see the results of it.


“It all ended in cold flesh. This prince, the war, and every life: it ended in cold flesh, no matter how hot the blood that had once pounded through it. She had always known this, of course. But there is knowing a thing, and then there is feeling the truth of it cut you open and close around your heart.”

As the story opens, we witness Eluned’s heartbreak as the last rebellion is thwarted and her beloved Wales is thoroughly into hands of a ruthless King of England and once again her faith is being decided by men, her son and the king. This time she decides to seemingly accept their will, but is still plotting a revenge for the man that had cost her dearly.

It’s this desire for revenge that stands in her way of finally being happy. I loved the way the author took her time to give me the backstory of Robert and Eluned. It touched my heart at how difficult and painful it was for her to fall in love and then abandon that love, only to rediscover it once more in her forties.

I adored the hero! Robert was so young when he fell in love with her and he’d lived with this feeling all of his adult life. He’d put this woman on a pedestal and he hoped that the marriage that has been arranged by the King would rekindle all the passion they felt when they conducted their affair.


“We think memories are truth,” she went on, calm and relentless, “but they deceive us even as we cherish them. The truth is that many years ago, we were foolish and arrogant. We lusted and we sinned. We called it love. But that summer ended long ago.”

“Do you tell me your love ended with it?”

My heart went out to him when he finds that this woman is nothing like his beloved Eluned. I had tears in my eyes as he notices that the birthmark on her neck is not on the side that he remembers it being. This small, seemingly insignificant fact has a profound affect on him.


“Love,” she said, and moved her head in a little gesture of dismissal. The golden veil still hung at one side of her face, because he had only freed one pin. It shimmered with her movement, trailing down the side of her neck to her shoulder, reflecting the little light from the fire.

That was when he saw what was wrong. The birthmark on her throat was there. It was everything he remembered – the size and color, the height from her collar bone, the teardrop shape – except it was on the right side of her throat. Not the left. Yet he remembered it vividly, exactly. He closed his eyes and saw it, a bright image preserved over the years. In his memories he ran his finger across that mark and opened his mouth over it and looked for it every time she threw her head back to laugh as they sat in dappled sunlight. He had thought of it a thousand times over the years. He remembered that mark on the left side of her throat as well as he remembered her saying I will love you until I die.

He opened his eyes and looked at her, his breath coming too fast. He had remembered it wrong. It was as simple as that. As damning, as awful as that: he had remembered it wrong.”

Ms. Kingston did an outstanding job in delivering one of the best second chance in love tropes I’ve ever read.

If you’re a lover of history, you’ll revel in this story because it is told with care and obvious research. If you’re a lover of second chance romance, I beg you not to miss this one. If you are a fan of Nicholas Boulton, you’ll swoon!

Melanie for b2b

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fair, Bright, & Terrible

I am going to follow Ms. Kingston's career as she has become one of my new favorite authors! I read The King's Man first because it was recommended by Laura Kinsale, another favorite historical author. But I soon saw that EK is a power house unto herself!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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The Narration and Story are Wonderful!

This is my third Elizabeth Kingston book. This book is narrated by the outstanding Nicholas Boulton, who at this point I think I’ve come to the conclusion I’d listen to him read the back of a cereal box. His narrative coupled with Elizabeth Kingston’s vibrantly drawn characters and backgrounds make for a wonderfully written story. Although not as fast paced as The King’s Man and The Fallen Lady, it’s written in such a way you are drawn into the lives of a couple that may get a second chance at love. Palace intrigue, betrayal and hidden passions are served up gloriously. Well done Ms Kingston and Mr Boulton!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sophisticated, layered revenge and love story

In the first book of this series, The King's Man, we see Eluned in an unfavorable light, especially in how she dealt with her daughter. She is still dark in this book but now we know her history and losses, most profoundly the loss of her country, its ruler the Prince of Wales, as well as her uncle and nephew. We also learn of a love affair she had eighteen years earlier with a man named Robert de Lascaux whom she has not seen since, yet has never forgotten. Now she is asked by her son to marry him.

Robert believes this marriage will be a second chance for them; but unknowingly to him, Eluned is using it as a maneuver for revenge. It is much easier to understand Eluned in this book-her manipulations, deceit and outward coldness- because we know why she has done what she has and we know what she plans to do. Her relationship with Robert is difficult, perhaps even forfeit from the beginning. While he may believe there is much hope for them, Eluned does not believe there is, or rather she cannot allow herself to believe so.

I especially liked that this was a romance where the main characters were older- near forty (although they fell in love in their early twenties). The romance was paired nicely with rich historical information. And then there's the narration by Nicholas Boulton. His voice just melts my ears. There just isn't a better voice or performer out there; he's my very favorite narrator.

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