Series: Jewels of Tomorrow #2
Also in this series: Diana by the Moon
Genres: Historical, Romance
A woman in search of revenge…. An honorable man with a dark past.
It is 1197, and King Richard, known as the “Lionhearted,” is fighting France while Prince John hatches his own plans back home.
To find her father’s killer, Helena of York must pose as a Norman in the great halls of Richard’s England. Her only desire is to kill the man who destroyed her father and her future. Should she be unmasked, her life will be forfeit.
Stephen, Count of Dinan, once Richard’s friend and trusted knight, is outcast for reasons shrouded in mystery. Known as the “Black Baron,” he is friendless in a glittering world he despises. His only goal is to restore his honor and once again serve his king.
Stephen’s suspicions draw him into Helena’s web of deceit, and the two outsiders find themselves tangled in a conspiracy that threatens the throne of England itself, while their embattled hearts grapple with a far greater challenge.
Captivating romance with a strong heroine.
Thoughts on Heart of Vengeance
This is one of those books that was very, very good. To the point where I had to put it down and walk away for a while because I was SO ANGRY over some of the things that were done to Helena. While I was angry for her, in the context of history and how women were treated at the time, it completely made sense. But it was still hard to read.
Might I say, I get a huge kick out of seeing well known tales given little twists to keep them fresh. While book 1 took on King Arthur’s story (although he was a secondary character, not one of the mains), book 2 throws us into Robin Hood’s adventure. Again, not as the main character, but as someone who’s still integral to the story being told.
Okay. So I had some issues with some of the ways women were treated in this time. As a woman, Helena is subject to the whims of her guardian. With her guardian scheming to make a better place for herself and her family and Prince John DELIGHTED to see his gross, nasty adviser taking an interest in Helena, she’s put in a very fragile position. Throw in the fact that she’s masquerading as someone else to try to ferret out the truth about her father’s death and it’s difficult for her to object too strenuously. She does object, don’t get me wrong, but her safety depends on keeping her true identity hidden so she has to be very careful.
Stephen is… well, I liked him. Despite being out of favor with the king for daring to speak his mind, he’s an honorable man who’s still willing to rush to his king’s defense if the situation calls for it. His time in the Crusades have changed him and his time with Helena changes him even further. Honestly, I LIKED the two of them together. He’s willing to admit his mistakes and he’s willing to push her to see her own.
Very well written with enough tense moments to leave me crazy-eyed. The romance was both sweet and hot and, in the end, everyone got what they deserved. Just the way I like my books!