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Infamous [Mass Market Paperback]

Virginia Henley
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 405 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (5 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451219112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451219114
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 10.6 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 769,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write lush and lusty historical romance. My heroes are dark, dominant, and dangerous, with a hint of the lurking bastard inside them. Then I create a heroine who is a match for them, or more than a match!
I have written over 30 novels, and am a NYTimes bestselling author. The first time I made that list with Seduced, I climbed on the roof and shouted it to the world!
I was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England and emmigrated to Canada when I was twelve. I married a Canadian and about twenty years ago we moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. I have two handsome sons, two outstanding grandsons, one beautiful granddaughter, and a perfect great-granddaughter.
The first line of my bestselling novel, The Pirate And The Pagan, defined my career: "What a beautiful cock!"

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jory's Story... 27 Nov 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Infamous' follows on from Virginia Henley's earlier work, 'A Year and A Day' and tells the story of the lovable Jory de Warenne, the woman that schooled Jane Leslie into becoming a desirable wife in the eyes of her brother , Lincoln de Warenne and was a major secondary character in a Year and a Day.

Infamous centres around Jory's affairs inluding her lacklustre marriage to Humpfrey de Bohun and sacrifices made for the relationship with Robert the Bruce. But it is the underlying love story with her first love, Guy de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick that is the central theme to the book.

If you loved Jory in a Year and a Day, you will pleased that Jory finally has her own story. However, if you're a romance purist, you won't like that Guy de Beauchamp is 'third time lucky' nor that a large part of the book is devoted to the other affairs and the romantic build-up between the two main characters is stilted & disconnected as a result.

Despite its shortfalls, Ms Henley has lost none of her mastery for a good yarn with detailed historical backgrounds and still pulls off an evocative historical romance.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"Infamous" is a romance set during the reign of Edward I of England (Edward Plantagenet) and it's a gallop through history as King Edward tries to hold on to lands in France, to conquer Wales and to try to subdue Scotland. There is a mixture of history and fiction - all the main characters are historical people although their stories and ages are somewhat altered to fit in with this book. We meet King Edward, various earls and nobles such as Warwick and Gloucester and even Robert de Bruce as our characters journey round the castles of England and the borders with Wales and Scotland.

The pacing of this story is very fast - people travel across large tracts of England very quickly, scenes are rarely more than a couple of pages long - and this has a consequent effect on characterisation. Jory has three men in her life, the Earl of Warwick, Humphrey de Bohun and Robert de Bruce, but we learn very little about Humphrey despite the fact Marjory spends a great deal of time in his company. In fact, all we really learn about him are his disappointments in bed and his fear and yet the impression given is of a very nice young man; I felt he'd had rather a tough position in this story and that Virginia Henley should have made more of Humphrey the Man, not just Humphrey the Disappointment. We learn more about Warwick, of course, as he is more central to the story, but I still didn't feel that I really understood him. And Robert de Bruce was mainly described by his lovemaking skills; in this book, skill in bed seemed to be the most important thing about the male characters.

Our heroine was a rather strange woman too. She was constantly referred to as 'wilful' and she seemed to do her own thing without much consideration of others.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Infamous" is a romance set during the reign of Edward I of England (Edward Plantagenet) and it's a gallop through history as King Edward tries to hold on to lands in France, to conquer Wales and to try to subdue Scotland. There is a mixture of history and fiction - all the main characters are historical people although their stories and ages are somewhat altered to fit in with this book. We meet King Edward, various earls and nobles such as Warwick and Gloucester and even Robert de Bruce as our characters journey round the castles of England and the borders with Wales and Scotland.

The pacing of this story is very fast - people travel across large tracts of England very quickly, scenes are rarely more than a couple of pages long - and this has a consequent effect on characterisation. Jory has three men in her life, the Earl of Warwick, Humphrey de Bohun and Robert de Bruce, but we learn very little about Humphrey despite the fact Marjory spends a great deal of time in his company. In fact, all we really learn about him are his disappointments in bed and his fear and yet the impression given is of a very nice young man; I felt he'd had rather a tough position in this story and that Virginia Henley should have made more of Humphrey the Man, not just Humphrey the Disappointment. We learn more about Warwick, of course, as he is more central to the story, but I still didn't feel that I really understood him. And Robert de Bruce was mainly described by his lovemaking skills; in this book, skill in bed seemed to be the most important thing about the male characters.

Our heroine was a rather strange woman too. She was constantly referred to as 'wilful' and she seemed to do her own thing without much consideration of others.
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Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Feh! What a Mess! 1 Jan 2007
By Stephanie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I haven't picked up a Henley book in over a year and I was saving this title for a rainy day. My goodness, has our beloved author lost her touch, or was this just an "ooops"?

This story had some promise in the beginning, but swiftly lost its luster and became boring and tedious. Henely always includes much history in her novels, which is interesting, but not so much this time around.

Overused phrases like "ethereal beauty", "my magic man", "liquid tremors" and even her catchphrase of "I have quite made up my mind!" that I assume was meant to be charming...just wasn't and turned silly and redundant.

Our heroine, Jory, didn't seem brave or headstrong as the author tried to make the reader believe. She was so easily adaptable to any situation thrust at her and ridiculously green in her supposed selfless acts. Even her anger lacked spine. I know Ms. Henley was trying to create a character different from her usual *hellcat*, but her attempt just fell short of the mark and there was no charm left.

Our hero, Guy de Beauchamp, wasn't strong enough. They made constant reference to the age difference, and he seemed sort of doddering, lovesick and infinitely malleable. He waited by the sidelines for five years to get what he so desired? Not what I'm used to from Henley at all! Her male characters typically would have gone out and dragged their ladylove back no matter the consequences. This Infamous warrior was trying to be respectful of her wishes? That of a 17 year old girl? Please! I was waiting patiently for him to take control of the situation and stop Jory from making such mistakes with her life. By the time the two get together, she was well used by others and to be honest, treats Guy with the same level of devotion as she showed her other mates. I didn't believe in this romance for one minute!

Oh well, every author is allowed a dud. I guess this one was it for Virginia Henley.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I've quite made up my mind, this is AWFUL 11 Dec 2007
By Hypercritical - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
*****WARNING! PLOT SPOILERS AHEAD!*****

I have read every word Virginia Henley has ever written, so I was quite eager to read the continuation of one of my favorite Henley works, "A Year And A Day". Now I want my money back, because this novel is a true disappointment.

The theme of this book seems to be RECYCLE IT! Whole paragraphs were lifted word for word from AYAAD and other Henley works. Descriptions ("silver-gilt hair", "ethereal beauty") have been plucked from any number of Henley works. Part III of the book is in essence a condensation of AYAAD that could have been avoided in entirety. (If she had to cover this same ground, a better technique would have been to expand upon it rather than skim over the plot with selected phrases and sentences pirated directly from AYAAD.) Names are reused. Guy de Beauchamp, Brianna de Beauchamp, and the nickname "The Mad Hound" were all stolen from Henley's book "Desired". (Which, by the way, is a SUPERIOR read compared to this novel!) The mysterious Mr. Burke has been refurbished again. Mr. Burke appears in nearly every Henley novel, in every nationality. He has been Scottish, Irish, French (spelled "Burque" to give that proper French flair!), English, and, I think, Welsh as well. Just who is the REAL Mr. Burke to Ms. Henley? Even the torrid sex scenes are nothing we haven't read before in Henley books. Finally, plot devices are reused with frustrating regularity. Hoped-for marriage spoiled by the heroine's family making other arrangements? Try "Dream Lover". Husband suspected of having a hand in previous wife's death? Try "The Raven and the Rose". A woman passing from one marriage to the next until her last husband finally brings her true fulfillment? Try "A Woman of Passion". Heroine gets pregnant and must marry to preserve her status? Try "The Dragon and the Jewel". (All of which are much better written than this effort!)

Jory de Warenne was first introduced in AYAAD and was a very captivating, saucy, fully realized character. The Jory de Warenne that is the heroine of this tale is a poorly written vacillator whom I cannot reconcile with the woman in AYAAD. To begin with, we are told of her youthful infatuation with Guy de Beauchamp, the Earl of Warrick. (I can't decide if this is the same Guy de Beauchamp from "Desired". Ms. Henley moves historical events at will to suit her plot, so it is possible!) Guy asks for her hand in marriage and takes no for an answer, which is in startling contrast to the usual Henley protagonist. Jory then knuckles under and marries the man her uncle and brother have chosen for her. This is in direct contrast to the Jory we are expecting, who is repeatedly descibed as "willful" and hard to control. This is explained away in a typical Henley plot device--misinterpreted communication. That device usually works, but not here.

Her marriage to Humphrey de Bohun proves to be disastrous and childless due to his impotence. (Shades of Bess Hardwick's marriage to Robert Barlow, anyone?) Jory is heartbroken by his death, but nowhere near the degree alluded to in AYAAD. Jory is then whisked through 70 pages of rehash as her steamy affair with Robert the Bruce is given terribly short shrift. Seriously, we got much more character exposition the first time around. We learn that her pregnancy is the reason she was so disturbed in the prologue of the book, which seems odd since Jory was happy to be pregnant at the end of AYAAD. Guy then sweeps back into her life, just in time to prevent scandal, but when Guy discovers who fathered her child, his jealousy makes him crave a bloody revenge. Jealousy provokes a lust for vengeance? Didn't we read about that in "Tempted"? I thought so.

A demented servant who is in love with Guy tries to abort Jory's child with the herb pennyroyal. Hmmm, someone making the decision to end someone else's pregnancy. Yeah, we read that in "A Year And A Day". And "The Falcon and the Flower." And "Bold Conquest." Wow, we need some new ideas here!

The Jory of AYAAD is impossible to reconcile with the Jory in "Infamous". The Jory of AYAAD would have told her family to go to the devil and wed de Beauchamp. The Jory of AYAAD would not have been anywhere near as submissive with Princess Joanna. The Jory of AYAAD would have insisted on some kind of legacy from her husband Humphrey. The Jory of AYAAD would have been in a flaming temper with de Beauchamp upon her abduction. (Hey, a kidnapped bride. There's a concept we discovered in "A Year And A Day". And "The Falcon and the Flower". And "The Border Hostage". And "Wild Hearts". Please, Ms. Henley, give us something N.E.W.) In short, this Jory de Warenne could not have become the Jory in AYAAD with the early experiences she had in "Infamous", and this is the most glaring error in plot in the whole book.

In the end, all the misunderstandings are cleared up and Jory and Guy live happily ever after, as usual. I am not, however, living happily ever after. I am left feeling like I just spent eight dollars on books I already own. In keeping with the novel's theme of RECYCLE IT!, I am going to recycle this book by selling it at my next yard sale for $.25, which is about what it is worth. To paraphrase Ms. Henley in "Tempted", "It was the disappointment of a lifetime!"
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love and Marriage in the reign of Edward I of England 26 April 2007
By Helen Hancox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Infamous" is a romance set during the reign of Edward I of England (Edward Plantagenet) and it's a gallop through history as King Edward tries to hold on to lands in France, to conquer Wales and to try to subdue Scotland. There is a mixture of history and fiction - all the main characters are historical people although their stories and ages are somewhat altered to fit in with this book. We meet King Edward, various earls and nobles such as Warwick and Gloucester and even Robert de Bruce as our characters journey round the castles of England and the borders with Wales and Scotland.

The pacing of this story is very fast - people travel across large tracts of England very quickly, scenes are rarely more than a couple of pages long - and this has a consequent effect on characterisation. Jory has three men in her life, the Earl of Warwick, Humphrey de Bohun and Robert de Bruce, but we learn very little about Humphrey despite the fact Marjory spends a great deal of time in his company. In fact, all we really learn about him are his disappointments in bed and his fear and yet the impression given is of a very nice young man; I felt he'd had rather a tough position in this story and that Virginia Henley should have made more of Humphrey the Man, not just Humphrey the Disappointment. We learn more about Warwick, of course, as he is more central to the story, but I still didn't feel that I really understood him. And Robert de Bruce was mainly described by his lovemaking skills; in this book, skill in bed seemed to be the most important thing about the male characters.

Our heroine was a rather strange woman too. She was constantly referred to as 'wilful' and she seemed to do her own thing without much consideration of others. Marriages in the 13th century were contracted for dynastic reasons rather than love but she doesn't play her dutiful daughter part - this makes for a love story but makes her seem shallow and selfish to me. And I got very fed up with her hair being described as "silver-gilt" numerous times - the repetition became annoying.

The central love story of the plot relies, once again in a historical romance, on the "Big Misunderstanding". And it was an annoying misunderstanding as it was facilitated by a letter that Marjory writes to Warwick where she just writes one sentence which is open to misinterpretation. Of course, if the sentence hadn't been misinterpreted we wouldn't have the middle portion of the book but still it seemed rather unlikely and a slender thread upon which to hang the estrangement of hero and heroine for over half of the book. In some ways the love story took a back seat to the machinations and political manoeuvring of the characters which seem to make up the bulk of the book - historically a useful look at the events around the end of the reign of Edward I but not interesting enough to hold attention when the characterisation is so bare.

For those interested in this period in history and familiar with the castles and regions referred to this is an enjoyable and pacy read. For those hoping for more characterisation and likeable characters it might be better to look elsewhere.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book, [...]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scottish Wars, Widows and Mistaken Encounters 23 Feb 2007
By Rebecca Huston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Always being a sucker for a good romance, and despite being disappointed more often than not lately, I still dip into one now and then for distraction. One author that I've managed to keep on enjoying is Virginia Henley. She manages to write historical romances that are somewhat bawdy, but very rarely boring, and does work on creating characters that are at least, never milk-and-water ninnies.

After a very brief introduction, where we are introduced to Marjory de Warenne, who is mourning her mistakes of the past as she watches her brother being married, the reader is left wondering, how in the world did she get into this mess?

The story actually begins with Jory's life as a lady-in-waiting to King Edward's very willful daughter, Joanna. Joanna is about to be married to the Earl of Gloucester, a much older man, and it is this match that Joanna is dreading -- and reacting by seducing any young man that takes her fancy. Jory isn't nearly as bold as the princess however, but as it is more than likely that her fate will be the same as Joanna, she decides that perhaps a little flirtation might be in order.

Her choice is the black-haired, and rumored to be black-hearted as well, Guy de Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick. Feared as a fighter, and (of course) darkly handsome to boot, he's much older than Jory. While it's certainly instant lust between the silvery-haired Jory and Guy, he also is a very honorable man, especially when he discovers in mid-seduction that Jory is not just well born, but also a virgin. Fortunately, he's also a widower, so he approaches her brother Lynx, and her uncle to propose that a marriage be made between he and Jory. Simple, no?

Not quite. Her family is horrified by Warwick's evil reputation, and hastily arrange another match for her, with a young nobleman who's nearly her own age, and far more suitable. Jory, hurt and angry that Warwick has appeared to go back on his word, tries to make her marriage work with Humphrey de Bohun, but when he is killed in the never ceasing wars with the Welsh, Jory is left widowed and alone.

Deciding that it might be better to return to her family, Jory goes to her brother, fighting skirmishes in the borders between Scotland and England, and soon finds herself involved with Robert the Bruce, a would-be king of the Scots. It's certainly a passionate affair, but Jory also knows that he will never marry her. And there is also Warwick, still honorable and unwed. Who Jory eventually ends up with is the main focus of the story, along with sacrifice and honor, and some fairly good romancing and detail to go along with it.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. Virginia Henley is more known for the spiciness and eroticism of her novels, and more often than not, her stories aren't based around historical figures. This time, however, a bit of digging through a few history books of thirteenth century England revealed that there was indeed a Guy de Beauchamp who was Earl of Warwick, whose actions in the book closely mirror that of the actual person; and that King Edward I of England did indeed have a daughter named Joan who made a second marriage in some haste and secrecy.

It's this particular touch of blending history and fantasy that I like about Henley's work. She never makes it boring to read, nor does she slip into dry reading, but manages to make the backgrounds and back stories of her characters work. While there is certainly plenty of the usual trappings of a historical romance here -- fine clothing, feasts, plenty of wooing and sex -- she stays true to the period, where it was very much a man's world, and a woman had to use her own wits and cunning to survive. While some of the lovemaking passages get rather silly in spots, the author doesn't slowly rely on them to keep the novel moving, but instead shows the personalities of her various characters. Guy is a honorable man, but capable of doing what he must to get his way; Jory is clearly a schemer at the start of the novel, but does grow up, and there's even hope for Joanna, who settles down once she realizes that marriage isn't that bad after all.

There are a few historical slips here and there, mostly with ignoring Edward I's second marriage to a French princess, and a lack of giving any sort of time base for the story -- years do pass in the novel, but I had an uncertain feeling of just how much and exactly what was going on. Still, it's a very good novel for a romance, and worth reading. The writing style is crisp and clear, the silliness is kept to a minimum, and the author manages to keep her characters not just believable, but also likeable.

If you want to know more about the real Edward I of England and his wars with the Scots, I suggest Michael Prestwich's biography, Edward I.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing... 25 Nov 2006
By avid reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this is the first novel I have read by this author and I have to say that it was incredibly disappointing. I can honestly say that I don't think I have ever read a more boring book. Though billed as a romance I found that there was very little if any romance in this book. The two main characters rarely spend any time in each other's presence and when they do, I found there was no spark at all.

The majority of this book is taken up with pointless conversations between friends and discussions of the war that really add very little to the over all plot.

I may try another by this author, but I will take care in choosing it as I was thoroughly bored with this particular undertaking....
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