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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great read but not for the faint-hearted
Allegreto is the illegitimate son of a sadistic tyrant. Forced to spend his youth as his father's pawn and his assassin, it is no wonder he becomes a brooding, violent man. Shadowheart is the story of his salvation, in the capable form of the wild Elena Monteverde, lost heiress to the most powerful and fought over piece of land in Italy.
Shadowheart is the story of...
Published on 9 May 2004 by R. C. Cook

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Undecided
I had really high hopes for this book- but to be honest I just think the author is just not my cup of tea. I really gave her writing a chance- because I really like the male heroes she creates- they are amazing. However, there is always this big climax which ends up in a big, well, *poof*. I cannot tell you how many times I had to skip parts in this book- it was just too...
Published on 13 Feb 2011 by c'est la vie


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great read but not for the faint-hearted, 9 May 2004
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This review is from: Shadowheart (Mass Market Paperback)
Allegreto is the illegitimate son of a sadistic tyrant. Forced to spend his youth as his father's pawn and his assassin, it is no wonder he becomes a brooding, violent man. Shadowheart is the story of his salvation, in the capable form of the wild Elena Monteverde, lost heiress to the most powerful and fought over piece of land in Italy.
Shadowheart is the story of their trials in regaining their rightful places and of healing the wounds of Allegreto's terrible youth. It is not always pretty, is far from usual romance fare, but it is gripping and emotional in its own right.
Laura Kinsale is a romance writer par excellence and although this is slightly darker than her usual writing, it is still going to be a keeper. I have to say though, I thought that Elena, although having good reason to be aggrieved at Allegreto, was maybe a little too spiteful at times. In my opinion it sometimes compounded the way he had been treated all of his life. Yet it is only fiction, so treated as such it is a wild, superbly absorbing book, but don't take my word for it, grab a copy and see.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful book, 13 Mar 2004
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Deborah MacGillivray "Author," (US & UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shadowheart (Mass Market Paperback)
It's been a long draught for Kinsale fans. I believe I heard rumours of a crippling writers-block. Well, the dam must have broken, but because she is back and better than ever! This is one of THE MUST-READS of this Spring. The book is a marvellous tour de force for the returning author and sure will quickly win back old fans and make new!
I love heroes that are alpha (strong, dominant personalities), but the more complex, dark ones are the Gamma rogues - the males that are outside of society, that chew up the Alpha males and spit them out as a pastime, men in the genius Anne Stuart's Bad Bad Boys vein. Stuart is the Queen of the dark and deadly male, but Kinsale is shaking the leg of throne with Allegreto. He is a brilliant creation that leaps off the pages. A trained assassin, he is determined to regain his rightful place in the Italian Principality of Monteverde - and he does not care what he has to do to achieve his aim or whom he uses. And in reaching his goal, he sees Lady Elena, the lost Monteverde Princess as the perfect pawn, thus sealing her fate.
Elena is returning to Monteverde, betrothed to the man now running Monteverde. Her ship is overtaken and captured by pirates - lead by none other than Allegreto. She is first his prison, then later forced to wed him. Captive, lover, wife, Elena is naturally furious, as he is a hard man, nearly cruel, but flashes of moments when he displays a tenderness toward her begins to cause her to look part the killer veneer and see the man - the real man there - a man driven.
Take a killer and making him a hero is, as they say, "a hard row to hoe". Anne Stuart did it in her brilliant "Moonrise", a book that haunts me years after putting it down. Kinsale now does it with "Shadow Heart". It is amazing the craft and magic both writers breathe into these hardened men, yet make the women love them for what they are - just as the readers will.
Kinsale's love for this story shines, and like a master storyteller of old around the fireside, she weaves a tale that mesmerises, compels and leaves you breathless.
You may want to buy three copies of this book - 1) to read more than once 2) to give to your best friend - she will love you for it and 3) to put on your keeper shelf and treasure!!
Welcome back Ms. Kinsale!! Don't make it so long next time!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the long wait!, 25 April 2004
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Detra Fitch (USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadowheart (Mass Market Paperback)
The assassin, Allegreto, first appeared in the novel "For My Lady's Heart"and readers screamed for his story to be told. Finally, his story hasarrived!
Elena's life had been simple, sweet, and shielded for as long as she couldrecall. When Sir Raymond de Claire went to his lord and asked for Elena'shand in marriage, the customary background check was done of her bloodlines. That was the end of her innocence. The shocking truth was revealed.Unknown to most, including herself, she was Princess Elena Rosafina diMonteverde, the direct descendant from the ruling house of Monteverde. Shewas the granddaughter of Prince Ligurio and long since thought dead. TheLady Melanthe (from "For My Lady's Heart") had hidden Elena, with the helpof an assassin, from the sight of those who would see her dead.
The house of Riata ruled Monteverde for now. Knowing the people wouldembrace Elena as the true ruling house, she was charged to marry FrancoPietro which would combine the houses of Riata and Monteverde. Unhappy,but with no other choice, Elena set sail for Monteverde and her marriage.
Allegreto Navona, the illegitimate son of the cruel Gian Navonaintercepted Elena's passage. She was taken to his island and was savedfrom being forced to wed the Riata. Instead, she would be forced to wedAllegreto of the Navona house. His marriage to Elena would seal his claimto rule Monteverde. Then he and his men, specially trained by him, wouldinvade the city Monteverde and become the ruling lords.
Elena fell in love with Allegreto, but he was a man with many darksecrets. He claimed to have no heart, but pledged his life and service toElena. Once in Monteverde, Elena must somehow return her people to thepeaceful ways of her grandfather. But the houses of Riata and Navonacaused unrest and some others plotted Elena's death, thus eliminating thelast of her house.
***** Author Laura Kinsale and her legendary ability to weave spellbinding tales has come forward once again to offer readers the longawaited story of the mysterious assassin known as The Raven. The result is"Shadow Heart" and it was worth the wait!
Elena's character is so realistic that readers can easily sympathize withher and feel the uncertainty that consumes the young princess and slowlychanges her to become the strong leader the people so desperately need. Asfor the two house leaders who fight to claim Elena's hand, the reader isable to see and understand BOTH sides. The story, itself, flows smootherthan silk with remarkable secondary characters that will claim the heartsof all. Highly recommended reading! This book will stand out from allothers on your Keeper Shelf! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Laura Kinsale Excels, 17 Jun 2014
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I could never praise Laura Kinsale books enough. They are so intelligent and insightful and not even in the same league as so many frivolous romance novels.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Undecided, 13 Feb 2011
This review is from: Shadowheart (Paperback)
I had really high hopes for this book- but to be honest I just think the author is just not my cup of tea. I really gave her writing a chance- because I really like the male heroes she creates- they are amazing. However, there is always this big climax which ends up in a big, well, *poof*. I cannot tell you how many times I had to skip parts in this book- it was just too boring, I mean it is always good to be a little historically referential but the main word being "little". I understand that love isn't just sickly sweet but I didn't really see much love to be quite frank. As this is written for older readers, its not supposed to be 'fairy- taled' structure but it really was in the sense you had to wait till the very end to see their love blossom a little. Still, don't regret reading it, and she is a good writer but not one of my favourite authors like; Lisa Kleypas, Julie Garwood etc.
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Shadowheart
Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale (Mass Market Paperback - April 2004)
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