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on 2 September 1999
How anyone can find this sensitive medieval romance boring is mind-boggling. Is it because the author quotes Latin, Ovid and Catullus? Is it because the hero and heroine actually talk to one another, rather than boink behind every tree in the forest or nook in the castle at the least opportunity?Besides, how could I resist a book where the hero is so enigmatic that the heroine's first words to him are, "Are you Death?" : )If you enjoy the wounded hero type, a man with secrets and great pains in his soul; if you like your heroines to grow in the story, becoming emboldened and nobler in character; if you like to see people fall in love credibly, step by step, before consumation, rather than just lusting all over the chapters of a romance; then you should love MY BELOVED. A glorious castle. A hero to break your heart. A heroine who casts off her fears in the name of love and life and grows up. Secrets that unfold. A plot that touches on the religious aspects of the time period. An exploration of loyalty and doing what is right. But above all a delicious love story.I have not read a medieval all the way through in a few years. I'd become bored with how similar they were. This one is different, and I thank Ms. Ranney for reminding why I once adored Medieval Romances so very much.PS--I had read a Ranney historical before and didn't particularly care for it, but was willing to give this one a try after it was recommended to me by more than one person. I'm glad I listened. PPS--For those who LIKE boinking in their books, this one has several very intense love scenes. Me, I can do without so many pages of the details of conjugal bliss, but I didn't want to leave the possible reader thinking this was a "dry" romance. Oh, no. Interestingly, the sexiest, most mouth-watering scene takes place in such a way that the hero never so much as sets one finger on the heroine. A big "Whoo!"
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on 22 July 1999
The Earl of Langlinais, Sebastian married Julianna when she was five years old. For the next dozen years, Julianna resides at the Sisters of Charity, learning to be a chatelaine for the time when her spouse finally collects her. By 1251, a wary Sebastian returns home after fighting in the Crusades and being held for ransom by the Templars. Sebastian sends for his wife to enlist her help in a plot in which he pretends to consummate their marriage, but refuses to tell her why he won't.
Sebastian and Julianna are immediately attracted to one another and quickly love flourishes. However, Sebastian worries about the safety of his beloved because of the Templars, including his brother Gregory, who will kill anyone who steps in the path of the Knights. Gregory's current assignment is to find the missing Cathar Treasure and he believes his sibling is the source. Sebastian's love for his spouse appears to be the key to force Sebastian to agree to the Templars demand for the treasure.
MY BELOVED is a superb Medieval romance that is first and foremost a beautiful love story. The lead characters enchant the audience as their integrity, courage, and love will entice readers to find more novels by Karen Ranney. The story line is filled with wickedness, tension, and intrigue that counterpoint the love and honesty of the lead characters, and allow readers to discern much about life in the era. Ms. Ranney's wonderful tale of love's malfeasance will send sub-genre fans searching for her delightful other novels (see MY WICKED FANTASY and UPON A WICKED TIME).

Harriet Klausner
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on 5 May 2000
This is a lovely book. The characters are well fleshed out and the mystery keeps you involved. For those that care about the sex scenes...let's put it this way ... there is a gorgeous scene that is erotic and loving ..but they don't touch each other! Have I caught your interest yet? There is a miracle in this book and it is one that makes sense - it is not artistic license - it really could happen. Perhaps I have slightly spoiled the ending but come on - if you are reading this review then you are looking for romantic books with a happy ending!... You have found it....
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on 7 August 1999
Sebastian of Langlinais is a man of many secrets. He has to outwit the Templars to save his land and people. As part of his plan, he sends for Julianna, the Langlinais Bride. They married as children and she has spent the last twelve years in a convent. This is an unforgettable love story. The characters touch your heart and soul. The book is not to be missed. Dust off a space on your bookshelf because this is a definite keeper. It will be read over and over again until the pages fall out. It is a story that could only have been written by Karen Ranney, with her unique talent and ability to see into the souls of her characters and bring them to life on a written page, to be cherished by her readers. The book is wonderful. Ms. Ranney is an exceptional talent. May her star shine for a very long time.
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on 8 June 2016
I was going through some of this author's older books and came across this one. Although I've definitely read better overall stories, I thought this one was worthy for the "outside the box" storyline which kept me somewhat captivated.

Without spoiling the story, Sebastian and Juliana were married when she was 5 and he was 12. They never see one another again for 12 long years. She's lived in a convent and he went off to fight in the crusades. At some point he comes home and sends for Juliana with the offer to keep her as his wife if she will live with him without being bedded by him. Juliana doesn't want a white marriage, but neither does she particularly want to go back to the somewhat restrictive life she has led at the convent.

Of course many will guess at why Sebastian won't bed Juliana nor even allow her to touch him - there are several hints and probably spoilers in some of the reviews as well. I purposely didn't read them because I didn't want the reveal before I had the opportunity to read the book. The book is a little slow but the story is sweet and the wait is worth the satisfying ending. And, yes, I do believe in miracles.
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on 23 August 1999
I've never been disappointed by a Karen Ranney story and "My Beloved" was no exception! This is truly a story to cherish. Sebastian and Juliana become more and more alive with each page. I had trouble putting it down ... even the traffic lights back and forth to work each day weren't LONG ENOUGH!
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on 22 August 1999
The book was slow and boring. There was too much dialogue about nothing important and too little action. The plot was unbelievable and the hero and heroine were unbelievable characters. At the end, the book pretty much imploded with no thrilling conclusion. I've never read anything by this author, but the book jacket sounded interesting enough so that I bought the book - Big mistake.
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on 5 October 2008
This story is set in the time of Oliver Cromwell, in around 1616 so when the hero says "You cannot be serious" and later on, someone says "she thought my dimple was cute" you realise that author Karen Ranney has a somewhat tenuous hold on history.

I skimmed this book and regretted not only buying it but reading it.

Those drops of water falling on this book are not rain -- they are the tears of Georgette Heyer crying from heaven!
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on 28 August 1999
This book was very slow and very boring. The only reason I gave it 2 stars was out of respect for Ms. Ranney's previous books. The lead characters came out of nowhere (especially the heroine). Neither hero or heroine had any personality. It really was a depressing book, and not expected of Ms. Ranney.
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