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on 26 February 2009
In England in the year 1291, Finulla Crass, the adventurous daughter of the village miller, is determined to help her older sister, Mellana, who is pregnant out of wedlock and needs a substantial dowry, as her child's father will otherwise be too poor to marry her. The sisters come up with a rather unconventional plan - Finnula will find a wealthy man, kidnap him, and hold him for ransom in order to obtain the money Mellana needs. Finnula decides her captive will be a young earl, Hugo Fitzstephan, who has returned from the Crusades with quite a large fortune.

Hugo Fitzstephan is nothing like Finnula expected, however. The young knight is disturbingly handsome, and Finnula, who prefers hunting and riding to household tasks and is determined to never marry again after her first husband died before their wedding night, finds herself fighting her attraction for Hugo. Meanwhile, Hugo could escape at any time, but plays along as Finnula's "hostage" because he is curious about - and rather fascinated by - this unconventional young woman.

Ransom My Heart is an enjoyable and lighthearted Medieval romance with an entertaining relationship between the main characters. It's not super heavy on historical detail, but I loved that it was different from most romances set in this time period, in that it had a unique storyline and featured a heroine who was a commoner rather than the typical sheltered young noblewoman. This book does have a bit more mature content than Meg Cabot's young adult books, however, so I wouldn't really recommend it to her younger fans. Historical romance readers as well as older teen and adult fans of the author are sure to enjoy this book, and I highly recommend it to them.
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Girls will laugh and swoon with RANSOM MY HEART. Princess Mia Thermopolis, heroine of Meg Cabot's THE PRINCESS DIARIES, pens a fun, flirty debut novel that's spiced with the occasional mishap.

Finnula Crais is out to catch a rich man. Why has Fair Finn switched from hunting game to hunting men? To help out her beloved sister, of course!

The family beauty, Mellana, has spent her entire dowry and needs Finn to capture and ransom some poor unsuspecting fool so she can marry the man of her dreams. As luck would have it, her prey is none other than the new local lord, Hugo Fitzstephen, a seasoned knight and womanizer who has just returned from the Crusades.

Inevitably, things begin to heat up as Finn uses herself as bait to lure Hugo. Her hostage is all too happy to find himself the center of attention of such a determined huntress.

I blushed and giggled my way through their mutual and often awkward physical attraction as it blossomed into a romantic but still comedic courtship. I really liked that there were quite a few rocks and some hard slogging to get to true love. There were moments when I envied Finn, but there were also times when I was so glad that I was not in her shoes.

While RANSOM MY HEART has its share of historical romance tropes - scheming teenage girls, corrupt bailiffs, mistaken identity, and disastrous miscommunication - readers will find these as familiar landmarks rather than repetitive scenery. Meg Cabot seems to have a lot of fun playing with our expectations and then subverting them.

Finn may be a seventeen-year-old tomboy, but even when head-over-heels in love, she knows better than to compromise herself or her family over some guy. Likewise, it's super-refreshing to have a hero and heroine who have lives and dreams outside of each other.

Readers, beware! There is a high chance of silly smiles, laugh-out-loud moments, and holding your breath as you frantically turn the pages. Five Stars!

Reviewed by: Natalie Tsang
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on 17 July 2014
This book far exceeded my expectations. The plot was witty and full of character. I enjoyed the change up of having a strong female character set at the time of the book. I didn't enjoy the ending as much as I think it could have had a more settled finished instead of the more blunt end but still a great book that I couldn't put down. Definitely worth a read.
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I was quite surprised with this book. Here I was, thinking I was reading a Young Adult book in Ransom My Heart, only to find out that it is afterall, a full-fledge adult book! Deceived (or not), it was a good read nonetheless.

Set in Medieval England, Ransom My Heart portrays a very easy transition to the said period. I came to terms with the change in ways very easily, what with all the narrative style and the characters' attitudes. It is mostly the characters that relays this and I was happy with that. The primary characters are well-drawn and accurate and between them can extend laughter in all directions. Even the narrative itself was hilarious with well-chosen words!

For some inexplicable reason, this was a slow read for me. I toiled over it for days. I guess this was partly due to the slow start. No matter, it speeds up quickly. This results to quite a strange pacing - a slow introduction and then a whirl and blur towards the end.

Ransom My Heart can honestly be split into two parts. The plot first focused on the romance between Finnula and Hugo, one I was very excited to read, but found nothing so extraordinary about. Maybe it was due to my overly excitement, but although I had nothing against it, I found the romance a little too fast, in every sense of the word. Although the banters are funny and smart, the whole romance side is strangely reflective of a general plot in a number of romance novels. It just did not connect with me as much as I wanted it to. There were moments that appeared too brief for my liking, but there were quite a few bits and pieces I just can't say no to either.

After the romance is cemented, a mystery is then introduced. This transition flows readily, and I liked it, generally speaking. What I found slightly disappointing was the lack of actual mystery. The culprit was obviously meant to be hidden, but whilst the plot attempts to divert the reader to other possible suspects, it becomes blatantly obvious where the real culpability lies. In the end it was only a matter of how this would be played about. I found no strong dislike on how everything is arranged, but nothing special about them too.

This is my first Meg Cabot read, and I think I still have to explore more of her writing to get a firm grasp on my general liking of her works. Ransom My Heart, with its endearing characters though, is not a bad start at all!
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on 1 April 2013
I enjoyed this book loads and loads. The concept was totally clever and had me addicted as soon as I started it. I gave the review five stars because it made me laugh, blush, giggle and cry. A perfect read for 13+ :)
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on 21 February 2012
Dear Meg Cabot,
I love you. I love your books. I love the Queen of Babble series and the Size 12 series and the stand alones like Every Boy's Got One. They're funny and quirky and original.
I did not love this. It's just a third rate bonk-a-thon, very repetitive, how many times can the leading lady be fiesty and the leading man chuckle patronisingly at her? Perhaps I'm too modern a person for this book but it really grated on me. Plus perhaps a bit dodgy to write it under the name of a character of yours from one of your teen series and then have lots and lots of very descriptive shagging in it?
Please stop with the Ye Olde stuff and get back to writing what you're good at. Please. Love Me.
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on 5 February 2010
In case you didn't already know, this book is a add on to the Princess Diaries Series written by Meg Cabot. Ransom My Heart, Mentioned in the 10th Book as Princess Mia's senior project, is basically a love story with a twist set in England during the 1800's (or there about) with A LOT of action (without giving anything away it includes Kidnappings and attempted murder!)

The book is rather slow to start with but I can promise you it picks up a few chapters in so just give it chance! It does also contain some old style English words which may require a dictionary definition to be understood by readers.

Also, the "For Older Readers" label but on the back of this book is defiantly needed; with some mature themes I wouldn't suggest giving this book to,say, a 12/13 year old.

What makes the book even more special is that, true to the Princess Diaries Books, Meg Cabbot has respected her fictional characters wishes by donating all proceeds from the book to Greenpeace (anyone that's familiar with the Princes Diaries will know why that's significant)

Overall, I loved the book and will defiantly be reading it again.
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on 22 January 2013
The cover of this book drew me in - classical and romantic - and the book did not disappoint. I found it to be a refreshingly different historical romance, in that it has a unique blend of the conventions of the genre and also elements of the most contemporary romances in terms of characterisation and writing style.

I really enjoyed Meg's language in the book, which draws upon `ye olde' English without reaching the point that the reader is lost or bored. I especially like her inclusion of quite modern imagery, such as this simile: `Finnula Crais, like a splinter, had worked her way beneath his skin with remarkable speed, and digging her out, he realized, was going to be no small task.'

The writing is witty and fun, and the story moves along with energy that kept me turning the pages. The story was interesting, with a good number of twists, and believable - despite the very twenty-first-century feeling heroine who is strong, sassy and courageous. Romance novels traditionally end with the marriage of the hero and heroine, and I liked the fact that in this book the wedding comes around halfway through, which allows us to see how Finnula and Hugh fare as husband and wife.

It's a passionate and romantic book, and I thought the intimate scenes were well described. Meg remains sensitive to the fact that the heroine, Finnula, is young and inexperienced, and while during the time in which the book is set she would have been very much a woman (indeed, she's on her second husband), a modern reader wants to feel comfortable that she is allowed to grow into maturity in her own time. At times, when reading about Finnula I found myself feeling like perhaps I was reading a young adult novel, but then Hugh reappeared - very much a man - and I shifted back to thinking this was an adult book. I expect it may work well as a crossover novel, though it is rather steamy for a young adult reader. Still, I was reading the likes of Mills and Boon in my teens...

Overall, a really good read I heartily recommend, and I will be looking out for other novels by this author in the historical romance genre.
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on 16 August 2014
This book was great and I could not put it down it was so gripping and romantic as well as filled with adventure and hunting !!! It was great love every minuet of it and defiantly recommend it to anyone.
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on 7 July 2012
Another great book by Meg Cabot.. More for Older Teen readers.
It had me engaged from the off, the characters are cogent and the book is beautifully written, Finnula Crais is a definite 'wild wicked slip' haha!
Differs from the immediently predictable love stories with a wicked it and find out :D
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