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on 14 May 2017
An entertaining book but why Marsha Canham decided to denigrate one of England's heroic women - Nicholaa de la Haye is absolutely beyond me. Surely she could have just invented a suitable character. Unforgivable.
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on 9 April 2002
This is the first of Marsha Canham's novels that I have read and the most exciting Medieval book I have come across in a long time. The breaktaking action grips the reader right from the prologue, which is a preview scene from near the end of the book -and though it is intriguing, it gives nothing away- only makes you impatient to get started reading.

The story begins with Servanne, a young widow who is being escorted by a party of Knights to her wedding. She is day-dreaming wistfully of the legendary handsome looks and battle-field prowess of her betrothed when the party is attacked and she is kidnapped by The Black Wolf of Lincoln, a Robin Hood-type character who lives in the forest with a colourful band of outlaws.

The Wolf says he intends to keep her until a ransom is paid by her betrothed. But her betrothed is infact his bastard half brother, who left him for dead in the Crusades then returned to England to claim their ancestral home and live under the Wolf's real name of Lucien Wardieu, Baron de Gournay. The Wolf's real intent is to use her wedding to the "Dragon" of Bloodmoor as a ruse for him to enter the keep and challenge his brother.
Somewhere along the lines, his plans go amiss because he and Servanne fall in love, though they would both rather die painful deaths than admit it. From the moment they meet, the sparks fly, and their scenes together are exciting and entertaining both for the intelligent and witty repartee and the sensual undercurrents running through them.
The action is breathtakingly well written and never wanes throughout the plot. There are twists and surprises at the turning of every single page and your heart keeps thumping right to the climactic ending.
Marsha Canham has crafted the characters brilliantly. There is not a single one that bored me ; each was multi-faceted and fascinating and carried the story on with great humour and pace even when the hero and heroine weren't in the scene. I came to care for the secondary characters as much as the central ones. And this book has the best villain and villainess EVER. At one stage, I thought the villain just as interesting and attractive as the hero, and his side-kick, Nicolaa de la Haye is a sexy, cunning bloodthirsty temptress that sent shivers down my spine.
But my last word has to go to the hero. The Black Wolf/Lucien wardieu, is the most masculine, swashbuckling, sexiest, wittiest, lustiest, most exciting hero I think I've ever encountered in historical romance- the fabric of every girl's fantasies! I could have wept when I turned the very last page !
This book is exciting, action packed and so authentic in its Medieval flavour, I felt I was there - time travel courtesy of Marsha Canham! Unsurpassable!
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on 28 February 2005
Filled with swashbuckling adventure, sweeping pageantry and passionate romance, Marsha Canham outdoes herself with this superb historical novel. Set against the dark forests and royal court of King John "Lackland's" England, Ms. Canham brings to life a unique version of the Robin Hood tale with this story of political intrigue, hatred, revenge and fated love.
Recently widowed, 18 year-old Lady Servanne de Briscourt has been bartered into her second marriage. Though she is beautiful and intelligent, her husband-to-be, King John's champion Lord Lucien Wardieu, Baron de Gournay of Bloodmore Keep, is more interested in the lands she will bring to her marriage than in the bride herself. In the large, dense forest known as Lincolnwoods, Lady Servanne and her armed escorts are ambushed on their journey to the up-coming nuptials by a band of outlaws armed with longbows. The outlaw leader, known as the Black Wolf, claims his name is Lucien Wardieu, the true Baron de Gournay - and that Lady Servanne is his hostage. The escorts are sent on their way, minus their weapons, to inform the pretender at Bloodmore Keep that his bride is being held captive.
This is one wild adventure! Family sins and throne-rocking secrets are exposed, royal power is unleashed, some pretty unsavory, depraved characters murder and threaten, love and passion sizzle, armored knights ride to battle and are thwarted by a band of merry and determined men and one woman. This novel has it all - from cliff-hanging escapades to steamy sensuality. The action doesn't stop until the last sentence on the last page. As usual Ms. Canham writes with elegance and flair. Her extraordinary characters just about leap off the page. This wonderful book is definitely a keeper!
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This was a really enjoyable romp through history. Based on the Robin Hood legend but using different characters (although some were the same, such as Prince John, Richard the Lionheart & Sir Guy of Gisbourne). At it's heart was a story of revenge between two brothers with the thread of a story running through it.

This was so much fun! It started off fairly slowly but soon picked up pace. The back story of the rivalry between 'The Black Wolf of Lincoln' and 'The Dragon of Bloodmoor' was supenseful and action filled. The love story between Lucien and Servanne was tender and and teased out - almost to the point of torture but when they eventually got together it was beautiful. Of course no story is complete without a lunatic bad guy, played wonderfully by a woman, Nicolaa. She was deliciously evil and completely without conscience.

This was a wonderful book and I can heartily recommend it for all lovers of historical romance or if you just fancy a rollicking swashbuckling romp!
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on 31 July 2011
No matter how bad I think a book is, I usually manage to make it to the end. However, this certainly was not the case with this book. I'm even marvelling at my tenacity in stumbling through as far as Chapter 4. I got the impression that the author was amusing herself by displaying how many words and metaphors she could use in telling her tale, very schoolgirlish in my opinion, and not always the correct words (or spellings!). I haven't read anything by this author before, I certainly won't be again.
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on 12 November 2011
I downloaded this book as it was free. I wasn't expecting much but was completely surprised with the book. The storyline is really good and the characters are believable. I was completely addicted after the first page and couldn't put the book down till it was finished. I read about the history of England in those times and realized that the author had done a great job of reaserching that era. The historiacal part of the book is beautifully inter-woven with the romance part. All in all a great read with history, romance and not to forget some action. I have already bought the part 2 and part 3 of the series and also other books by the same author. I am looking forward to reading her books.
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on 14 July 2005
As an enthusiastic reader of Medieval to 18th century history and romance, I welcome an authoritative and imaginative blend of the two. Ms Canham does this well and I enjoy her take on the "Robin Hood" history/legend. However, her never-ending use of adjectives and metaphors in superlatives does become irritating. Instead of the reader buying into the story on an emotional level and so empathising with the main characters, it mainly obstructs the reader from 'living' the story.
The theme of this one is not new, but it is entertainingly told. Lucien, left for dead on the bloody battlefields of the Crusades, returns to England to reclaim his rightful inheritance while on a secret mission for Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. He manages to return only after enough time has passed for him to have recovered from almost mortal wounds. Also, after he has established an alias and solid reputation as a formidable knight in the lists and on tournaments. On arrival in England he realises that his mortal enemy not only left him for dead in the carnage of the Crusades but has also usurped his identity and position. Lucien plots revenge and to this end kidnaps the usurper's intended (and heavily land endowed) bride. Through many false turns and misunderstandings Servanne (the intended bride) and Lucien manage to unmask the interloper, re-establish the good reputation of the De Gournay-name, fall in love, and retire to Touraine to live happily ever after. The story is strengthened by enlivening support characters, touches of humour and an inventive blend of historical fact and fiction. Despite irritation with the "flowery" writing style of the author, this is a pleasant read - to the extent that I will finish the "Robin Hood" trilogy.
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on 7 August 2011
let's put it this way I have bought part 2 & 3. I hate reviews which tell me the what is in the book. Needless to say the plot is good, the characters are believable and certain scenes are very nice!
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on 24 July 2011
Sounded good - 'award winning'; 'best historical of the year...'.

Unfortunately by the time I was 30% of the way through I was fed up with the incessant 'smouldering romance' (which detracted me from what could have been an interesting story line) and lamented the sad lack of adventure and pagentry. As to the plot & general story line, there are scenes that seem to be lifted from films and other ideas straight out of a Walter Scott novel.

The uber-hero (where are these kind of men hiding?) is surely not of this world, neither is the oh so aquiessent heroine - who turns to jelly at his touch. I agree with one reviewer who commented on the over-use of adjectives and superlatives - it does distract from the story, and not much is left to the reader's imagination. Ms Canham has done her homework with the use of obsolete and archaic words, but on the other hand she does use some strange choices of words. And disagree with one reviewer who comments on the 'breathtaking action' - if you want this then try Bernard Cornwell, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Alexander Dumas (pere & fils), Walter Scott, Anya Seton to name but a few. However, this is not to say that if you like a good old bodice ripping romance, with over the top (and a tad unrealistic) characters, then this is your book, but its just not my kind of book, and I will not be reading any more by this author, but for a free download, it did manage to while away a few hours - and yes, I did manage to finish it!
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on 26 May 2011

Take Four of any Harold Robbins novels. Add to blender.

Then add copious amounts of Barbara Cartland novels.

Adjust seasoning with pinches of Phillippa Gregorys' historical fiction.

Blend at top speed adding more Barbara Cartland to sweeten if necessary.

WARNING! Excessive consumption may cause vomiting and nausea.
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