Read For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale Online


A young knight will take up his sword for the honor of a beautiful and mysterious princess-and risk his life for the love that burns between them....

Title : For My Lady's Heart
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425206591
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

For My Lady's Heart Reviews

  • Searock
    2019-06-11 03:07

    Glorious. Superb.How do I say this is the finest hero ever put to paper without sounding like a hyperbole-spewing squeeon?*clears throat and boldly announces*This is one of the finest heroes created in ink. The heroine is brilliantly complex.I'm dazed with wonderment.I want to befriend every single person who loved this book as much as I did... they are truly my soul-peeps. I am going to stalk every one of you. Fair warning.Don't urge me not to...where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your books will be my books and your authors my authors.

  • MomToKippy
    2019-06-15 08:51

    This story is just stunning!!! I never thought a romantic historical fiction could be written to rival Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale, but if anyone could do it then it would be Kinsale. And she did. For My Lady's Heart is stellar on so many levels. We have probably the most wonderful hero ever written, a tortured heroine for a change, incredible seamless use of medieval dialogue and terminology, and imagery so vivid the reader is transported. She manages to challenge as well as entertain the reader. We have mystery, adventure, humor and a survival story as well. There are so many fascinating characters to love and hate and fear. There are English, French and Italians and even majestic animals that play critical roles.Kinsale creates a wonderful dance of attraction and repulsion between the hero and heroine and very slowly builds their connection beautifully over time. She never uses any gratuitous intimacy. I laughed, was brought to tears and was riveted at many points. In fact, her writing transcends any genre. I would probably have to say at this point I have not read a better author.

  • Blacky *Romance Addict*
    2019-05-28 06:00

    The book was great, but the narrator? I swear, I'm in love with him

  • Caz
    2019-06-22 06:14

    ETA: The lovely ladies at AG just updated my review with some soundclips :) Bonus!Nick Boulton is A Very Good Thing. Go listen!Medieval romances aren’t a great favourite of mine. I will admit that I haven’t read a large number of them, but most of those I have read have been too anachronistic for my taste. Of course, there is going to be a degree of anachronism in any historical romance – after all, we usually read about the titled and the wealthy and not about the miserable poor eking out a harsh existence in the slums – but for me, romances set in medieval time have to gloss over the more unpleasant aspects of their time to an even greater extent than those set in the nineteenth century. The other thing I’ve found frustrating is the language; in having characters who are supposed to live in the fifteenth century speaking as though they come from this one. It’s easier – I imagine – to ape the language used by Jane Austen as it is much closer to the English we use today, whereas a book written in language appropriate to the Middle Ages would probably not gain a huge audience.But what Laura Kinsale does in For My Lady’s Heart is probably the closest thing I’ve ever come across to finding something that bridges the gap between my personal desire for at least some degree of authenticity in the language used in the story and the necessary compromise towards making it palatable for a contemporary audience.I’ve read quite a few things about this book which led me to think that the language was difficult to understand – but that really isn’t the case at all, and if you’ve been put off by similar comments, then don’t be. I know the language isn’t authentic - if it was, I’d have been listening to seventeen hours of Chaucerian Middle English and having to rewind frequently to make sure I’d got the gist of what I’d just heard. But Ms Kinsale has so cleverly interwoven the archaic forms and expressions used by her characters into the text, that they feel completely natural to the modern reader/listener as well as doing more than just paying lip-service to the fifteenth century setting of the novel. On top of that, however, there’s no denying that her master-stroke lies (once again) in her choice of narrator for this audio. In the hands (or vocal cords!) of Nicholas Boulton, what might, in lesser ones, have come across as quaint “Ye Olde Worlde” expressions, instead sound completely naturalistic and authentic. Spoken passages which might look somewhat clumsy when written down flow beautifully and seamlessly - and I would strongly recommend anyone who found that the language on the page didn’t work for them to listen to the book instead. It’s a revelation and could completely change your view of it.You can read the rest of this review over at AudioGals

  • Lea's Audiobooks Hensley
    2019-06-08 06:08

    Remarkable story and Nick Boulton's narration is amazing. Laura Kinsale continues to wow with her audiobooks. Every one of her titles (five to date for me) is worthy of multiple relistens.Narrated by Nicholas BoultonI was hesitant to listen to For My Lady’s Heart as I read that it contained (horrors) Middle English. I want my listening to be easy but the lure was strong with all the highly favorable comments I was reading and … it’s a Medieval, a sub-genre I thoroughly enjoy. And that Middle English? I barely noticed it after hearing the first bit of dialogue as the author seamlessly blends the more archaic language into the overall text.Nick Boulton, a stage actor more than a little familiar with Shakespeare, delivers it all with such great skill that I only thought about the beauty of the story, it’s complex characters, and the sheer intrigue Kinsale’s words convey. Facing a difficult heroine once again (Prince of Midnight featured such a heroine as well – an A listen for me), I didn’t run away as is my tendency. I have learned that in the hands of this author, it will work for me. I’m sure I’ll accept her character well before the story’s end and appreciate its inclusion. My grades – A+ for narration and A for content. Sensuality: WarmReview written for the 11/04/13 Speaking of Audiobooks

  • Chris
    2019-05-26 05:20

    Old RRA-L review:I liked FOR MY LADY'S HEART a great deal, and I generally don't like what passes for medieval. I read it on the recommendation of someone whose opinion on books I respect, and it is what got me to read medieval romances (and Laura Kinsale in general). Most medieval romances have modern stories dressed up and in a castle. A book I otherwise enjoyed ruined the ending by having the heroine marry her dead twin sister's widower--sorry, but in the Middle Ages that was incest, not a tidy solution at all. FMLH was true to the period, including the great "bob and wheel" form of the dragon story--just like "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." Of course, I did my B.A. in Medieval Studies and did my thesis on the portrayal of marriage in 12th century French romances, so I may not represent the general population here. :)

  • Susy
    2019-06-22 07:12

    I adored (nearly all of) this book. It is a romance masterpiece. I wish it would have gone on more as I enjoyed the language and prose so very much. I also adored the hero and the heroine too, though Melanthe was a bit off putting once they reached Wolfscar. The set-up and plot for the "romance" was really unique and well-done. And the humor! Kinsale has an ability to deftly add character-driven humor that does not seem forced nor contrived.I also want to thank Ms. Kinsale for allowing the reader the opportunity to interpret these characters for ourselves. Unlike a goodly number of romance-genre writers, she doesn't feel the need to hit her readers over the head, nor does she over-describe-- some authors write out their descriptions as if they were filling out a witness statement for a police report on a perp. I almost hate to lump Ms. Kinsale in the romance category, as her work here qualifies more modern literature. Not that there aren't many, many fine writers in Romance--on the contrary, there are. But of the Kinsale novels I have read, she is writing a character study as much as a romance.Here, the characters of Melanthe and Ruck, and several of the secondary characters were as fully realized as many considered masters: Robert Penn Warren or George RR Martin or Edith Wharton come to mind.True, Ruck comes off as a bit one dimensional but that is surface reading. I found it amazing how much depth Ms. Kinsale could reveal in a character who lived his entire life by a code of conduct as restrictive as the Christian chivalric code. And Melanthe!...Melanthe is a deeply complex heroine. I enjoyed the relationship development between 2 people of opposite personalities--especially when Kinsale found humor in these differences, or by turning the tables on them ("There be peahens with greater wits than yours.")I think my favorite Kinsale is still The Dream Hunter, which I have not yet reviewed-- I suspect because I am still in awe of the author's beautiful prose and deft, almost restrained character-development. I might be a sucker for bittersweet stories, and The Dream Hunter reminded me of Gone With the Wind. ("Reminded" may be too weak a word.) I openly sobbed throughout The Dream Hunter. For My Lady's Heart was different sort of novel, and I enjoyed the high adventure, the chivalric touches, and the religious overtones. (I may have to re-read Sir Thomas Malory soon, as I grew up reading Arthurian legends and took a senior seminar class on Arthurian works.)Some quibbles: 1.the ministrels were an outlier which I had hoped (expected?) would be roped back into the resolution of the story, but alas, they were not. I would have loved, loved, loved if the minstrels had showed up at the wedding festivities to support Ruck and thereby prove to Melanthe that they wanted her around. 2. Cara was really too stupid and never did I understand why anyone would fancy her, let alone two people. And why would A. risk his life for her? I know it was supposed to do with her innocence but really, must she be innocent, annoying AND stupid? 3. I was so relieved to see we had an Epilogue because the H & H seemed to have many challenges to work through in the future. So I was furious when the Epilogue was another Cara POV, and we hardly learned anything about Ruck and Melanthe at all. In fact, I wondered if the Epilogue was added to later additions as a prelude to Shadowheart, because that is how it reads.Speaking of Shadowheart, I am breaking my rule to space out Kinsale novels as little treats for myself and moving right into the "sequel"- I cannot wait to read Allegreto's story. He was a very forceful presence in this novel, even when I hated him, he compelled me to pay attention to him. Iwysse, I ne would put off his story, though in troth I foreswore to ne'er dispoil myself with gluttonous enjoyment of all her (Kinsale's) lickerous writings, for I descrived Allegreto to be a most comelych knave, and full worth mine luf-loving. God grant me merci.ETA 3/4/13I just re-read substantial parts of the book and the entire last 150 pages and I am even more in awe of the author. I appreciated the resolution much more on second reading. What a delicious story! /sigh

  • Marquise
    2019-06-16 06:56

    This is one of the best Kinsale romances I've read, and an instant favourite.I loved the language especially, which isn't usual in my reading experience, but that was perfectly comprehensible without the need for a dictionary. And the plotline has clear "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" undertones, which I think was the author's intention. The hero, Ruck, is quite compelling, and the heroine, though at times she can raise eyebrows, is complex. Their romance developed by stages was entertaining to read, mostly because the woman is the one taking the lead because the hero is a . . . monkish-man, at first a teasing nickname that ended up being a term of endearment.I highly recommend this novel, as all of Kinsale's books, too.

  • Sally
    2019-06-10 06:15

    3.5There were times when I thought that I'd never finish this book which made me sad - not finish a Laura Kinsale book? That's crazy! I found it very difficult to get into at first. I'm not sure whether that was the medieval setting which is different from most of the historical romance that I usually read, whether it was use of medieval language which can take some getting used to, or whether I just didn't connect with the plot and characters. After trying and failing with the first couple of chapters (I even tried the version without the medieval language which is included in the ebook), I decided to try and read while listening to the audiobook. Nicholas Boulton's narration makes everything better. Suddenly the language wasn't twisting my brain into knots - I didn't always understand it but it didn't matter so much as I listened, sometimes the sound and feeling of the words is enough. Unfortunately I don't have a great record with audiobooks, even ones with such excellent narration, so it kind of got pushed to the side until this week when I picked it up again. The hero, Ruck, was refreshing and I did feel bad for him - his first wife believed that she had visions from God and he ended up losing her, along with all his money and possessions, to the church. All he had were two emeralds given to him by Melanthe who had witnessed this. It isn't until 13 years later that their paths cross again. Ruck now going by 'The Green Knight', having styled himself around the green of the emeralds that had been gifted to him and the gyrfalcon of Melanthe. It's refreshing how he is determined to do nothing but serve his Lady and that it's her that is wanting more. I'm assuming that his previous experiences with his first wife, and the fact that he still believes himself to be married to her after all those years, is why he acts so 'monkish' and is determined not to sin. I found it very sad though. Despite all that, Ruck isn't one of my favourite Kinsale heroes, he didn't feel as fleshed out and he didn't hold my interest as much as her other heroes. Melanthe, I also didn't warm to as much. I liked that she lied a lot. And I kind of loved that she was so lazy. There was one passage (silly me forgot to highlight it!) where she hadn't left her bed for three days and just spent those days wrapped up all warm under the sheets, all cozy, and I was just like yep, that's the life. The image in my head was so warm and nice and I was very jealous of her. One of the little girls in the castle even said that when she was an adult she would like to sleepen all day too!There wasn't a real sense of danger until the end which was slightly disappointing and the plot wasn't the best but it was still an enjoyable read in the end and once again I can't say enough wonderful things about the writing. I should just copy and paste from previous reviews. I am excited to read the next book - Shadowheart - I want to read more about Allegretto!

  • Elisabeth Lane
    2019-06-10 02:01

    Laura Kinsale never disappoints me. In For My Lady's Heart, she has written a masterpiece, not just of romance, but of universal literary merit. It's one of the most subversive works of literature I've read. Well, listened to actually. My husband and I got the audio book and played it in the car on road trips for about six months. And since I'm going to spend the rest of this review talking about myths and cake, let me just say that Nicholas Boulton's narration of this book is outstanding. Well worth acquiring, even if you've already read it. What Kinsale subverts in this book though isn't just narrative structure or genre conventions. No, she's got a much bigger target: the archetypal heroic story arc that underpins much of humanity's storytelling.For My Lady's Heart's romantic arc begins with the hero and heroine's meet-cute across a crowded room full of priests and petitioners. The hero is instantly attracted to the beautiful, sophisticated heroine, who promptly laughs at him, then saves his ass when he gets in over his head. He pledges his life and sword to her and they go their separate ways, she with her court, he to earn his name and seek his fortune. We rejoin the couple years later when Melanthe is now the widow of a powerful Italian noble, has promised to wed yet another Italian noble, and is journeying home to England to solidify her claim to some land that her soon-to-be-betrothed wants to get his dastardly hands on. Another chance meeting brings Ruck back into her life, this time for good, and he serves as her bodyguard on the trip back north. Nothing goes as planned of course, their pasts catch up with both of them and they have to learn to either stay apart forever or work together.For My Lady's Heart is anything but straightforward, however. Right away, both my husband and I keyed in on the fact that Ruck calls himself "The Green Knight" in lieu of a name for much of the story. Even before Kinsale hopped into a conversation I was having with Lisa Hendrix on Twitter to say that she'd been inspired by Tolkien's translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the parallels were obvious. If you're not familiar though, basically, we're talking King Arthur here, which clued us into the idea that the book would follow Ruck, his mysterious identity and daring exploits. There's a whole tradition of this kind of literary behavior going back to the beginning of written story-telling. It's the "hero's journey" Joseph Campbell talks about in The Hero With A Thousand Faces: the man leaves home to seek adventure, experiences trials, hits rock bottom, transforms, rights his wrongs, reconciles with his father and emerges triumphant, returning home a hero. That's Ruck's story completely. It's also Luke Skywalker's. And Thor's in the Marvel movie. If you ever studied The Odyssey or Gilgamesh in school, you probably learned about this concept. There's a reason it's considered archetypal.What's fascinating to me about veering off from something like the hero's journey in a romance novel though, a genre written primarily for, by, and about women, is that those stories are all about the dudes. They're the heroes. The protectors. Large and in charge, even when being buffeted by life. The women are mainly witches, connivers and adulteresses; goddesses and temptresses; Madonnas and whores. They're dramatic foils; obstacles that get in the way of the heroes' honorable impulses.But what about the "heroine's journey"; a woman's archetypal/literary/epic/mythological path? I'm not sure there is one, at least not one that doesn't focus exclusively on fertility. It's not like most Medieval men ran off and became knights. Or that Grecian peasants were out sailing the Mediterranean for a decade or two. For high school literature students, Elizabeth Bennett might have been the first female main character encountered who was written by a woman. Before that it's all Penelope, Hester Prynne and Lady Macbeth. At least, it was at my school. And while I will never say anything negative about Austen because of course I adore her books, her world was small. The heroes in epics and myths, their worlds are not small. Melanthe's world is not small. Melanthe plays on the highest levels of the Medieval international political stage. She's skilled at diplomacy and deception, but limited in power by her gender and hampered rather than helped by her beauty, which would be the more typical role of feminine beauty in an historical romance. And most people in the story believe that she is a witch who took lovers and murdered her husband.Outside of the maiden, the mother or the crone, there's no script for Melanthe to follow. Even though she does rather torture Ruck in his celibacy, she for sure doesn't follow the archetypal path of mythological women. She's not a goddess or a witch or a whore or a virtuous woman who stays home and waits for her husband to return triumphant. And, well, maybe that's the point. Despite what everyone would want to believe of Melanthe, how they perceive her, how they would use her or how they would change her (Ruck included), she resists. She remains her own paranoid, difficult, irascible self, refusing all aid and comfort, solving her own problems and shaping her world to suit herself. She proves not to be a witch on their trip through the marsh, not a whore in her sexual inexperience, not a mother or wife when they marry and arrive at Wolfscar, Ruck's castle, midway through the book.Contrasted with the set path Ruck is allowed to tread, one worn into the literary bedrock over the course of centuries, Melanthe's is one of her own invention. She almost never does what either Ruck or the reader expect. Her values include her freedom, her life and perhaps the well-being of her beloved pet falcon. And whatever she has to be or do in order to preserve those things are what she does. She's rather infinitely adaptable actually, not particularly constrained by social mores, the Church or an inconveniently well-born husband despite being hyper-aware of those restrictions. Ruck is far below her in social standing and can't match her wits, except on rare occasions (and we do root for him when he stands up to her because he's so utterly outmatched most of the time). She makes her own way right to the very end. And speaking of the end, it's no one's triumph. It's an accident that delivers our heroine. Or an act of God.For My Lady's Heart contains all this and yet, it still functions as a road trip romance. As Melanthe and Ruck journey together, sometimes together, sometimes apart, sometimes in harmony and sometimes (okay, mostly) not, their attraction to one another becomes obvious to both of them. However, Melanthe for fear of her political enemies and Ruck out of fear for his immortal soul, must resist the temptation they represent to each other. All that thwarted desire is awfully hot. We also get Kinsale's humor in hunting herons, slaying dragons, and jokes about sex and confession. The scene where Ruck and Melanthe consummate their unusual marriage and Ruck turns out to be rather a savant of sex as a result of his many, many forays into the confessional is one of the funniest things I've ever read. I went back and read the scene in the book to be sure that it wasn't only Boulton's impeccable comedic timing and it wasn't. Still funny.I grabbed a used copy of For My Lady's Heart just so I could put it on my Very Favorite Book Ever shelf next to Flowers From the Storm and Prince of Midnight. It's just...everything.

  • Rosina Lippi
    2019-06-02 09:08

    On my list of favorite female protagonists are more than a few difficult women. If you go looking, you'll find (for example) that readers either love or hate Melanthe ofFor My Lady's Heart. The comments I have heard is that she is too hard and even abrasive, although I think some of the dislike of Melanthe has to do with the fact that this novel is not an easy read; Kinsale does a good job of approximating Middle English for a modern audience, and it takes a little work to get into it. I loved Melanthe, particularly because she seems -- if you look at the surface only -- to be manipulative and disdainful but is in fact struggling hard to survive in a world inimical to independent women. She has suffered some terrible losses which have made her hard, but the beauty of this novel is in the way she adapts to Ruck, and he to her.

  • Wendy
    2019-05-29 08:14

    I really don't believe that the dream team of Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton can do anything wrong. Having said that, I'm sure I wouldn't have enjoyed this intriguing story, set in this difficult historical period, nearly as much, had I read it in print. Ms.Kinsale's fertile imagination, impeccable and thorough research and the melted chocolate voice of the delicious Mr. Boulton are an absolute given for perfectness.I personally adore the medieval period and in particular the Plantagenet dynasty but would normally choose to read historical fiction. As previously written by Caz in her excellent review, pulling off the language barriers of the Middle Ages, a mixture of French, middle English, with its many dialects, and Latin, also the characters of Melanthe's entourage, who spoke Italian, without boring everyone to death and without it sounding ridiculous, would be an impossibility for a lesser mortal. LK has done just that, switching seamlessly between the tongues with the aid of the versatile and talented, Shakespearean trained NB...on his lips my shopping list would sound interesting and sexy!I loved the complex cast of characters of different nationalities but didn't warm to the Princess Melanthe to begin with, I soon realised, however, that this is exactly how Ms. Kinsale intended the reader/listener to feel about her. The slow, reluctant dropping of Milanthe's defences, her haughtiness and belief in her absolute right to govern her subordinates, was expertly achieved by Ms. Kinsale's clever writing without any need to explain. Especially heartwarming was the awareness and sensuality that grew between the Princess and the darkly gorgeous, chivalrous and completely honourable Green Knight aka Ruck of Wolscar. I particularly loved this sexy phrase, it put me in mind of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice: 'She had been married at 12 to a Prince 30 years older and courted in halls of the highest fashion, she had not, until this moment, understood the plain, powerful comeliness of a dripping and muddy man'. sighs....!I was especially pleased to see the ageing Edward III with his manipulative mistress, Alice Perrers in attendance on him, and the enigmatic and powerful John of Gaunt, third son of Edward. This was the age of chivalry, after all it was Edward III who founded The Order of the Garter, the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry. We would therefore expect to see jousting and tournaments in a novel set in this time period and we did, and the quiet brooding Ruck performed as we would expect of a hero in a Laura Kinsale novel, with complete honour, integrity and fairness and of course he always won.What else can I say, Caz's review is terrific, very thorough, interesting and entertaining. I can add very little to it. Just as usual LOVE the dual combination of Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton, another 5 starred listen for me, a perfect blend of history, intrigue and romance.

  • Ilze
    2019-06-16 08:04

    Like many of Laura Kinsale's books, this one is a masterpiece of historical romance writing. If you enjoy stories set in the Medieval era, you *must* read this one!The Medieval era, at least as described in the historical romances of Laura Kinsale, Roberta Gellis, Madeline Hunter, Jo Beverley etc, is so violent, horrifying and strange, that it's usually hard for me to be able to relate to the story and get into it. Maybe we can blame this on Walter Scott, who started the whole genre of violent, horrifying romances set in the Middle Ages with the relentlessly bloody and horrifying Ivanhoe. (There are allusions to scenes in Ivanhoe in For My Lady's Heart as well, e.g. the jousting scene with the Duke of Lancaster.) I put this book down once, about halfway through, thinking I couldn't read any more. But after seeing multiple reviews of this as one of Laura Kinsale's finest, and Laura Kinsale is nearly always exceptionally fine, I decided to pick it up again and I'm glad I did. It's not "unputdownable", not because it's dull, but because the characters and the settings are so rich that you have to read the book slowly and savour it. The language is absolutely wonderful - a strange mix of modern English with middle English. The heroine Melanthe - her character and life story are so remote from anything I can relate to that she might as well be from another planet. In the first half of the book, her true self is buried beneath massive layers of lies, psychological games and subterfuge, because apparently this is what it takes to survive in her world. Basically, she is not a nice person at all for the first half of the book, with the one exception of the gift she gives to Ruck in the Prologue. But she changes and comes into her own true character, very much for the better, from the point where she and Ruck have to travel on by themselves, so there is no longer any need for her psychological games and stratagems, at least until the villain of the book shows up in the last 1/5 or so of the book. The character of Allegretto, the bastard son of the villain, who also travels with Melanthe as she makes her way from Italy back to her home in England, is also pretty bizarre - in this book he is supposedly 16 years old and a eunuch. He is a cunning, ruthless assassin for his father, who is a totally evil man, while at the same time having almost childish fears of a great many things and a deep love for Melanthe to the point where he cannot allow anything to harm either her or Ruck, even if it means betraying his fearsome father. Allegretto is also the hero of the sequel to this book, called "Shadowheart". Should be interesting ... The hero of this story, Ruck, is simply the sexiest, dreamiest, most wonderful romance hero I have ever encountered. Kinsale's depiction of his character alone makes the book well worth reading.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-06-20 07:56

    I did not enjoy this book. I wanted it to be over.Melanthe's husband died. Two powerful families want her husband's lands in Italy. She tells the two families she is going to England for a short trip and then they may have her property. She is lying to both of them. In England she falls in love and secretly marries Ruck. The story is about treachery, deceit, plotting and murder. I did not like several parts of the book.CAUTION SPOILERS:I did not like Melanthe because while she was blissfully married to Ruck, she continued to lie and mislead him. She didn't want him to know how much she loved him, because then he would have the upper hand with her. After Gian arrives in England, Melanthe further lies to Ruck telling him she never loved him and wants to marry Gian. She claimed that she feared Gian would kill Ruck, but she never gave Ruck the chance to help her fight Gian.The author writes with too much description of places and things and not enough description of emotions and actions. When Gian died, it was not clearly described. His death was one of the most important events in the book, yet it was too vaguely described. He lost his balance on the boat, fell into the water and drowned because he had a lot of gold on him. Many people had been plotting and desiring his death, yet his death due to losing his balance seemed too convenient to me.The author uses Middle English and has a glossary in the back of the book to translate many but not all of the words she used. Reading conversations in Middle English was difficult and not enjoyable for me.DATA:Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: five. Setting: 9th year after the Great Pestilence in England. Copyright: 1993. Genre: historical romance and middle english.

  • Fiction Fool
    2019-06-16 09:02

    Rating: (♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥)Sample of Nicholas Boulton narrating For My Lady's Heart.(This is more of a combined feature than of an individual review.)Laura Kinsale is a pioneer. Seriously! She's done what many author's dream about. She's taken control of producing her own audiobooks, which is truly impressive, and she chose the most ideal candidate to bring her stories to your greedy little ears. Mr. Nicholas Boulton, who is already a talented stage, screen and voice actor, made it into Ms. Kinsale's vast selection of narrators, then moved his way to the top of her list. The rest is history and I couldn't be more awestruck (and swoony).As a very picky audiobook listener, I'm easily put off by frequently bad choices made in the selection of a narrator. It's such a crucial decision for an author's work that I wonder what goes through their mind at selection time and who has more control over the choices? Ms. Kinsale wrote a really great blog post in two parts (Which can be found here --> Part One and Part Two) on the whole process and her decision behind producing her novels into audiobooks. She gives you an eye opening view of what it's like, as an author, to hear your own words read to you by someone else. I recommend giving it a peek.Now, lets get to her books... her stories always spring to life in colorful detail and elegant prose. Every story is an unusual, grande adventure in some form or fashion and she makes each character come alive with realistic flaws that cause you a gamut of emotions from anger to annoyance while still managing to endear you to them. Her characters are also the most unlikely personalities you would expect to be paired together. Often, you find yourself wondering how she's going to manage rescuing you from your irritation of one or the other before the stories conclusion. But it always happens. Somewhere within the stories intricate woven details, you begin to understand each character, empathize, and eventually your heart follows your understanding into the snare and you're hooked.The first book I listened to, Flowers From the Storm, is where I recommend everyone start. It's an incredible story with unusual heartrending circumstances. I loved this novel so much that I'm currently tearing through more of her stories like a starving beggar. I really can't get enough. In fact, I just finished For My Lady's Heart and even though the next audiobook in the Medieval Hearts series, Shadowheart, will be released this month, the thought of waiting (what… days?) is just about as torturous as having to wait the usual year. I purchased the ebook anyway and I'm constantly battling myself on whether to cave and start reading or wait for the narrated version so I don't miss Mr. Boulton's performance of Allegreto. Torture!Yes, I am a newbie to Ms. Kinsale's writing. I've had her on my TBR list for a while and have been repeatedly hounded by a few individuals to read one of her novels - *cough* Flower from the Storm *cough*. I'm grateful for the repeated nudging as I was totally hooked from the first listen. I have yet to encounter a Kinsale novel that I don't like and I especially love her novels when narrated by Nicholas Boulton. What a combination! In truth, I'd only read the first chapter in one of her books before going back to audiobook format to hear Mr. Boulton's incredibly sexy... er... talented and evocative voice. He turns every Kinsale novel into a Kinsale/Boulton Masterpiece and each of his performances, in my opinion, are Oscar worthy. He manages to make the story more mesmerizing, if such a thing is even possible; bringing it to life in vivid detail almost effortlessly.I don't always recommend listening above reading because narration is a VERY TRICKY business and can sometimes ruin a perfectly good story. In this case, however, I'm wholeheartedly recommending the listening experience. His performance is not something to be missed! As long as Nicholas Boulton doesn't… uh.. bolt (sorry) on us listeners, then I'm a super, duper, loyal fan.So why didn't I write a review for each of her books? Three reasons, really. I decided to write an Author/Narrator Feature instead because I was so impressed with Ms. Kinsale's decision and success at producing her own audiobooks; I am also equally impressed with her choice in narrators (understatement); and last, I have neither the time, nor patience to sit and write a full review for each individual story. Do you realize how much that would slow me down! I'm still trying to work my way to the end of her book list. That's way too many interruptions to get to the next story, and the next, and honestly, this is all I'm willing to spare… Patience be damned! I am on a mission!All in all, you can't go wrong with a Kinsale novel (especially if it's read by the talented Mr. Boulton). If you're currently wondering what to read/listen to next… look no further! If you had something else in mind, a Kinsale novel should be allowed to cut in line on your TBR list (Mandatory). If you're currently reading something that is really easy to put down and walk away from, I think you need to retire that book and pick up Flowers from the Storm or The Prince of Midnight or The Dream Hunter or… you get the point. I promise you won't regret it!P.S. - If you're still hedging, head on over to and listen the audio samples and extra clips. That oughta help. I've also provided links to some samples and extra clips below. Knock yourself out!Audiobook Samples: Flowers from the Storm || The Prince of Midnight || The Dream Hunter || For My Lady's Heart || More Fun Audio clips!!! My favorite is the last one that has the main character from The Prince of Midnight, S.T. Maitland, pretending he's drunk. Really good scene.

  • October
    2019-06-03 03:04

    Dnf at 2% I'm not going to rate this because I dnf'd so early, but I stopped reading because I hit a deal-breaker and couldn't move past it.But there had been only a few sweet weeks of kissing and bedding, with Isabelle as loving and eager for it as himself, before the king’s army had called him to France. When he’d come back, knighted on the field at Poitiers, full of the future, triumphant and appalled and eager to bury himself and the bloodshed in the clean tender arms of his wife—he’d come back, and found that God had turned her dizzy prattle into prophecy.For a sevennight he’d had his way with her, in spite of the weeping, in spite of the praying and begging, in spite of the scolds, but when she’d taken to screaming, he’d found it more than he could endure. He’d thought he ought to beat her; that was her father’s advice, and sure it was that Ruck would gladly beat her or mayhap even strangle her when she was in the full flow of pious exhortations—but instead she’d beseeched him to take her on pilgrimage across the heap of war-torn ruins that was France. The hero is a rapist. Now, some would argue that he's acting according to the times he lived, but I honestly think that assault is assault regardless of the time period it is set in. I can't be bothered to read any further. A lot of people who read the book were able to overlook the above quote and enjoy the rest of the book, so I'm definitely in the minority here.

  • Margaret
    2019-06-20 05:04

    It's a good thing I enjoyed Flowers from the Storm so much, because if For My Lady's Heart had been the first Kinsale I picked up, I might not have read any more and would have missed out on The Shadow and the Star, Seize the Fire, and Midsummer Moon, among others. It begins with the hero, Ruck, losing his wife, who thinks herself a saint, and all of his possessions to the church, leaving him penniless until he's rescued by the gift of two emeralds, given to him by the Princess Melanthe on a whim; when Ruck meets Melanthe again years later, he swears to her service and is drawn into her conflict with the powerful man who wishes to marry her and take control of her lands. The book just doesn't work for me on a number of levels. For one, Kinsale has the characters use a bizarre sort of quasi-old English dialect which is often jarring or confusing; for another, the characters felt emotionally distant to me, and I was never very engaged with them. This might be partly because the threat to Melanthe doesn't feel very real, as the villain doesn't arrive until near the end of the book.

  • Res
    2019-06-16 10:15

    The one where Princess Melanthe, the widow of an Italian prince, is involved in dangerous political disputes among three Italian families over her lands and herself, and Ruck is neither married nor single, neither landed nor baseborn, neither above her nor below her.It's been a long time since I enjoyed a romance this much. The historical period (1400s) is so distant that a story set there has pretty much the same essential pleasure as science fiction. The people and settings are strange, vivid, and wonderful. I found it particularly interesting to read sex scenes with medieval language and medieval conflicts -- very sexy, too, in spite of the alienness of the people.Both characters have complex, urgent, strange problems, and I was very involved with them both. It's nice to read a story where it's the woman who has to deal with the dangers of power; I loved Melanthe's high-risk maneuvering to get herself a little freedom.

  • Jessie Gussman
    2019-06-09 04:58

    By far, my favorite hero ever.There's a lot that could be said about this story, but the hero, Ruck, is what made this a five-star book for me. They just don't write them like that anymore. Perfect, without seeming to be, and still has a visible character arc throughout the story. To me, the motivations of the heroine, Melanthe, were a little weak at times, but I was so into Ruck, I didn't care.

  • Catherine
    2019-06-14 03:53

    DNF at 8%. Just couldn't get in to the language and I feel like a dolt for it. Maybe I'll read the 'modernised' version at some point. oh the shame

  • Gaufre
    2019-06-06 05:54

    DNF ~50%I tried, really tried, but can't seem to get into it. The story is really slow and the Middle English is hard to read. English is not my first language so I didn't grow up reading all those old books and getting used to the thou's and thee's. I even tried the audiobook out with the awesome voice of Mr. Boulton but found out that I don't pay attention when someone talks to me continuously (I probably shouldn't admit that but it is what happened). I might come back to it later - or try Shadowheart.

  • Refah
    2019-05-25 09:54

    [Cross-posted to my blog:]THIS BOOK. Oh my god, this book. It's like someone gathered all of my favorite tropes and rolled it in one neat book-package.This book has everything I want: a stoic tortured knight, his cunning and equally tortured lady, Medieval politics, courtly intrigue, knightly devotion, courtly love, pining, and loyalty. AND THE LOYALTY. My god, let me tell you all about the loyalty.Loyalty is one of my assured catnips. Any book that has the hero being quietly loyal and devoted to the heroine that he will do anything, even sacrifice his own life, for her happiness and safety, and I will be rolling in the floor, squealing like a happy cat. And Sir Ruck, the hero of this book, is pretty much slathered in all the good knightly devotion and courtly love tropes. He is like succulent braised pig in terms of satisfying my hunger for loyalty kink.Sir Ruck is my favorite kind of hero: quietly tortured and utterly loyal and devoted to his lady. He's been through a lot: his house's not truly his due to some legal entanglements and his first common-born wife entered a convent and then "donated" all of his money and horse and armor and arms to the Church. A mysterious benefactress helped him get himself a horse and armor and arms by giving him a pouch of emeralds, and he had pledged himself to her forevermore. Little did he know, thirteen years later, that he would see his benefactress again. The Princess Melanthe is cold and calculating, nothing like the perfect, saintly lady that had sustained him in chastity for thirteen years. He was shattered at first, and yet he grew to love her still, despite her ruthlessness, despite her demons.The Princess Melanthe had gone through a lot in her life. She was wedded, when she's twelve, to a man old enough to be her father. Her husband had taught her everything she knew about surviving the deadly intrigues of the Italian court, but when he died, Melanthe found herself suffocating there and conspired to be installed in her father's lands in Bowland, England, her childhood home. To achieve this gain, she must tell lies upon lies, break promises upon promises, and woo dukes and knights and princes and nobles. She was always guarded and cold in the continent, for fear that anyone who is dear to her will die, but in England, far away from the vicious court of Italy, she had let her guard down and allow herself to fall in love with a lowly runisch knight.Both Sir Ruck and the Princess Melanthe are haunted by the demons of their past. Both of them are lonely, alone in the cold hard world. Both of them found love and companionship in each other, when they thought they couldn't. I love that Sir Ruck remains utterly loyal and devoted to Melanthe, even when he doesn't quite know what's in her sleeves. He had pledged himself to her for life, first as her knight, then as her husband, and by god he will upheld that pledge and vow, come rain or hellfire. The Princess Melanthe too, slowly but surely allowed herself to open up to this rough Northern knight, despite her fear for his safety if he got close to her.The Middle English language employed in the dialogue can be quite disconcerting. I confess, sometimes I don't even know what Sir Ruck is saying, rough-speak as he is. But that's what I love about this novel, it doesn't feel like a pastiche, like some historical novel are. The narrative is very much grounded to the period. Sir Ruck and Princess Melanthe all act like Medieval people in a Medieval world, not modern people in a Medieval world. So there are some of their actions that to us might seem vile, for example Sir Ruck raping his wife for a week straight until he grew tired of her screaming, but they're perfectly reasonable for the characters. As in the Medieval times, religion plays an important role in the story, and the reason why Sir Ruck stayed chaste with Melanthe before they're wed is because he believed he would go to hell for committing the sin of adultery and fornication.But I love this book and the characters, partly because they are so vivid and full of life. The side characters too are given their own plots and characterizations, not merely some two-dimensional paper-dolls. Sir Ruck and Lady Melanthe's relationship is like catnip to me, but the language can be disorienting, so that's why I gave it a 4.5 star, rounded down to a four star.

  • kathie
    2019-06-15 02:59

    Narrator- 5*Story- -4*degree of authenticity- 5*I finished this audio book a few days ago but have had no time to write even a short review. And since I am still short on time, I'll only add my two cents to the already very thorough reviews. Listening to Nicholas Boulton is always a treat and when paired with the very talented Laura Kinsale, it is a winning combination. I am in awe of Kinsale's ability to use language that lent a feeling of authenticity to this medieval story but I was still able to follow the story with no problem. Sir Ruadrik, or Ruck as he was called, was perhaps one of the most honorable hero's I have come across in a romance novel. His commitment to Princess Melanthe and his love for her dictated his every action. Melanthe, like many a Kinsale heroine, was a little harder to warm up to. But once the reader gets an understanding of what motivates Melanthe's actions, she is much easier to like. A great listening experience and I plan to listen toafter giving myself a little time since I don't want to think of Ruck when Allegreto is speaking.

  • Jill
    2019-06-11 04:51

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE KINSALE BOOK!!I experienced this story as an AUDIOBOOK - if you have never read a Kinsale book there are a few things you need to know: - Laura Kinsale books are angsty.- Things are NEVER tidy - The heroes are always flawed - The heroines usually get hurt by the heroesAND MOST OF ALL - - Laura Kinsale's writing talent MAY ruin you for less gifted authors. Now that I have read her work, I get far less enjoyment reading/ listening to historical romance/ fantasy stories that are written by lesser authors. Kinsale has an almost magical ability to rip you from reality and drop you smack in the middle of a pirate ship, a desert or a hidden kingdom but it is her partnership with the most amazing narrator EVER - Nicholas Boulton, that fills these new locales with vivid colors and amazing people. I do not care for angsty books-(period.) They are unpleasant, frustrating and frazzle me to discomfort. If my reading is interrupted before the misunderstanding is resolved (as is common when you have 2 kids) I am not a happy camper so I have always screened and avoided those reads as a general rule. All Kinsale books are ANGSTY and if I had read them rather than listened they would have lost a star rating from me by default. The unpleasantness of conflict based on unnecessary secrets, misunderstandings, pride, personal demons, villains or self doubt always takes away from my overall experience but when Nicholas Boulton reads to me, all is forgiven. His voice, acting, interpretation and most of all, companionship on these literary journeys are more than enough compensation for any discomfort Kinsale imposes upon me. And the reason I feel distress is because she makes me care, she forces me to believe, she puts me into the story and I suffer along with the characters. She is an extraordinary talent and her books are a life experience.

  • geekturnedvamp
    2019-06-23 03:01

    This is a medieval historical romance which attempts to incorporate Middle English language in the dialogue (although how successfully--even before her editors made her take out some of the Middle English to make it more accessible--is debatable), so I think this book works best for readers who’ve taken like one semester of Chaucer and can easily follow it, but who aren’t real academics because the latter tend to be annoyed that the Middle English isn’t really very good. Also, I've seen reviews complain that the book and the heroine are cold, but assassination was a part of daily political life in 14th-century Europe and I am the target audience for cold, cynical heroines anyway (plucky yet innocent virgins have always bored me).

  • Kid Disaster
    2019-06-14 10:13

    i loved the use of middle english in this book (not that i understood all of it - but there is a handy glossary at the back!) I flipped a few chapters of the 'tighter, re worded' version that was included and didn't like it as much. i'm a sucker for a true honorable hero. but this is another one of those book where if people would just communicate, there wouldn't have been a plot (i'm looking at you jamie fraser/roger mackenzie). i liked the idea of the truth speaking hero and the lying lady (why doesn't anyone ever believe a person when they say they ALWAYS LIE?)good subplots (is the next book about allegretto? i hope so), descriptive fighting scenes, and the main couple had love and hate and angst and... it was great. thank you laura kinsale.

  • Yossra kerkeb
    2019-06-20 05:03

    I feel terrible for not finishing this one, Laura Kinsale is IMHO a literary goddess. However this one was one of her earlier works and I just couldn't get that feeling of addiction I usually have reading her novels. Firstly, this book was set in medieval times and the language was difficult for me to understand, as I'm not a native english speaker. Secondly, it was soooooo looong. It took me an entire afternoon to finish 3 chapters! Thirdly and most importantly, I did not like the heroine. I just can't with the whole bitchy, untouchable princess act. Not my cuppa but hopefully this will be the only LK book I ever haven't to put down.

  • Barbara
    2019-06-18 05:18

    3 or 4 Stars...I can't decideI'm having a hard time rating "For My Lady's Heart".I really enjoyed the storyline, it was very different, and the characters were really brought to life...but it was soooooo stretched out and after the second half it was like "blah blah blah blah blah".I wouldn't not recommend this, but I'm not going to recommend it either...LoL!

  • Shari Kay
    2019-06-25 07:16

    just not interested

  • Edina Spahic
    2019-06-19 04:51

    great book, just like all others