I’m pleased to welcome another avid reader of medieval romance to my blog today. Petula is the kind of loyal reader authors prize. She also reviews books on Warrior Woman Winmill’s blog. Today she shares why she loves medieval romance and has also reviewed a book for us, Blood of the Red Rose by PJ Gray.
Thanks for having me as your guest, Anna. The first book I read in this genre was Velvet Song by Jude Deveraux, over 30 years ago. I went on to read just about anything I could get my hands on by her. My favourite was A Knight in Shining Armour, The humour of that book makes it an entertaining read for just about anyone. Unfortunately she has wandered away from the historicals I love so much .
The reason I like historical romance, and medieval in particular is that I like to escape into a book. That era draws me. The people in those days had to be so strong, both in mind and body. The women had to use their brains to keep control of their lives and get the men to use their brawn to protect them. Sometimes even from those that rule the land. The history is far enough away that our authors can stretch the truth without us screaming ¨that´s not true¨. Mind you I have been known to tell an author that some of the animals they mentioned were not in England at that time. The horses they used also fascinate me. They must have been huge to carry the weight of a man in full armour, but they are nothing like our heavy horses of today. Their horses fought with them. The heavy horses of today are gentle giants.
As an English reader living in Spain for the last 26 years it used to be very difficult to get books to read. I had to rely on tourists to bring them over to read on holiday, who left them behind or donated them to our marvellous local library. We are lucky enough to have an English section, all donated paperbacks. Then a couple of years ago my darling son bought me a kindle, still the best gift I have ever received. Now no book is out of my reach. My first stop was Amazon´s e. books.. I just put medieval romance into the search and found so many new to me authors.
Kathryn Le Veque was one of the first I found. Her Dragonblade series quickly caught my attention. I have since read more than 20 of her books. Then I found Anna Markland´s Montbryce series. I think I have read ALL of hers. The way she describes the details of life in those times makes me wish I had a history teacher like her when I was at school. Catherine Kean , Kathryn Loch, Denise Domning and Hannah Howell are just some of the marvellous authors I have found so far in this genre. I have a lot of catching up to do. I try to put reviews up on Amazon, Goodreads and my own blog for the books I enjoy in an effort to help both the readers and the authors. Readers like me who may be looking for something new. Historical is new if you have never read it. The authors need the help to sell their books, so that they have the time to sit at a computer and write such amazing stories for our enjoyment.
When I was looking for a book to review for this piece It took me a while to find just the right one. I thought about reviewing an older one by an established author, but then I found one published just a short time ago by a ¨new¨ author.
I think that proves that the genre is very much alive and kicking. The book I have chosen is exactly the right combination of adventure, politics and romance. The book is BLOOD OF THE RED ROSE by P.J.GRAY.
This book is set during the War of the Roses, The characters are mostly real, but the author has added the heroine as an illegitimate daughter to The Earl of Warwick, Richard Neville. Sometimes called the King Maker.
Our hero is Edmund Beaufort known to his friends and family as Beau, a very loyal subject to the Lancastrian throne. He is in exile with Queen Marguerite and Prince Edward. He is a man with no doubts over where his loyalty lies. He is also very much in favour with the ladies. He has lost his father and older brother to the cause, but his younger brother is in exile with him. His job is to train the young Prince while his father is imprisoned.
Our heroine is Kathrine Neville, a daughter that Warwick brought into his wife´s household to be raised with her half sisters. She is very much the daughter of his heart. He doesn´t have to worry about finding her a husband that will help him in his political maneuvering. The Earl of Warwick has changed his alliance to the Lancastrian side of the war. He already has one daughter married to George, the Duke of Clarence, who is on the York side of the war. Then he manages to get his younger daughter married to the young Prince Edward.
The trials of the war on the loyalties of all concerned is shown in this story. The problems the main characters have trying to find time for themselves without damaging Kathrine´s reputation or upsetting a very volatile Queen. It´s an emotional journey. I cried all through the last few pages.
This book is a must for true medieval romance fans. FIVE STARS.
Thank you, Petula.