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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kate Holmes - The Wild Swans

Genre: Fantasy
A Stand-Alone Novel
ISBN: 9780505523839
Releasedate: June 13, 2000
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

King Richard had had it with frivolous females filling his ears with their foolishness. Yet for all his castles and dragon-slaying, he still needed a wife. Preferably one who wouldn't plague him with womanly whining. One who knew when to shut up. So why not lay claim to the sweetly saucy silent A MAN WHO REALLY LISTENS!

Princess Arianne had had it with meddling males making her life miserable. When her twelve brothers angered an ogre, she was the one stuck spinning nettles into shirts to save them from eternal servitude as swans. And she had to complete the task in total silence! To make matters worse, along came chatty King Richard, wanting to bed her, wanting to wed her. Rugged Richard made her virginal knees weak. But could even a king know a woman's mind--without her speaking it?

King of Avalon etc. etc. etc. – Richard – knows he has to marry, and as a king it should be a princess, but after months of meeting princesses, his ears nearly fell of from all the chatting about useless subjects they’ve been doing, he vows that he would marry the first person who know’s just how to shut up!


I was browsing my shelves for something to read, but it had to be different from what I’ve been reading lately. It was then that my eye fell on this novel. I bought it over a year-and-a-half ago becuase it appealed to me then, but never got around to reading it.

On the cover it says ‘A Faerie Tale Romance’ and it’s exactly that. Kate Holmes took a very well-known children’s faery tale and turned it into a humerous and wickedly fun to read adult faery tale. It totally brings flair on my bookshelves!

The Faerie Tale she uses in this novel is the one where 12 brothers are turned into swans by an old hag in the forrest after they broke into her home and ate her food. Their sister can turn them back by knitting each of them a sweater of nettles, gathered by the light of the full moon – but she has to do it without uttering a word; no singing and no one must know.....

When this event has occured, king Richard arrives at Ariane’s doorstep in the evening, all soaking wet and muddy footed. In that first meeting alone my heart took the leaps it did when my mum read me a bed-time faerie-tale story when I was younger.

Kate Holmes uses the ‘men are from Mars; women are from Venus’ in such a superb way, blends it into this fairytale, giving me the time of my life reading it. As it’s a faery tale historical facts might not be accurate and eventhough the writing sometimes is somewhat rough around the edges, its’all forgiven and forgotten when I turned the last page and let out a long sigh with the Happily Ever After! I was a bit sorry to see it ending where it did though. It would have been more satisfying to read on about the return of the boys at their father’s home.

King Richard etc. etc. etc. captured my heart straight away. Regal with a boyish charm and a typical male outlook on things, which comes perfectly to light with his thoughts being blended into this story. What else can a girl do but fall head over heals? Though he has many friends his relationship with John Paul is exquisite! (for those who are wondering – yes it is his uhm.... manhood...).

Princess Arianne is a young woman who took over her mother’s role in the keep when her mother passed away. Her absent minded father is not able to run the keep, leaves it all up to her. Beneath the weighing responsibility I sensed a girly girl who loves to sing and enjoy life, which came to surface again towards the end of the novel.

Arianne cannot say a word till she finishes knitting the sweaters. That fact, combined with the ‘men are from Mars; women are from Venus’ concept gives this story the oh so recognisable miscommunications between men and women. And as Arianne has difficulty explaining herself Richard has to dig deep and beyond his manly ways to try and understand her.

If you want something ‘dreamy’ to read, this is definitely a novel I would recommend. It gave me such a springtime, butterfly feel good feeling that I just know I will re-read it sometimes and therewith Kate Holmes achieves something not a lot of authors achieve with me as a reader.

Alinea Quote
‘My horse threw me,’ he said. That was close to the truth anyway.
Her equally perfect left brow quirked upward to join the right. Her more that perfect lips twitched with amusement as she let go of his chin and silently stepped back, eyeing him with exactly the same expression Nurse had used whenever he’d told a fib.
Richard blushed ‘.... all right then, I fell off.’
She smiled with an irritating trace of smugness. ‘It was right after everyone else got lost, you see, and – Well, they did!” he said defensively when her smile widened. ‘I’m the king, you know. They’re supposed to follow ME, not some damned bug hart, with as nice a rack as – What? What?!’
She was laughing at him. Outright laughim at him!!!

4,5 stars

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