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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lee Grantier - Castle Ladyslipper - ARC for ROOB


Genre: Historical
Standalone novel
ISBN: 0-980-17800-2
Releasedate: January 2008
Publisher: Helm Publishing
Format owned: TPB signed
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

...When a chauvinistic knight lands in a castle full of women, somebody has to change…

Soldier of fortune, Garrick of Hawkwood is ill prepared for the women of Castle Ladyslipper, especially its hostile mistress, Emma d’Arcy. Garrick is haunted by the spirit of Emma’s great-great grandmother Rose. Her actions caused the curse plaguing Emma and her female relatives. Though clearly at odds, Emma and Garrick cannot deny the sultry heat rising between them.

Liberally laced with humor, Castle Ladyslipper resonates with a timeless theme: Love can flourish even when sown in the rocky soil of misunderstanding.
When Garrick gets the assignment to go to Fairfield and marry Helene, the Lady of the land, he is determined to do so. He however did not anticipate that she was not there, but her stepdaughter was. And the spitfiry Emma was not going to tell this beast of a man where her stepmother was residing. But when King Henry decides to pay Castle Ladyslipper a visit, destiny unfolds and Emma and Garrick get awestruck with his new order!

This is just one of those stories that give you such a pleasant read. No heavy-set emotions to go through, no struggling mating rituals, no new world to discover. Most stories make you feel like you go through it all yourself, but this story just give you a glimpse in the lives of Emma and Garrick. It makes you feel you’re allowed to just come along on their journey in life.

Garrick is a typical historical sexy hero, who goes by the orders of the King and sticks to them no matter what. But when he comes across stubborn, feisty and reluctant Emma, from then on he starts having trouble to do what was ordered. He stands for what he feels is right and is willing to do whatever necessary to get it done. Emma, however, has a mind of her own. Bound by a “magical curse”, brought upon the ladies in the castle by one of her ancestors, she is now the one to keep hold of the amulet and wears it as an everyday reminder.

What captured me most in this story is not the paranormal influence, even though it is there, it is not dominant, I loved that. It is telling a story of life in 1089-just life as it is. It is not always spectacular and Lee Grantier describes that in a great way. She writes with such humour in her writing as well as a flair that just has you chuckle a lot and giggle as well. If you want to get away from the stress from nowadays living, this is a great novel to do so. Most of the story is about Emma and Garrick even though the characters surrounding them do play a certain role in their whole involvement as well.

There were many characters coming to scene, but Lee Grantier handled it very well and was able to give them all their own characters while they were mentioned. I just fell in love with the aunties and William, who with their own unique ways are an addition to it all and just as much a red thread in the story as Garrick and Emma (so on a personal note I’m hoping to be able to read a bit more about them in the future ;-) hopefully in the form of a trilogy or series!). I just loved the fact that the women of Fairfield were independent and did not sit around and wait for the men to lead; they took matters in their own hands and stood behind their lord and lady!

The plot was surprising, I had not seen it coming and the fact that this novel tells a story in a timeframe of about a year makes that it stands out next to other novels. The centre stage of this story is the love that from the first pages on sizzle between the two main characters and the emotions that go with that. It takes guts to write a story like this describing everyday feelings – really well – to simply say how it is and use the emotions like doubt and hurt as the reason why things happen the way they do.

It is very difficult to tell a story around two main characters who both have self-doubt, similar “issues” to go through and then make it towards a smashing ending while remaining close to themselves, it was superb to see that in the end there was still a fire between the main characters that sparkled from the pages. I thought it was the icing to the cake when the second half of the story unfolded into the climax.

Sometimes simplicity in a story is the way to go and if you can write it down like Lee Grantier did, to me, which deserves praises.

It’s a heart-warming story that can best be described as giving you the feeling of seeing a falling star. A sweetness that stays with you and fills your heart – this is a medieval romance that really deserves the title romance. It’s a love story as many should be and I will most definitely cherish it and re-read it many times!

4 Stars

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With everything new, I ofcourse, had to get used to the idea of making, owning and maintaining a blog but I have to say, now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s quite fun to do. Let me introduce myself, I’m Natascha, in my early 30’s and from a little place called Winschoten in the Netherlands, I’ll be your host on this blog.

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