by Susan S., guest reviewer

High praise for Cooper-Posey’s Heart of Vengeance. A touching love story of two lovers willing to risk it all (titles, lands, imprisonment, torture, even death) just to be together.

Summary:

Ah, Lady Helena of York, beautiful daughter of the late Earl of Wessex. Pretty Saxon maiden with the most beautiful blue eyes-you’ve ever seen. While she may look angelic, this is a knife carrying, strong heroine who can expertly yield a bow and arrow. She’s going to find her father’s killer come hell or high water! And when she does…well, you’ll have to read the novel to find out.

The plan: Helena (heroine) will pose as Lady Isobel of Brittany; a Norman. Lady Catherine and Sir Hubert Fitzwarren will be sponsoring her return to court. Nothing! Absolutely nothing, will stand in Helena’s way. She simply must find the man responsible for all her anguish. That the Fitzwarren’s plan to marry her off, well…she’ll cross that bridge when she gets there.

Who’s Stephen, Count of Dinan, Earl of Northumbria, often referred to as the Black Baron? Stephen, yes, he’s what I like to call, the law of unintended consequences. The one’s Helena didn’t foresee. When their paths cross, a continued acquaintance would be foolish, not to mention deadly. She’s posing as someone she’s not, and he’s seen as trouble to be avoided. A medieval bad boy, no wonder he appealed to me! Helena has a bit of a trilemma on her hands: 1. How to keep her real identity concealed/ avoid drawing the present king’s ire 2. Steer clear of marrying a repugnant man named Savaric/ circumvent the future king’s wrath, and the most troublesome of the three 3. Can she stay away from a noble knight who’s stolen all she had left…her heart?

Who said a woman’s life was easy?

Recommendations: Do you fancy stories with dashing knights, beautiful maidens, and forbidden love? Did the characters and power plays in The Lion in Winter appeal to you? In the movie Romeo & Juliet (the 1968 version, of course) did the clandestine meetings between lovers make you gush? If so, I recommend you pick up a copy. Same goes, if you read romances in “any” subgenre, but more specifically historicals, romantic suspense, and medieval love stories.

Historical Elements: I’d like to touch on a key point; accuracy. 1. King Richard’s use of kingdom’s resources to support his crusade (check). 2. King Richard married Berengaria (check). 3. As well as Richard’s use of Château Gaillard (check).

My Thoughts: Reading is subjective, yes. But, I’m convinced the author’s beautiful story, coupled with historical accuracies intertwined in such a way, you couldn’t possibly debate its winning outcome.

Complaints: Yes, I have them.

Number one, it’s a single title. I want a Vengeance Series! Can’t I get Marked by Vengeance? Where William of Worcester is the hero; all grown up. Secondly, Robert of Loxley (my goblet clashes against the table) I want him. Sorry, I forget myself, strikethrough. Replace the word him, with more. Or, more of him!?

Comedic Element: Stephen doesn’t know Isobel’s real identity, and she’s not telling, so he calls her not-Isobel.

Where shall I place this novel? In my re-read pile, of course!

Rating: 5 Stars

Buy: Heart of Vengeance (Kindle), Heart of Vengeance (Paperback)

eBook, 2010, Cerridwen Press
Medieval Historical Romantic Suspense, 227 pages.
ISBN# 978-141-992-4040

Leave a Comment

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Scorpio M. August 27, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Loved this review. Seriously! I would never have looked into this title otherwise, thanks!

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2 Susan S. August 27, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Waving like a mad woman at Scorpio. Thank you! Now, my comment to you, you’re going to love this novel. Seriously! You could feel the hero/heroines emotions battling when they’re alone: stay/leave, say how I feel/keep silent, touch/don’t touch. I meant it when I said, it’s a re-read for me.

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3 Sharon S. September 6, 2011 at 4:39 AM

wow, I am not a historical reader, but this sounds wonderful. I am a big forbidden love fan.

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4 Susan S. September 6, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Hi Sharon,

Tracy Cooper-Posey has penned some great ones, but I place Heart of Vengeance among her best novels. I can’t rank it because Heart of Vengeance and Diana by the Moon keep fighting for first place status. I’ll never decide…which I love best.

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