Customer Reviews for

Shadowheart

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
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(11)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2006

    Worth the wait.

    The assassin, Allegreto, first appeared in the novel 'For My Lady's Heart' and readers screamed for his story to be told. Finally, his story has arrived! ................ Elena's life had been simple, sweet, and shielded for as long as she could recall. When Sir Raymond de Claire went to his lord and asked for Elena's hand in marriage, the customary background check was done of her blood lines. That was the end of her innocence. The shocking truth was revealed. Unknown to most, including herself, she was Princess Elena Rosafina di Monteverde, the direct descendant from the ruling house of Monteverde. She was the granddaughter of Prince Ligurio and long since thought dead. The Lady Melanthe (from 'For My Lady's Heart') had hidden Elena, with the help of an assassin, from the sight of those who would see her dead. .............. The house of Riata ruled Monteverde for now. Knowing the people would embrace Elena as the true ruling house, she was charged to marry Franco Pietro which would combine the houses of Riata and Monteverde. Unhappy, but with no other choice, Elena set sail for Monteverde and her marriage. ............ Allegreto Navona, the illegitimate son of the cruel Gian Navona intercepted Elena's passage. She was taken to his island and was saved from being forced to wed the Riata. Instead, she would be forced to wed Allegreto of the Navona house. His marriage to Elena would seal his claim to rule Monteverde. Then he and his men, specially trained by him, would invade the city Monteverde and become the ruling lords. ........... Elena fell in love with Allegreto, but he was a man with many dark secrets. He claimed to have no heart, but pledged his life and service to Elena. Once in Monteverde, Elena must somehow return her people to the peaceful ways of her grandfather. But the houses of Riata and Navona caused unrest and some others plotted Elena's death, thus eliminating the last of her house. ............. ***** Author Laura Kinsale and her legendary ability to weave spell binding tales has come forward once again to offer readers the long awaited story of the mysterious assassin known as The Raven. The result is 'Shadow Heart' and it was worth the wait! .............. Elena's character is so realistic that readers can easily sympathize with her and feel the uncertainty that consumes the young princess and slowly changes her to become the strong leader the people so desperately need. As for the two house leaders who fight to claim Elena's hand, the reader is able to see and understand BOTH sides. The story, itself, flows smoother than silk with remarkable secondary characters that will claim the hearts of all. Highly recommended reading! This book will stand out from all others on your Keeper Shelf! *****

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2005

    Darkly Erotic, Deeply Disturbing Tale of Redemption!

    Seventeen years old, Elayne of Italian descent, lived in the forest of Savernake, in the fifth year of the reign of King Richard II. Elayne has gorgeous dark long hair with unusual violet-blue colored eyes¿ Raised by her sister, Cara, both who lived under the protection of Lady Melanthe Countess of Bowland, Elayne¿s Godmother. Elayne is a simple, happy Christian girl, who had a tendency towards spells and magic. This was a constant concern of her family. The devils work, people believed. Elayne, was a dreamer, who thought herself in love with Raymond de Clare a knight in Lord John of Lancaster¿s service. Little cat, that was Raymond¿s pet name for Elayne, he is an arrogantly handsome peacock. She has made a love charm to make Raymond fall madly in love with her, so she thinks. Elayne was waiting for Raymond to request her hand-in-marriage, but he later announces to be marrying another. Broken hearted, Elayne¿s Godmother Lady Melanthe, sends her on a pilgrimage to Rome, to become more polished and refined. She also finds out, that she is the last unmarried princess of Monteverde blood, and will be married at the end of her journey to her families sworn enemy, Franco Pietro from the house of Riata. Little did Elayne know, that this journey into darkness, would forever change her soul¿ Allegreto Della Navona, is an exiled illegitimate son from the house of Navona. His family was overthrown and cast out of Monteverde by Franco Pietro. Allegreto is now, so full of hatred and contempt, he will stop at nothing to usurp what he has lost, not even if it means selling his soul to the devil¿ Allegreto, has the ship Elayne is traveling on waylaid and brought to his private island fortress, high upon the cliffs. The first time Elayne sees Allegreto, she envisions her ideal dark angel on earth. What she finds out, is more like Lucifer made real, the lord of light fallen down to perfect darkness in the flesh. Elayne nicknames him, Raven, because of his long black hair, dark deadly eyes and a body of a harden killer. Allegreto displays of power and magic scare and enthralls Elayne. Allegreto, also has a nickname for Elayne, Hell-Cat. He sees her not as a sweet innocent soul, but an embodiment of sin and fire ready to unleash. The erotic obsession between Elayne and Allegreto throughout this book is dark and unholy. You will find yourself turning the pages unknowingly. Engrossed in this tale of dark sensuality and the poignant message of redemption, that is¿SHADOW HEART¿

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Not your average romance!

    I found out about Laura Kinsale as an author when I googled past RITA award winners. I read For My Lady's Heart, where the character of Allegreto first appears. This book, Shadowheart, won the RITA award for best book. Since then I've read most of Kinsale's work. She stands out in the romance genre. Her books stay with you long after you've read the last page. Much has been said about the bdsm elements, but the scenes are tastefully done and highly emotional...also fairly tame by 50 Shades of Gray standards.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Always Wonderful

    Laura Kinsale books are always wonderful. You can't go wrong!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2004

    Have to say I loved it...

    I was not sure I would like this book -- bought it in a used book store in case it wasn't a good investment. I had not liked the prequel to it, but recently read again one of my favorite books ever which is by this author, Dream Hunter, so I thought I'd give this one a chance. Allegreto reminded me in some ways of the guy from Dream Hunter. I love this because to me these books are more realistic than the light fluff romance novels normally are. Instead you see a type of love that is so strong it seems, and is sometimes, literally painful. Allegreto's love for Elena isn't just expressed through trite words, but in actions, in lowering his defenses, which for someone trained to be dangerous and expect danger to himself, is an ultimate act of love. You see how the characters think, and for me what they do does make sense in the setting they are in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2004

    Unforgettable!!!!

    This is truly one of Kinsale's best books. She stays true to Allegreto's complex character. It is a dark, emotional, and sometimes disturbing story, but it is what one would expect, considering Allegreto's tormented past. I commend Kinsale on staying true to his story and not shying away from the darker aspects of his sexuality. Shadowheart is a story you will never forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2004

    Worth the long Wait

    Ms Kinsale has a unique talent in writing. The theme and the narrative are her specialty. One can hardly put down the book, looking to turn the page to see what's coming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2004

    Well worth the long wait!

    The assassin, Allegreto, first appeared in the novel 'For My Lady's Heart' and readers screamed for his story to be told. Finally, his story has arrived! ....................... Elena's life had been simple, sweet, and shielded for as long as she could recall. When Sir Raymond de Claire went to his lord and asked for Elena's hand in marriage, the customary background check was done of her blood lines. That was the end of her innocence. The shocking truth was revealed. Unknown to most, including herself, she was Princess Elena Rosafina di Monteverde, the direct descendant from the ruling house of Monteverde. She was the granddaughter of Prince Ligurio and long since thought dead. The Lady Melanthe (from 'For My Lady's Heart') had hidden Elena, with the help of an assassin, from the sight of those who would see her dead. ........................ The house of Riata ruled Monteverde for now. Knowing the people would embrace Elena as the true ruling house, she was charged to marry Franco Pietro which would combine the houses of Riata and Monteverde. Unhappy, but with no other choice, Elena set sail for Monteverde and her marriage. .................... Allegreto Navona, the illegitimate son of the cruel Gian Navona intercepted Elena's passage. She was taken to his island and was saved from being forced to wed the Riata. Instead, she would be forced to wed Allegreto of the Navona house. His marriage to Elena would seal his claim to rule Monteverde. Then he and his men, specially trained by him, would invade the city Monteverde and become the ruling lords. ........................ Elena fell in love with Allegreto, but he was a man with many dark secrets. He claimed to have no heart, but pledged his life and service to Elena. Once in Monteverde, Elena must somehow return her people to the peaceful ways of her grandfather. But the houses of Riata and Navona caused unrest and some others plotted Elena's death, thus eliminating the last of her house. .......................... ***** Author Laura Kinsale and her legendary ability to weave spell binding tales has come forward once again to offer readers the long awaited story of the mysterious assassin known as The Raven. The result is 'Shadow Heart' and it was worth the wait! ........................ Elena's character is so realistic that readers can easily sympathize with her and feel the uncertainty that consumes the young princess and slowly changes her to become the strong leader the people so desperately need. As for the two house leaders who fight to claim Elena's hand, the reader is able to see and understand BOTH sides. The story, itself, flows smoother than silk with remarkable secondary characters that will claim the hearts of all. Highly recommended reading! This book will stand out from all others on your Keeper Shelf! *****

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2004

    Shadowheart

    The very reason others hate this book is the reason I adored it. I love that it outrages conventional wisdom of how romances should unfurl. I love to have my reader expectations confounded. I loved that I've never seen love portrayed like that - I loved the role reversal, the exploration of the power dynamic in the relationship... after this novel, I have no wish to return to the comfort zone of the standard formula; this took me somewhere I'd never been in a mass market paperback romance, and I liked the stretch. The word 'novel' has two meanings - a literary form, of course, and also 'unfamiliar.' This novel was both.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2004

    great romance

    While Richard II rules England, Lady Elena sadly knows she must go to the Principality of Montverde since she learns that she is the long lost princess. She realizes her duty is to marry the current head of state in order to strengthen Montverde with her political marriage though she would prefer to remain in England............................... While at sea, pirates attack and capture her vessel. Elena becomes a prisoner of assassin Allegreto who sees his beautiful detainee as an expendable hostage to achieve his objective of regaining his family¿s place in Montverde. However, he admires Elena¿s spunk initially shown through her ire at him. As he forces his pretty prisoner to be his bride he soon finds his respect for her courage turning into passion and love something the jailbird reciprocates............................ Though the Stockholm syndrome of captive and warden falling in love has been overused, Laura Kinsdale keeps it fresh because of the lead male protagonist. Allegreto has been a paid killer yet this hired gun shows depth and ethics as he did in FOR MY LADY¿S HEART that enables the audience to see beyond his assassin job. Elena is a courageous soul though one must wonder how she found the back bone to stand up to one as notorious as Allegreto. Only a talent like Ms. Kinsdale could bring this unlikely pairing to a wonderful historical romantic crescendo........................ Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2004

    Kinsale is back and better than ever!

    It's been a long draught for Kinsale fans. I believe I heard rumours of a crippling writers-block. Well, the dam must have broken, but because she is back and better than ever! This is one of THE MUST-READS of this Spring. The book is a marvellous tour de force for the returning author and sure will quickly win back old fans and make new! I love heroes that are alpha (strong, dominant personalities), but the more complex, dark ones are the Gamma rogues - the males that are outside of society, that chew up the Alpha males and spit them out as a pastime, men in the genius Anne Stuart's Bad Bad Boys vein. Stuart is the Queen of the dark and deadly male, but Kinsale is shaking the leg of throne with Allegreto. He is a brilliant creation that leaps off the pages. A trained assassin, he is determined to regain his rightful place in the Italian Principality of Monteverde - and he does not care what he has to do to achieve his aim or whom he uses. And in reaching his goal, he sees Lady Elena, the lost Monteverde Princess as the perfect pawn, thus sealing her fate. Elena is returning to Italy, betrothed to the man now running Monteverde. Her ship is overtaken and captured by pirates - lead by none other than Allegreto. She is first his prison, then later forced to wed him. Captive, lover, wife, Elena is naturally furious, as he is a hard man, nearly cruel, but flashes of moments when he displays a tenderness toward her begins to cause her to look part the killer veneer and see the man - the real man there - a man driven. Take a killer and making him a hero is, as they say, 'a hard row to hoe'. Anne Stuart did it in her brilliant 'Moonrise', a book that haunts me years after putting it down. Kinsale now does it with ¿Shadow Heart¿. It is amazing the craft and magic both writers breathe into these hardened men, yet make the women love them for what they are - just as the readers will. Kinsale's love for this story shines, and like a master storyteller of old around the fireside, she weaves a tale that mesmerises, compels and leaves you breathless. You may want to buy three copies of this book - 1) to read more than once 2) to give to your best friend - she will love you for it and 3) to put on your keeper shelf and treasure!! Welcome back Ms. Kinsale!! Don¿t make it so long next time!!

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