A Constant Heart

A Constant Heart

by Siri Mitchell


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Born with the face of an angel, Marget Barnardsen is blessed. Her father is a knight, and now she is to be married to the Earl of Lytham. her destiny is guaranteed...at least, it would seem so. But when her introduction to court goes awry and Queen Elizabeth despises her, Marget fears she's lost her husband forever. Desperate to win him back, she'll do whatever it takes to discover how she failed and capture again the love of a man bound to the queen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764204319
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/2008
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Siri Mitchell has written five novels, two of which (Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door) were named Christy Award Finalists. A graduate from the University of Washington with a business degree, she has worked in many levels of government and lived on three continents. She currently resides in the Washington DC metro area.

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Constant Heart 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
** spoiler alert ** The beginning of this story was intriguing. It had the Other Boleyn Girl mixed with Pride and Prejudice versus Anna Karenina thing going on, then all of the sudden just started really being depressing. Her losing so many babies, the flood, the queen, the effects of the "painting" with mercury & lead, and of course the diseases and epidemic breakouts. I questioned why Marget was doing all of this for Lytham and not even asking him about if what she was doing would help or hinder his ...moreThe beginning of this story was intriguing. It had the Other Boleyn Girl mixed with Pride and Prejudice versus Anna Karenina thing going on, then all of the sudden just started really being depressing. Her losing so many babies, the flood, the queen, the effects of the "painting" with mercury & lead, and of course the diseases and epidemic breakouts. I questioned why Marget was doing all of this for Lytham and not even asking him about if what she was doing would help or hinder his career as a courtier. One would have thought that might have been the first thing to do. I like Mitchells writing style, it was the content that I had issues with. She seems to be consistent and knowledgeable about this time period, and that I appreciate to the point that you really felt like you were there. She did her homework. But I have never heard of people only allowed to be in love with the queen and cannot have an actual relationship other than child producing for a marriage. What a sad world to be a part of. None of them had jobs, they sat around knitting, gossiping, eating, drinking, dancing and the like. God was not a part of these peoples worlds, He was mentioned in a passing sort of way. Not having a personal relationship with Him. He was treated as a genie or Santa Clause type. The details about Lytham's child with Elnior was also not finished. Was this the heir that was to be? Or were Marget and Lytham going to have their own child? As I didn't feel that we ever really knew if this was a child produced by the affairs that de Winter "made" Elinor have. Like I said, the beginning was so good, I just really wanted this to get better and it just keeps getting worse! I don't think I would recommend this to anyone, unless you need some more misery in your life. I read to get away from my life, not read about it! The only thing I would like to do is have someone just read it, me not tainting their view and corrupting their feelings. Really glad I got from the library and not wasted my money on purchasing. As I don't think I would ever read it again, it was just that miserable!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mitchell's book was a different sort of read for me. I like historical fiction, but usually they have more of a romantic theme in them. Mitchell's book to me was just historical fiction with a bit of romance. A Constant Heart was about the courtier's during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Marget is a beautiful woman in a world where beauty is not allowed. She marries a courtier, Lytham, who thinks that beauty is a curse not a blessing and despises his wife for her looks. Marget encouraged by her faithful friend Joan, tries hard to fit in and make her husband love her. When she sees that the queen dislikes her she does what she can to change her appearance and gains some affections from her husband. Love is not allowed in the Queen's Court, as the courtiers are only suppose to be in love with the Queen. How can Marget keep a constant heart, her virtue, her love for her husband in a world where friendship, trust, virtue is bought and sold every day you are at court. Mitchell does a good job of weaving a great story into a historical setting. I will admit that I wasn't sure about this book at first, but I like a challenge when it comes to reading. I love giving all books a try. I love this era in history and I found it very interesting to learn about, I believe this would have been a hard era to live in and Siri Mitchell really made great characters that you felt for as time when by. By the time I was almost done I was really curious about how it was going to end and that is what kept me going.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love historical romance with attention to detail on the inner workings of palace life with all its intrigue and deceit, you will love A CONSTANT HEART. Follow the heroine and hero as they mature in their love and in their outlook on what is important in life. See first hand the shallowness of court life and the little value given to human life especially the rights of women. The quick shifts in POV were a little disconcerting, but not too distracting. Over all, A CONSTANT HEART, will keep you 'constantly' turning the pages right to the end.
Mixandmatch More than 1 year ago
This is a very strange outlook from the Queen Elisabeth days. The story details how everyone suffered at the hands of the Queen and life at court. A man dares to love his wife more than he loves the Queen which puts their lives in danger. If that weren't enough, the plague adds to the depression and overall grime outlook in this strange novel. I am not sure if I liked it or not but it was definitely interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was okay. It was like the same things happened over and over in it....little disappointed, but still pretty good! Would NOT recommend for younger people! But overall pretty good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure why so many people disliked the book. I loved it. Mitchell's attention to detail made this book exceptional. Don't read this if you're looking for a brainless romantic story; you won't find it. Instead, read this if you're interested in historical fiction with exciting story lines.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't even finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book first caught my attention because of its gorgeous cover. Then I started reading and I couldnt put it down! Very interesting read, and you learn a lot about the time period because it feels like you are living with the characters throughout the book. I love everything Siri Mitchell writes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the last decade of the sixteenth century, the Earl of Lytham trusts no woman especially a beautiful aristocrat. His heart was burned to an ashy crisp by the betrayal of his first wife. He obtained an annulment that ended the sham called marriage. He will remarry only to gain favor with the Queen who prefers her lords married.--------------- Lytham¿s second wife Marget Barnardsen has been told she is a beauty, but to her chagrin her husband loathes her because of her looks. He coldly informs his wife her only role is to assist him in gaining her Highness¿ support. Marget in turn wants him to return her love, but her efforts to warm his heart fail as Queen Elizabeth is irate at her seemingly because of her looks that she tried to somewhat disguise. Now a desperate Marget fears the man she loves will annul their marriage as she only obtained the wrath of the Queen.----------------- This is a terific Elizabethan romance with a deep message of ¿to thine own self be true¿ as everyone is in God¿s image. The story line shines a deep light on the aristocracy¿s efforts to gain favor with the somewhat fickle but powerful aging ruler some go so far as changing their essence as Marget does. Known for her exciting contemporary Christian Lit, Siri Mitchell goes historical Christian Lit showing she is a writer for all seasons.----------- Harriet Klausner
amysnortts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to get this book (it was my first LTER book- but I misplaced my notes on it for a review- doing it from memory!). I love historical fiction as well as Christian lit, so I thought this book would be perfect for me. I was incorrect. The theme of constancy was all but beat over my head as I read it and the husband was inconsistent with what he wanted. I felt that too much was improbable and some parts felt forced as though the only way some of the events could have happened was by divine (read: author) intervention. The ending also came up fairly abruptly and didn't fit with the character profiles that were developed. That being said, I did like the historical notes that were incorporated and I had a very good sense of the time, just not of a coherent plot and character development.
agentpaper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I requested this book based on my love of historical fiction and didn't realize that it was also Christian fiction (which I don't read). When I received it, I was surprised that it was labeled Christian- the story and characters didn't seem to support that classification. Unfortunately the story also wasn't a good example of historical fiction either. The characters seemed one-dimensional to me and the plot was contrived. I didn't believe any of the characters motivations for their actions. Maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea.
selkie_girl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marget, a daughter of a knight, is a little overwhelmed. She is thrust into the Queen Elizabeth's court spotlight when she is married to the Earl of Lytham. She is naieve in thinking that her dowey and her marriage will make her life easy in the glittery world. She is wrong. The queen hates her because she is beautiful and her husband, the queen's most devoted servant, distrusts her because she is beautiful and is cold to her. It was hard to really get into this book, it's just a bit of light fluff with unexpected moments that really surprise you. Mitchell has done her homework in researching the time period which I really enjoyed but she spends far too many words describing what the main character is wearing.
rrravenita on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this book! I love historical fiction, but I didn't realize when I requested it that it was listed as Christian fiction as well (not really my cup of tea). However, this story wasn't any more religious than any other book dealing with this time period might be, and while reading it I never would have referred to it as Christian fiction if I hadn't known it was listed as such. Aside from that, I enjoyed the story itself, particularly with Queen Elizabeth as a secondary character (and not a terribly flattering portrayal of her, either, which was a nice change). Also, the author made court life seem rather boring at times, and it's rare to see this in historical novels. More intrigue, betrayal, passion and love than I would have suspected from a short book -- definitely enjoyed it!
MichelleSutton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best novels I've read this year. It's totally engrossing and for someone who loves historical ficition (like I do) it's a must read. It really gets you thinking about how our culture is still similar to the past, but I am amazed at how truly ignorant society was then, as well. Highly recommended.
purelush on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A thinly veiled criticism of consumer culture dressed up as a period piece. The prose is good, but the preachiness overrides the book's assets.
shamicnic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was difficult to get into the book at first, especially because I read a lot of historical fiction novels and have high expectations. I had trouble relating to the characters and was bored by their lack of depth. However, the book became considerably better as the pages turned. Towards the end, I enjoyed the read and appreciated the author's note about painting. I would recommend it to other historical fiction readers as a quick and easy story.
PattyJC on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to receive this book for review. It is classified as historical fiction, which is one of my favorite genres. I really I wanted to fall in love with it. The concept of the story was a good one. My issue with the book is that there is not a lot of depth to the characters or the story. It started off slowly and I almost put it down a couple of times, but it did pick up half way through and hooked me until the end. The best way I can describe is it is a chick lit book with a dash of historical fiction thrown in. It's not a great book, but it is good. It is entertaining if you are looking for a quick, interesting read.
JulieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Arranged marriages are never easy as Marget, the new countess of Lytham, would agree. After her disastrous introduction at the court of Elizabeth the first, she must find a way to become an asset rather than a hindrance to her courtier husband.As a light read it was okay, the romance and light conflict between the two main characters is the main story line, but I still found the story lacking in depth
scarpettajunkie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lead poisoning sounds terrible. Life in Elizabeth's court is curious. I saw the ending coming, couldn't wait for it and didn't want it to end all at once...the halmark of a good book.
cherryblossommj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I give this book three out of five stars, but in a split manner. If I were to rate the book solely upon my enjoyment and escape into it's historical aspects, it would be two stars; yet if I were to rate this book on the detail and descriptions of this historical journey at hand it would four stars. Thus, I settle at three. Starting out reading this book, I was quite distraught and not at all drawn in. The cover is gorgeous and the summary sounds interesting, but in the reading I was just not there. I searched the internet for some reviews to find what others might have thought and was shocked to find all but poor reviews, minus one that only praised the author and said nothing about the book.It is my understanding that this is the first historical from this author and although I hear her chick-lit is to die for her historical is lacking. That is not all together necessarily a full fact. The entire novel is full to the brim of historical details and facts that are painted in an array of images that could show any reader what the years of the mid-sixteenth century would appear to be. The descriptions of the clothes, the places, the people all are fascinating and plenty enough true to fact. I would highly suggest this book as a supplemental reading to be added to someone studying the Elizabethan age and wanting to find a further glance in the era.Where I do not find my joy is in the personalities and partially the writing. The story is two from two different characters' POV and switches back and forth quite drastically without any warning and sometimes it is difficult to interpret who speaks. Other than that it is the personalities of the characters that are quite drab. I kept thinking to myself of the grey skies of London, and that is quite how I felt about this story. The idea is good and could be a fabulous book if made longer with more depth to the persons involved. But reading this story was quite painful. There was no joy only sadness and I felt it with every turn of the page. I could not interpret or assume how things would turn out and in that way they were quite a mystery. Yet in the context of day by day happens I felt quite like screaming at the insolence and blindness by how these characters lived.Some have said that this was a very thinly veiled attempt at criticizing and lecturing people of today's society with beauty attempts, and although I can see that opinion in a manner, I would not call this a poor attempt. The story can relate and does bring to light some great value on the harsh truths that are known of women living in such a stage devoted to such a cause that is beyond their owns well-being. Yet it does it in an elegant and educational manner.With all that said. I would not suggest this book as a light heart-ed Christian Historical Fiction to escape into the lives of those in a courtier of Elizabeth I. It is just not quite in that category. By most standards it is not a Christian Fiction as God is not mentioned in much reverence or detail nor is his role at all hinted to more than any secular novel. However, as a book for historical and educational value, I could easily suggest and see this being read and used for vast discussions and open minds and curiosity to know more about British history. So as confusing as this must sound, it solely depends upon why you wish to read this story as to whether or not you would enjoy it. That is up to you.
trishbrowning on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story opens with the main character, Marget, talking to her best friend, Joan, about her upcoming marriage to the Earl of Lytham. It's an arranged marriage, and they haven't met each other. It's during the last decade of the sixteenth century during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.Unfortunately for Marget, the Earl was betrayed by his beautiful wife and only wants Marget for her dowry. Her beautiful visage repels the Earl.The Earl is a courtier in the royal court and only wishes to gain the queen's favor to get out of his current financial situation brought on by the gambling of his now-deceased-brother. Marget, never having been to court, must learn all the intricacies of a courtier, from dying her hair to painting her face with a lead-based concoction. She thinks she has a friend in a Lady de Winter, but is too dense to see past the "help" the Lady de Winter is offering.Despite the Earl's misgivings, he falls in love with Marget, but the first few years of their marriage is frought with misunderstandings, an insecurity in their tender love, and a belief that his wife would betray him on the part of the Earl.The author must have done an amazing amount of research on speech, clothes, and the royal court. The dialogue seems true to the time period, giving it a Shakesperean feel (though admittedly easier to read). One thing the author did that was interesting was she alternated narrators. Marget would narrate and then the Earl, giving the reader almost full knowledge of what was going on, what the misunderstandings were, really leaving the reader with nothing to guess at.While this is categorized as Christian fiction, the religious/spiritual references were only a blip. The sexual scenes were not graphic, and I didn't have to skip over anything. ;-)I'll admit to being enthralled while I was reading. I've slurped up all of Philippa Gregory's books and have done a fair amount of research on this time period. Unfortunately, though, this book doesn't give the reader much to chew on. Most conflict is resolved fairly quickly, and it's a fairly short book to begin with.To sum it all up, let me just say this: It was good but not great.
jenritchie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed that the narrative follows the two main character's p.o.v. There were times, though, that I was unsure which character was narrating and had to back track a few lines to read it over to make more sense. I was annoyed with the husband going back and forth about loving his wife and then not being able to be near her. Once, ok, twice, sure, but more than that...I'm glad the use of paints was covered, a subject glossed over in most other books, making this one unique to the others I have read. Overall, I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from this author.
Czarena on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is supposed to be Christian Historical Romance? I have shelves of Christian Historical Romance and I would never categorize it as such. The sex scenes might have been breezed over but considering all of Signet's Historical Romance collection would never make one blush- that doesn't make it Christian. I can't recall reference to God more than any other novel from this time period. In fact, the main characters say it's silly to not change religions to suit the queen - very un-Christian.I read quite a bit of Historical Romance/Fiction from this time period and was elated when I received my advance copy to review. I too was disappointed by the lack of depth. It was a nice story and it included details of Elizabethan life that most authors ignore - lead paint, red dye, the jealous queen, but I never really got into it. It was a girl doing anything she was told to help her husband regardless of the consequences, and a man who thought beautiful women were untrustworthy based on a single experience. Also, the curve ball thrown at the end when Margret visits Elinor was never dealt with. I would have loved Lytham to have been told what she said and seen his reaction. How can Margret live not telling him something like that? So of course, even though I wasn't into the original story much I'd read the sequel to see if they deal with that aspect. All in all, lovely story but don't read it for a Christian read - as Historical Romance it's nice brain candy.
bookcrushblog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm somewhat of a Tudor-aficionado, so I was sadly surprised that I was rather indifferent to this tale of love and duty set in the Late-Elizabethan period.Marget, the daughter of a country knight, is newly come to court as a countess. She is very uncertain when it comes to navigating the waters of court and noble marriage. Her new husband, the Earl of Lytham, has no desire to make things smoother for Marget -- he married the beauty only for her money, as a past marriage has drained him of all feeling when it comes to love.What transpires is a rather predictable yarn -- Marget and Lytham fall in love! But it isn't easy -- there are complications! I do not mean to be trite here, but I must say that I was wishing for more creative conflict.... I wanted to see these characters struggle, have direction. Instead, the novel is mostly series after series of miscommunication between lovers who quickly forgive. Admirable, yes, but not very interesting.What was particularly interesting were the hints at Elinor, Lytham's previous wife.... I felt like she was shaping up to be a madwoman in the attic type character. I wish the author would have gone further here, or further with her obvious interests in the beauty rituals of Tudor England (these were by far my favorite sections).... that would have been a nice twist!After I bought this book I learned that the author wrote Christian novels and I was worried I would be unable to fairly review the piece. This novel had very little direct Christianity -- only in little asides such as a narration that Lytham was going to put his future in God's hands -- but I often found myself wishing the novel was more like a traditional Christian novel, because those novels often thrive on conflict.... man struggling and struggling against God, and changing himself in the process.
pontori2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well, this book was a quick read. I did spend most of it wanting to shake both the hero and the heroine. I hated the head hopping. I think it might have been more effective if we hadn't known the hero's point of view, that if we doubted his love. However, since we knew what both of them were thinking, there was no real tension. I wouldn't recommend this book. I had no attachment to either of the characters. There was no plot other than the relationship between the two mains, but I suppose that's what romance is supposed to be about. Nothing really made me believe in the world or either of the characters. And I really didn't feel sorry for the heroine when there were women in worse shape at the same time period.