When you’re in love with a man of legend, how can anyone else match up?
Dr Grace Harper has loved the stories of Robin Hood ever since she first saw them on TV as a teenager. Now, with her fortieth birthday just around the corner, she’s a successful academic in Medieval History—but Grace is stuck in a rut. Grace is supposed to be writing a textbook on a real-life medieval criminal gang—the Folvilles—but instead she is captivated by a novel she’s secretly writing. A medieval mystery which entwines the story of Folvilles with her long-time love of Robin Hood—and a feisty young woman named Mathilda of Twyford.
Just as she is trying to work out how Mathilda can survive being kidnapped by the Folvilles, Grace’s best friend Daisy announces she is getting married. After a whirlwind romance with a man she loves as much as the creatures in her animal shelter, Daisy has press-ganged Grace into being her bridesmaid.
Witnessing Daisy’s new-found happiness, Grace starts to re-evaluate her own life. Is her devotion to a man who may or may not have lived hundreds of years ago really a substitute for a real-life hero of her own? Grace’s life doesn’t get any easier when she meets Dr Robert Franks—a rival academic who she is determined to dislike but finds herself being increasingly drawn to… If only he didn’t know quite so much about Robin Hood.
Suddenly, spending more time living in the past than the present doesn’t seem such a good idea...
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
About the Author
Inspired by everything and anything, Jenny combines her past experiences as an archaeologist, university tutor, cheese seller, newsagent, hat maker, Robin Hood obsessive, and data clerk, with the sights and sounds of everyday life, to weave tales of relaxingly relatable romance.
In February 2018 Jenny's popular timeslip novel, Romancing Robin Hood, was re-released by Littwitz Press. In March 2018 the purely historical sequel 'The Winter Outlaw' (written as Jennifer Ash) will also be released.
Jenny also writes historical mysteries under the name of Jennifer Ash
Find out more at http://jennykane.co.uk and http://www.littwitzpress.com/index.html
Read an Excerpt
Raising a cup of tea to her lips, Grace Harper leaned back against her pine chair and blew carefully through the steam which rose from the liquid’s surface before taking a sip. It was the first cup from the third pot of tea she’d ordered that afternoon. The scalding drink slid down her dry throat, a throat which her friends joked must be coated with asbestos, such was her ability to drink tea almost directly from the kettle.
Staring through the teashop window, Grace watched the shoppers stroll by in a never-ending stream of flip-flops, T-shirts, and a staggering variety of different lengths of shorts. It was as if everyone on England had decided to expose as much flesh as possible, and as wholeheartedly as possible, just in case the burst of late June heat was the only sun they saw all summer.
Grace drew her wandering attention back to the reason for her weekday escape from the office. With constant interruptions from research students and fellow academics alike, she had been finding it increasingly difficult to marshal her thoughts for the opening chapter of the book she was trying to write.
Two hours ago she’d gathered up the printed sheets of what made up her manuscript so far, and headed for the quiet of Mrs Beeton’s tearooms. She’d read it twice already, and now sped through it again. A notebook lay next to her teacup, and Grace added an additional point to the rough list she’d made of things to check out and expand on, before sighing into her cup and turning back to watch the stream of pedestrians pass by the window.
Writing a book in the academic world was a bit like running an incredibly slow race. With your legs glued together, and at least one arm tied behind your back. Everything took so long. The research, the checking, the double-checking, the making sure you were one step ahead of everything else already published on your subject, and then racing (tortoise-style), to get your book out there before a similar historian, in a similar office, in a similar university, produced their book on an identical subject in a similar fashion. Then, of course, there were the constant interruptions. Students and fellow lecturers always wanted something. Not to mention the secretaries, who were forever after some pointless piece of administrative documentation that the occupants of the ivory tower had decreed it necessary to add to the already overwhelming mountains of paperwork.
At least, Grace thought to herself as she picked her sketchy plan and first draft back up, fanning herself with them in an attempt to circulate some air in the stagnant café, no one else studies what I study in quite the way I do.
Admitting defeat, and stuffing her work back into her large canvas bag, which was more suited to the beach than landlocked Leicester, Grace pulled out the square envelope that had arrived in the post that morning, and pulled out the card within. It showed a guinea pig wearing a yellow hard hat and driving a bulldozer.
The card could only have come from Daisy. Grace read the brief message again. Daisy’s familiar spidery scrawl, which would have been the envy of any doctor, slopped its way across the card, illustrating that it had been written in haste. Grace could picture Daisy clearly, a pen working over the card in one hand, a packet of pet food in the other, and probably her mobile phone tucked under her chin at the same time. Daisy could multi-task with all the prowess of a mother of three.
Daisy, however, wasn’t a mother of any sort. She had long since vowed against having children, human children at least, and after her degree finals had swiftly cast aside all she had studied for in order to breed rabbits and guinea pigs, house stray animals, and basically become an unpaid vet. Daisy’s home, a suitably ramshackle cottage near Hathersage in Derbyshire’s Peak District, had become her animal rescue shelter, the base of an ever-changing and continually growing menagerie of creatures, which she always loved, and frequently couldn’t bear to be parted from. Grace smiled as she imagined the chaos that was probably going on around Daisy’s welly-clad feet at that very moment.
It had been the card’s arrival in the post that morning that had made Grace think back to her youth; that strange non-teenage hood she’d had, and of how it had got her to where she was now. A medieval history lecturer at Leicester University.
Grace had met Daisy fifteen years ago, when they’d been students together at Exeter University, and they’d quickly become inseparable. Now, with their respective thirty-ninth birthdays only a few months ahead of them, Daisy, after a lifetime of happy singledom, was suddenly getting married.
She’d managed, by sheer fluke, to find a vet called Marcus as delightfully dotty as she was and, after only six months of romance, was about to tie the knot. The totally unorthodox (but totally Daisy!) invitation Grace now held announced that their nuptials were to be held in just under two months’ time at the beautiful Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. Daisy had then added a postscript saying that she would personally shoot Grace if she didn’t turn up, with some mild torture of an especially medieval variety thrown in if she didn’t agree to be her bridesmaid.
‘A bridesmaid!’ Grace grimaced as she mumbled into her cup, ‘Bloody hell, it makes me sound like a child. If I was married or had a partner I’d be maid of honour, but no, I’m the bloody bridesmaid.’
Swilling down her remaining tea Grace got to her feet, and carried on muttering to the uncaring world in general, ‘Robin Hood, you have a hell of a lot to answer for,’ before she hooked her holdall onto her shoulder and began the pleasant walk from the city centre, down the picturesque Victorian New Walk, towards the University of Leicester, and an afternoon of marking dissertations.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book had my heart from the start - how I loved Robin of Sherwood bck in the 80's! Grace is stuck in the middle ages - well not really - but she might aswell be - living, breathing, teaching and ever so slightly obessed by one of the great British stories - Robin Hood. I loved the idea of having the book Grace is writing in the story - I was just as keen to see this story wrapped up as I was the modern day romance. A great quick read.