So Speaks the Heart

So Speaks the Heart

by Johanna Lindsey

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380814718
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/27/2004
Series: Avon Historical Romance
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 265,223
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

One of the world's most successful authors of historical romance, every one of Johanna Lindsey's previous novels has been a national bestseller, and several of her titles have reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Ms. Lindsey lives in New England with her family.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

France, A.D. 972.

Brigitte de Louroux sighed, keeping her blue eyes on the fat goose lying on the work table before her. Frowning with concentration, she plucked the feathers as she had been recently taught. It was a new chore to the seventeen-year-old girl, but only one of many that she was slowly getting accustomed to. She wearily wiped a tendril of flaxen hair away from her face.

Blood from the slaughtered goose was splattered on her apron and also on the hem of her brown woolen tunic beneath. Brigitte's wardrobe of fine gowns was nearly all ruined from the filthy chores that were now forced on her. This drudgery was her own choice though, she reminded herself, her own stubborn choice.

Across the table stood Eudora, whose task Brigitte was doing. Eudora's brown eyes were sympathetic until Brigitte looked up and smiled almost apologetically.

"It's not right!" Eudora hissed, her eyes suddenly round with anger. "I, who have served in your father's house all my life, and happy for it, must stand idle while you work."

Brigitte lowered her gaze, her blue eyes misting. "Better this than my giving in to Druoda's plans for me," she murmured.

"That lady is cruel."

"I am inclined to agree," Brigitte said softly. "I fear my brother's aunt does not like me."

"She is a bitch!" Eudora replied heatedly.

Eudora's mother, Althea, crossed the kitchen waving a large spoon. "You are too kind, Eudora. Druoda forces us to call her lady, but she is a slothful cow. She gets fatter and fatter while I have lost weight since she came here. She has said she will cut off my fingers if I taste while Icook, but what cook can cook without tasting, I ask you? I must taste what I am cooking, yet she says I must not. What can I do?"

Eudora grinned. "You can add chicken droppings to her food and hope she doesn't find out, that's what you can do."

Brigitte laughed. "You would not dare, Althea. She would beat you, or even banish you. She might even kill you."

"Ah, no doubt you are right, milady." Althea chuckled, her large body jiggling. "But it was nice to think about it, to savor as I would a sweet cake."

Eudora quickly grew serious again. "It has been terrible for us since Druoda began to rule here. She is a cruel mistress and that cowardly husband of hers does nothing to stop her. Lady Brigitte does not deserve to be treated like the lowest serf on the manor." Eudora became even angrier. "She is the daughter of the house, and her half brother should have made provisions for her after their father died. Now that he--"

Eudora stopped and lowered her head in shame,

but Brigitte smiled. "It's all right, Eudora. Quintin is dead, and I realize that."

"I only meant to say that he should have made arrangements with his liege lord. It's cruel that you should fall under the will of a woman like Druoda. She and her husband came here to beg the mercy of Lord Quintin as soon as the Baron died. He should have turned them away then. Now it's too late. They seem to think this fief is theirs instead of yours. Your stepbrother was a great man, but in this case--"

Brigitte silenced her with a sharp look, her bright blue eyes fierce.

"You do Quintin wrong, Eudora. My half brother could not know that Druoda would keep me from Count Arnulf. But the Count is our liege and my rightful guardian now, no matter what Druoda says, and he will settle my estate. I have only to reach him."

"And how will you reach him when Druoda will not let you leave the manor?" Eudora asked heatedly.

"I will find a way." Brigitte's voice lacked conviction.

"If only you had family somewhere." Althea shook her head, sighing.

"There is no one. You should know, Althea, for you were here when my father became lord of LourOUX. His family were few, and the last perished in the King's campaign to regain Lotharingia. And on my mother's side there was no one, for she was ward to Count Arnulf when she married the Baron."

"Milady, Druoda already makes you toil as if you were a mere serf. Soon she will beat you as one, too," Eudora said gravely. "If you know a way to reach Count Arnulf, then you must do it quickly. Could you send a messenger?"

Brigitte sighed. "Who, Eudora? The gladly do as I ask, but they need permission to leave the manor."

"Leandor would help you. Or one of the vassals," Eudora persisted.

"Druoda keeps Leandor tied to the manor as well," Brigitte said. "She will not even let him go to the Abbey of Bourges to buy wine. And she has convinced my brother's vassals that her husband, Walafrid, will be seneschal here once she marries me off, and that she will find a husband for me who will not dispose of them, so they will not disobey her for my sake.

"Count Arnuff of Berry is more than a day's ride from here. How can I get to him?"


"Be quiet, Eudora!" Althea snapped with a warning look to her daughter. "You are upsetting our lady. Would you have her travel the country alone? Be prey to thieves and criminals?"

Brigitte shivered despite the heat of the cooking fires and the sweat beading her brow. She stared dismally at the half-plucked goose, thinking that her prospects for the future could not be worse.

Eudora gazed compassionately at the Baron's daughter. "Why not go out and feed Wolff, milady? I will finish the goose for you."

"No. If Hildegard came in and saw that I was not working, she would run to Druoda. When Mavis protested my doing this work she was beaten and banished. And I could do nothing to help my old friend. The soldiers are following Druoda's orders, not mine.

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So Speaks the Heart 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love controversial plots, it makes my reading more intriguing. The more unconventional it appears, the more I am drawn to it. It is indeed a challenge reading this one! This is one of those books that won't agree with everyone because of the hero's callousness and his fierce treatment towards the heroine. Ugh. I actually got teary-eyed many times while reading this book. I am at lost from time to time that I had to paused and breathe to digest the situations. I mean, sure... Our hero did reformed and there was proof of that changes in the end but what Brigitte went through in his hands was not an easy read for me. I would like to emphasize that I also didn't think Rowland's treatment to Brigitte can be described as brutal because it wasn't that extreme but I still ache for her. Rowland's more of an overbearing, insensitive and a VERY demanding lout. I understand Brigitte's frustration to prove her identity. In truth though, she was actually in better hand with Rowland compared to her previous faith in her stepaunt hands. However, I still can't help but feel she deserves better than a lowly servant. I can also see her confusions when it comes to Rowland. How can you understand and love someone who treats you so lowly? How can you love someone who doesn't believe nor trust you? I feel so sorry and sad for her, my heart was in spastic mode all through out this book. Meanwhile, Rowlands grew up without love, without emotions but hate. He fend and fight for himself all throughout his life. I believe his frigid upbringing contributed to this compressed emotions towards Brigitte. I know a lot of reader would not or could not comprehend this idea. Not a lot would accept excuses such as difficult childhood for harsh treatments towards anyone. However, as painful and unbelievable as it may seem, this is also a reality. How can a person who have never received kindness and love give such affection to another? We need to receive affection to know how to give it. I too feel sorry and sad for our hero, Rowland. Perhaps that is why I love this book. It encouraged me to FEEL and THINK. Yes, I don't like what Rowland does to Brigitte but I cannot judge him harshly either. I couldn't hate him because I can understand his emotional turmoil. All of his life, he never felt important and loved but now, here is Brigitte caring for him, rising new emotions he has never known nor felt before... The part that was heart rendering was the fact that Rowland, a tough warrior as he may be, was actually afraid and insecure. He was so scared of losing Brigette that he decided that denial was the only antidote. He left matters as they were, refusing to look further, refusing to believe Brigette's words to prevent unwanted changes in his life. Selfish perhaps but a sad state, all the same. The way Johanna Lindsey wrote Rowlands character, his past and his emotional confusions simply overwhelmed me. Brigitte's character was also just as polished. I admired her courage, I enjoyed her spunkness. She's been through a lot yet her bearing remained intact. Her faith, her pride & her heart remained whole! Nothing can break her spirit and I find that inspiring. There was so much love, patience, understanding & forgiveness between Rowland and Brigitte that I just couldn't help warming towards them. Aside from the romance and relationship development of Rowland and Brigitte, there is one too many twist in this book that was utterly UNEXPECTED. I was caught unprepared and I enjoyed my reactions towards it. As always the ending was a grand relief though I wish there was an EPILOGUE added to it. Perhaps there is a sequel for this book? A story of Quintin? Overall, this book is mind and heart baffling. I suggest you read this book with open mind and understanding heart. Don't judge our hero too quickly and harshly. In fact, try to see through him. Once you do, you will appreciate their story all the more...
Angel68OH More than 1 year ago
She creates characters that are so multi-layered, exquisitely real and she has a magical gift at weaving the spell of love. I recommend all her books! Warning - Her books are Not for the faint of heart, or easily offended reader.
J-Rae More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down. Ms. Lindsey made the characters so real. You could feel the conflict and the love that developed between Brigitte and Rowland. You really hate the bad aunt. I read this in one day.
Sara Mack More than 1 year ago
Let me begin by saying I love Johanna Lindsey's writing almost all the time (and I've read almost all of her books). However, there are two types of Johanna Lindsey novels- the first contains strong female protagonists who must use their wits to escape a comflict, while the second features weak-willed women who cannot fend for themselves, inevitably get raped and then proceed to fall in love with the men who raped them. I tried to make it through this book as I really thought it would get better... it didn't. Brigitte suffers from Stockholm syndrome and becomes complacent in her servitude. Because, who wouldn't fall in love with an absurdly obstinate man who beats you, takes your virginity against your will and doesn't trust you to tell the truth? That is the foundation of a love to last a lifetime, after all. So if you aren't a fan of women being forced to have sex- and believe that rape is still rape even if the man is attractive- then save your $8 and spend it on one of the Mallory novels or one of her westerns. Lindsey is a great romance writer- but as for me, I'll stick to her romance novels that actually contain romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story! Very exciting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So let me just start off by saying I love johanna Lindsay novels. Strong characters, loving romance that develops over time. This book might have been decent if I could get past the rape and brutal treatment that this heroine faces. Part of what I like about her books is I always fall a little in love with the pursuing man. This guy had no redeeming qualities...little effort was put into making him likable. I felt no emotional connection between the characters leading up to the rape scene. In the last moments before Bridget gets raped the author throws in a line like "well maybe I do like him" which does not at all feel believable. Just plain and simply not her best work...possibly her worst .
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sandrafay More than 1 year ago
Nice Story! I could not put it down.
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I like becuues it looks good
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TAKEN!!!! SIGHN: [{(patch)}]
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ladywolfLM More than 1 year ago
Noone writes a better historical romance than Johanna Lindsey
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