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The Prize

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Librarian's Note: Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here. In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly Librarian's Note: Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here. In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride. In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love ... a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!


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Librarian's Note: Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here. In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly Librarian's Note: Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here. In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride. In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love ... a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!

30 review for The Prize

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dina

    "He never knew what hit him." The first line in this book was enough to hook me. How could I not love a heroine who was smart and resourceful enough to drop the hero to the ground in the middle of a battle? Baron Royce is Norman and Lady Nicholaa is Saxon, and that makes them enemies in 1066. The Prize starts with Nicholaa trying to defend her home against Royce and his "barbaric" soldiers. She's successfully defeated the three previous knights sent by "the bastard" William of Normandy, soon to b "He never knew what hit him." The first line in this book was enough to hook me. How could I not love a heroine who was smart and resourceful enough to drop the hero to the ground in the middle of a battle? Baron Royce is Norman and Lady Nicholaa is Saxon, and that makes them enemies in 1066. The Prize starts with Nicholaa trying to defend her home against Royce and his "barbaric" soldiers. She's successfully defeated the three previous knights sent by "the bastard" William of Normandy, soon to be the new King of England, but she realizes Royce is on a league of his own and the chances of her winning against him are nonexistent. So she tricks him into thinking she's her twin sister Danielle - a nun! - and manages to escape and find sanctuary in the nearest convent. When Royce finds out that there's no sister Danielle and that he's been had by the cunning Nicholaa, he can't help but appreciate how clever she is and surprises his men by laughing instead of getting furious with her deception. Arrogant that he is, Royce doesn't see Nicholaa's escape as a defeat, as he's sure he'll be able to leave her sanctuary and go with him to meet his King William in London. As the Saxon woman who's so valiantly defended her family's holding, she's a legend among the Normans, the bride the King is going to give to his most worthy knight as "the prize" in a contest for her hand - and her family's holding and lands, of course. As it happens, Royce does get Nicholaa to leave her sanctuary and go with him to London, even though she keeps trying to escape every chance she gets along the way. During this journey, they start seeing each other with new eyes, and Royce grows more and more attracted to Nicholaa while she realizes how honorable, caring and protective he is. And that's how they start to fall in love with each other, against their better judgment. Naturally, they still have a long way to understand and accept their feelings, and that's where the fun lies. :) I liked Royce from the start, and he won me when he laughed - instead of going ballistic - at being bested by Nicholaa with her "nun act". He was arrogant, hard and a bit gruff on the outside, but soft and oh-so-sweet on the inside. He was like a delicious petit gâteau, my favorite dessert, and all I can say is, Yummy, may I have some more, please? ;) He was smart and brave, but didn't think he was worthy of Nicholaa because she was a beautiful and gentle lady while he was just an "ugly" - his face was marred by a horrible scar - and hardened warrior. But she never saw him that way and, incredibly, she even thought his "handsomeness" was disturbing. Ah, love is blind, indeed! Nicholaa was a strong and cunning heroine. She was a bit ditzy and naive sometimes - her convoluted plan to get Royce drunk with ale backfired big time, LOL - but that came across as charming and not annoying. She also seemed unable to stop herself from telling lies - all for the greater good, of course - but she couldn't keep them straight to save her life and Royce had no problem seeing through them. The way he kept cornering and trapping her inside her lies had me laughing out loud every single time. And Royce's lectures... I loved those scenes. The man loved to lecture Nicholaa, even though he was aware she didn't pay any attention to it. I had a smile on my face every time he clasped his hands behind his back, started lecturing her and she just sat there with her hands folded on her lap, daydreaming the whole time. That was just one example of the many interactions between Royce and Nicholaa that were just a joy to read, and I couldn't get enough of them. The only thing that I found a bit "jarring" was the lack of closure in regards to Nicholaa's older brother Thurston. That wasn't "bad" enough to make me enjoy this book any less, it's just that I wanted to know what happened to him. All in all, what's left for me to say? Another Garwood, another winner! At this point, I'm a truly devoted fan of Ms. Garwood. I haven't gone through all her backlist yet, but I really loved everything I've read so far. Having read her books almost back to back, it was easy for me to notice that her stories have some kind of a "formula", but it's one I love so I'm all for it. Very well done, Ms. Garwood!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Duchess Nicole

    This classic Julie Garwood medieval romance is set in the time of the Saxon and Norman skirmishes. One thing that slays me is the mindset of the invaders...they'd come to a castle keep, lay it under siege, kill as many men as possible, and basically just overtake the place...and then they would graciously allow the 'former' lord to remain alive if he would only swear fealty to their leader and become part of their army. WHAT THE....what? That's crazy to me...it's basically forcing them to live a This classic Julie Garwood medieval romance is set in the time of the Saxon and Norman skirmishes. One thing that slays me is the mindset of the invaders...they'd come to a castle keep, lay it under siege, kill as many men as possible, and basically just overtake the place...and then they would graciously allow the 'former' lord to remain alive if he would only swear fealty to their leader and become part of their army. WHAT THE....what? That's crazy to me...it's basically forcing them to live a life of shame, now basically peasants within their own home. Mind boggling. My synopsis: Lady Nicolaa is a clever young Saxon woman who tricks Royce into believing that she is at first a nun, then a married woman with a baby. Not only is she clever, but she has become a renowned battle leader when she leads her brother's army in his absence. Of course, Royce and his men are a cut above what the Norman usurper sent before, and they quickly overtake Nicolaa's home and men. Now Royce is charged with bringing the infamous woman to his king to be auctioned of as a prize wife to the man who wants her most. And Nicolaa is furious... My thoughts: Julie Garwood excels at writing tough as nails alpha warrior men and naive, brainless...but never helpless...heroines. I imagine that her characters would have truly fit into the time period for which they were created. Royce is super authoritative, to the point of chauvinism. Me man, you woman...ugh, ugh!! Nicola is air headed and ridiculously naive, though she doesn't let her apparent lack of brains keep her from making demands. This is my Nicolaa in actions than in looks...If you've seen the movie Enchanted, you'll know what I mean... One problem that I had with the way her character is portrayed is that while Nicolaa sure does like to put her foot down and take a hard stance about certain issues, she always seems to cave in and bow to Royce. What's the point of making her this strong willed female if she ends up sounding like a vapid woman? There was almost no instance in which she executes a plan that she is so determined to execute, other than that first charade with the nun's clothing. But the story was captivating, the scenery and the court intrigue very well done. JG's historicals are so hugely different from what is written today, it's almost laughable. I don't suggest reading them if you have hard core feministic tendencies...these women are mostly doormats. But then, their men always come around and pretty much love their women to distraction, forsaking kings and friends and family just to make their lovers happy. So there you go...it's a special kind of romance, and I very much enjoyed it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Once again, Julie Garwood delivers a heartwarming, humorous, and delightfully romantic tale.   What I liked most about this book was Royce's character (he's not one Garwood's prototypical hero) and the relationship between him and the heroine, Nicholla.  Royce is a hero to adore. He may not be extremely good-looking, with a badly scarred face, but he has the perfect combination of alpha and beta characteristics. He's powerful, driven, and a true leader; but he also possess a strong benevolent side Once again, Julie Garwood delivers a heartwarming, humorous, and delightfully romantic tale.   What I liked most about this book was Royce's character (he's not one Garwood's prototypical hero) and the relationship between him and the heroine, Nicholla.  Royce is a hero to adore. He may not be extremely good-looking, with a badly scarred face, but he has the perfect combination of alpha and beta characteristics. He's powerful, driven, and a true leader; but he also possess a strong benevolent side that makes him one of the most charming, endearing, and truly swoon worthy heroes Julie Garwood has created. Royce's and Nicholla's relationship is fabulous. Both characters are open, honest, and even blunt about their feelings (once they recognized them, of course). It was refreshing not to have all the added drama and misunderstandings that comes from a lack of communication.             I also enjoyed the subplot involving Nicholla's brother Justin. His story enriched the plot and brought to the book some of it more endearing moments.  The Prize is a wonderful, feel-good romance you'll be happy to have read. You can't beat Julie Garwood. She's one of the best!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stacey is Sassy

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Another awesome Julie Garwood historical romance done and dusted. I'm loving re-reading/listening to these classics. In The Prize, we meet the beautiful and feisty Nicholaa and the scarred warrior Royce. Their love story was full of humour, sizzling chemistry, intrigue and treachery. While at first, it seems they are destined for a marriage filled with battles. As they go on, their attraction to each other intensifies and feelings develop. Nicholaa loves her f Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Another awesome Julie Garwood historical romance done and dusted. I'm loving re-reading/listening to these classics. In The Prize, we meet the beautiful and feisty Nicholaa and the scarred warrior Royce. Their love story was full of humour, sizzling chemistry, intrigue and treachery. While at first, it seems they are destined for a marriage filled with battles. As they go on, their attraction to each other intensifies and feelings develop. Nicholaa loves her family and will do anything to protect them. Royce is determined to have a peaceful life...if only Nicholaa would obey his rules. The Prize captivated my attention so much I was in danger of heading out to Woop Woop instead of work. It's too easy to relax on the train listening to my audio and forget that I actually have a set destination to reach. Again, I loved the narrator and had no problems telling when the characters changed. I will definitely be listening to more Julie Garwood in the future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ingela

    Written October 13, 2014 3.8 Stars - Safely, securely and precisely what expected. - Sweet charming, well written 'oldish' HR A Ms Garwood historical read (or listening) can not be but heartwaring and enjoying. The Prize a historical from 1991, here narrated by a very professional Anne Flosnik in a 12 hrs audiobook, is no exception. Perhaps you don't hear or see me sing and dance with joy after this novel, but at least I warm up for some very happy cheer jump step. A sweetie one! ***************** Written October 13, 2014 3.8 Stars - Safely, securely and precisely what expected. - Sweet charming, well written 'oldish' HR A Ms Garwood historical read (or listening) can not be but heartwaring and enjoying. The Prize a historical from 1991, here narrated by a very professional Anne Flosnik in a 12 hrs audiobook, is no exception. Perhaps you don't hear or see me sing and dance with joy after this novel, but at least I warm up for some very happy cheer jump step. A sweetie one! *********************************************************** England 1066 in William the Conqueror's court.. The lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior. "In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders..." Nicholaa is young, cute and charming. The baron is tired, torn by war and with an ugly scar on his face. - You see, no surprises, it can't be but pretty delightful. - Of course, this becomes incredibly (super über) cute with an grand end. I'll admit that I sometimes rolled my eyes, but I also giggled and had so much fun. Here isn't it any anxiety or tough scenes. This is simply the most romantic HR to find. Easily digestible, well-written and very nicely narrated in this audio edition. Just to enjoy. “A woman can't do anything about her appearance. Either she's pretty or she isn't. But her character is quite another matter.” *********************************************************** Nothing new under the sun for sure, but entertaining old-fashioned Medieval HR to enjoy. Ms. Garwood's stories have a certain irresistible and innocent style that I like. It will most certainly be more delightful medieval romances written by her in the future. I LIKE - it's good to be there in the romantic 1060:s

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I wasn't going to review this one because I don't usually write reviews when I read a well-known and traditionally published author. However, I felt it deserved a review to explain the low rating. I hated the heroine, Nicholaa. There was no happy medium for this character. She was either acting like an insecure adolescent, seeking approval and attention, or she was raising hell. The only time I found the strong woman characterized at the beginning of the book believable was - yes, at the beginnin I wasn't going to review this one because I don't usually write reviews when I read a well-known and traditionally published author. However, I felt it deserved a review to explain the low rating. I hated the heroine, Nicholaa. There was no happy medium for this character. She was either acting like an insecure adolescent, seeking approval and attention, or she was raising hell. The only time I found the strong woman characterized at the beginning of the book believable was - yes, at the beginning of the book. Once Baron Royce has her in his presence, it was difficult to even imagine her as a strong woman. She pouts. She whines. She snivels. She looks for approval. She seeks attention. What the author seems to think is the behavior of a strong woman, I saw as temper tantrums. And can I say I'm sick of heroines who are so stunningly beautiful that all men stop in their tracks and gape, unable to speak past the tongue hanging out of their mouth? Read enough historical romance novels and you'll begin to wonder if there were any ugly or even just passably good-looking noblewomen in all of medieval England. This was my fourth historical romance in as many days and without fail, the heroine in each of them could have been sisters, or even identical quadruplets. Oh sure - the hair color or the eye color changes, but the description otherwise isn't original or different. In short, the characters and the plot were shallow and formulaic. If you plow your way through romance novels and love them all, you'll probably like this one. If you demand a little more depth for your reading experience, this isn't the book that's going to deliver it for you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    [image error] ★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Anne Flosnik reads this classic medieval Julie Garwood tale rather nicely. If she is somewhat “stilted” in areas, she makes up for it in others. By “stilted” I mean where the story is pure narrative she sounds stiff. I also wasn’t crazy over our Norman hero, Baron Royce’s voice; by trying to lower him to a baritone, he comes across sounding “stuffy” and that isn’t the way I heard him in my head (always a difficult – if not impossible – job!) [image error] ★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Anne Flosnik reads this classic medieval Julie Garwood tale rather nicely. If she is somewhat “stilted” in areas, she makes up for it in others. By “stilted” I mean where the story is pure narrative she sounds stiff. I also wasn’t crazy over our Norman hero, Baron Royce’s voice; by trying to lower him to a baritone, he comes across sounding “stuffy” and that isn’t the way I heard him in my head (always a difficult – if not impossible – job!). Call to Arms, by Edmund Blair Leighton Nevertheless, Ms. Flosnik does a wonderful job with our Saxon heroine, Lady Nicholaa, and handles the humor and action with the right tone and animation. She has various voices for multiple castle and court members (I only caught once where she didn’t slip completely into the assigned accent). Otherwise, her narration has too much monotonicity for my taste. My attention was held, but I think that was by the story and not necessarily the delivery. Ms. Flosnik sounds better when she appears interested in the storyline. I’ll definitely listen to more of her readings. I’m hoping to get permission to add this beautiful picture. Until then, here is the hyperlink: Portchester Castle . The medieval romance itself holds up quite well after twenty-one years. I love that Royce and Nicholaa are dealing with the everyday drudgery and disagreements over castle remodeling. I can’t help thinking this is a novel that would certainly be edited down if it were written today, much to my consternation – and everyone’s loss.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Feeney

    MY FAVOURITE HISTORICAL!!!!! CHECKMATE Nicolaa (a saxon)has defended her home against the normans and the king is not happy. The king has ordered Baron Royce to bring the woman that had defended her home so well against his vassals. She was going to be The Prize for the lucky knight who won the battle for her. The King was allowing his knights to compete for her hand in marriage. But, Nicholaa saved the Queens niece. So the king changed his mind and allowed Nicholaa to choose from any of the singl MY FAVOURITE HISTORICAL!!!!! CHECKMATE Nicolaa (a saxon)has defended her home against the normans and the king is not happy. The king has ordered Baron Royce to bring the woman that had defended her home so well against his vassals. She was going to be The Prize for the lucky knight who won the battle for her. The King was allowing his knights to compete for her hand in marriage. But, Nicholaa saved the Queens niece. So the king changed his mind and allowed Nicholaa to choose from any of the single knights. Of course since she had already spent a week or so with Royce she choose's him because she knew he would not hurt her. They get married and sparks fly. Omg, where to begin with Royce!!! Iloved him, he is everything a hero should be big, brave,sexy,handsome (even with a scar)and has a wicked sense of humour. Both Nicolaa and Royce are believable ,lovable characters. If you love a great story with a great H/H then Please please read, you won't be disappointed. JG at her very best.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eastofoz

    Before starting this book you may want to mentally prepare yourself for a kowtowing heroine because if that kind of trait bugs you (like it does me to no end) this book has the potential to get on your nerves –fast. There’s that and the fact that the hero is painfully overbearing and you think he’s going to get the oh so deserved whack upside the head eventually but he never does unfortunately which is a shame because it could have done him a world of good :) Briefly, the story is about Nicolaa ( Before starting this book you may want to mentally prepare yourself for a kowtowing heroine because if that kind of trait bugs you (like it does me to no end) this book has the potential to get on your nerves –fast. There’s that and the fact that the hero is painfully overbearing and you think he’s going to get the oh so deserved whack upside the head eventually but he never does unfortunately which is a shame because it could have done him a world of good :) Briefly, the story is about Nicolaa (no that’s not a typo there really are two “a”s in her name), a Saxon, who ends up being taken as chattel by Royce, the Norman, in the name of William the Conqueror. She’s forced to marry a Norman (she hates them all of course) and live happily ever after. She decides to hitch her wagon with Royce –a kind of better the devil you know and all that. Up to there the story is pretty good. Got the ol’ love/hate thing going, some decent tension building, story is moving along nicely, basically all the things you need to keep you interested and reading. Once the two tie the knot and go about the business of living together however it’s downhill to the end and I was tired of them. I love a good medieval but this wasn’t one of them. Now the novel starts out well enough with a strong heroine who’ll give you the what for but she quickly spirals into the nauseatingly acquiescing “I have to please my husband at all cost even if he’s an idiot and what he says makes no sense” kind of heroine :-/ You might think it’s all part of her plan to get him later, but it’s not, and there’s no plan and she’s just another one of “those” heroines that make your skin crawl with their suddenly submissive character that has the reader shaking her head thinking “what the **bleep bleep** happened here?!”. Who likes this kind of woman anyway? I hate when the author sets up a heroine to be strong and independent and then does this 180 on you making her nearly spineless. What a rip off. She doesn’t have to be an uncompromising harpy but she doesn’t have to be an accommodating doormat 24/7 either. Thankfully Garwood didn’t make Nicolaa TSTL, but she's waaay too nice and that kind of heroine is just plain boring and one dimensional. As for the hero, if you liked the overbearing moron in Garwood’s The Bride (I hated him) then this is a moderately toned down version of Mr I Need a Punch in My Smug Face. Our man Royce here isn’t that much different. He’s such a jerk sometimes. He could be really nice and protective but then he goes into I Know Everything Always mode and it just grates on the nerves. He’s overly bossy and condescending like the annoying dad in the father knows best role instead of being the sexy lover that he should be. I don’t know why authors write these guys like that but this book was written in the early ‘90s and maybe that was the trend for hero writing. Mind you, if an author can make you dislike a character it’s better than being ambivalent so somewhere they must have written something well to get at least a reaction out of you, good or bad. I’d prefer the good though… anyway, moving on… In terms of writing there’s a problem with paragraphing. When an author changes a scene but not a chapter, normally there are a few blank lines between paragraphs to indicate this change to the reader, this wasn’t the case here and it makes it hard to follow the story because you feel like you misread something. The writing is also more of a telling than a showing kind of style which I don’t particularly enjoy. It tends to make for a flat story that never really comes alive. Better be a fan of heavy narration seeing as there's enough of it. This is no Ransom that’s for sure but it’s not as irritating as Honor's Splendour either, I guess it’s sort of in between the two. It’s not that there’s anything really wrong with the novel it’s more that I don’t like these kinds of characters or this kind of writing. Here’s hoping that the next Garwood book I pick up leans more towards the "Ransom" side because that book was exceptional, nothing like this borderline nails on the chalkboard one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gi's Spot Reviews

    4.75 ‘Captured Legend’ Stars Arghhhh, how have I not read this HR brilliancy until now?! *slaps herself in the forehead* What an amazing story! I couldn’t have loved Royce and Nicholaa any more than I did! Had we all the loose ends like Thurston and Clarisse and Hugh tied up better, and of course the ever required Epilogue, it would have been 5+++ Stars. But it was still a SPECTACULAR read that I will no doubt add to my all time fav HR, and forever remember. Julie Garwood did it again. She truly is 4.75 ‘Captured Legend’ Stars Arghhhh, how have I not read this HR brilliancy until now?! *slaps herself in the forehead* What an amazing story! I couldn’t have loved Royce and Nicholaa any more than I did! Had we all the loose ends like Thurston and Clarisse and Hugh tied up better, and of course the ever required Epilogue, it would have been 5+++ Stars. But it was still a SPECTACULAR read that I will no doubt add to my all time fav HR, and forever remember. Julie Garwood did it again. She truly is a Historical Romance genius! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ena Hasečić

    Odlično! :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    ilknur a.k.a. iko ◬

    gelmiş geçmiş okuduğum en iyi historical'dan öte en iyi okuduğum romanceslardan bu kitap! iddia ediyorum. benzersiz, olağanüstü, muazzam bi şey bu!!! gerçek hayatta da hödük erkeklere karşı bi aşırı sempatim var, böyle höd deyip durduğu ama sizin durmadığınız ve size bu yüzden vurulduğu fln ahhhhhhh. kitap tam böyle. Garwood'un historicallarda yeri gerçekten ayrı. pek ingiliz dükleri okumayı sevmesem de onları bile sevdiriyor, iskoçları saymıyorum bile. evet, eski zaman savaşlarına dair pek çok kit gelmiş geçmiş okuduğum en iyi historical'dan öte en iyi okuduğum romanceslardan bu kitap! iddia ediyorum. benzersiz, olağanüstü, muazzam bi şey bu!!! gerçek hayatta da hödük erkeklere karşı bi aşırı sempatim var, böyle höd deyip durduğu ama sizin durmadığınız ve size bu yüzden vurulduğu fln ahhhhhhh. kitap tam böyle. Garwood'un historicallarda yeri gerçekten ayrı. pek ingiliz dükleri okumayı sevmesem de onları bile sevdiriyor, iskoçları saymıyorum bile. evet, eski zaman savaşlarına dair pek çok kitap okudum ama hiç kimse (KMM hariç) Garwood kadar bu hödüklük-aşık çizgisini iyi çizemiyor. çünkü ya erkeğin aşık tavırlarını yeterince yazamıyorlar, ya aşk sözcüklerine geç kalıyorlar, ya hödüklükle ayılığı karıştırıyorlar ya da aşıkla şehvetli arasındaki ayarı tutturamıyorlar. BU. KADIN. MÜ.KEM.MEL! yıl 1066, Normanlar'ın ingiltere'yi aldığı yıl. Normanlar Gal-Viking karışımı savaşçılar. yani a sınıfı ama plusplus :D bi kere adam herhangi bi durumda, sevişirken, endişelenmişken fln titriyor bu da plusplusplus yapar. buraya alıntı bırakıp gideceğim, sonra da Royce Melborn'un modern versiyonunun en azından şöyle ucundan olacak kadar bana yollaması için tanrıya dua edeceğim. ben bu kadar muhteşem bir erkek okumayalı çünkü bayağı uzun oldu, çok iyi karakterler okudum öldüm bittim ama Royce gibi bir erkeğin düşü için bile yaşanır! "Royce Nicholaa'yla ne halt edeceğini merak ediyordu. Nicholaa kendisini Royce'un tam kalbine yerleştiriyordu ve Royce'un onu durdurabilecek hiçbir silahı yoktu. Kahretsin, Royce'un hayatı bir kalıbın içindeydi ve o değişemeyecek kadar yaşlıydı. Ayrıca günlük tekdüzeliğinin düzenini, disiplinini seviyordu. Hayatından çok memnundu. Memnun muydu?" ilk serzenişler :D "O kabus Royce'u soğuk terler içerisinde uyandırdı. Çok inandırıcı ve çok gerçekçiydi. Rüyada Nicholaa bir ormanda kayıptı. Büyük tehlike altındaydı ve Royce ona erişemiyordu." o şehvetli, ıslak rüyalar yerine adamın gördüğü rüyaya bak, allahım... "Royce'un elinde küçücük bir kütük vardı. Titreyen mum ışığında, Nicholaa Royce'un önündeki masada duran beyaz veriri görebiliyordu. Royce kütüğü dibinde yakın bir yerinden sol elinde tutuyordu. Öbür elinde ise küçük bir bıçak tutuyor ve kütüğün tepesindeki kıymıkları onunla oyarak uzaklaştırıyordu. Arasıra yukarı kaldırdığı vezire baktıktan sonra kütüğe geri dönüyordu. Royce Nicholaa'ya başka bir siyah vezir yapıyordu. Nicholaa bütün kesiklerin nereden geldiğini o vakit anladı. Kocasının niye bu denli tükenmiş göründüğünü de anladı. Ama hepsinden daha çok, başka bir şey anladı: Royce onu seviyordu." pisliğin teki, kızın babasının emek ve anı dolu anlarda yaptığı satranç takımından siyah veziri kırıp ateşe atıyor. herifim de ne olduğunu anlayamadığı duyguları kadınına gösterebilmek ve onu mutlu etmek için... muhtemelen açıklamama rağmen yine de pek etkilenmediniz adfafd ama şu satırların geçtiği yerler muazzam yerler. kadın karakter Nicholaa bazen çenesi yüzünden çıldırtsa da beni, Royce'da olduğu gibi, susmasını da istemiyorsunuz, Royce olduğu gibi :) bi gün gerekli finansal durumları sağlarsam bu kadının kitaplarını kendi dilinde alacağım (ingilizce'de he-she olayı olduğu için karakterler ayrışıyor ama bizde olmadığından çeviri de hep isim vardı, sürekli isim vardı, bu bir tahmin ama), eğer olmazsa da epsilon'dan çıkanları alsam bile kendim karton cilt hazırlayıp onla kaplayacağım kapakları. bu da öyle işte. sevgili tanrım... xoxo iko

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kübra Yağmur

    3,5 gibi ama inisiyatif kullanmayacak kadar cimriliğim üzerimde bugün. @İlknur a.ka. iko’cumun yorumu üzerine bu ay okumayı düşündüğüm ama bir türlü karar veremediğim Garwood kitabı oldu Ödül. Sıkıcı bir çeviri, rezil kapak kısmını işin dışında bırakırsak güzel başladı kitap. Kendisini yeni İngiltere kralına götürmek için gelen üç şövalyeyi eli boş yollamayı başaran Nicholaa, bu sefer Baron Royce ile mücadele etmek zorunda kalıyor. Normanların ülkelerini istila ettiğini düşünen kızımız canını dişi 3,5 gibi ama inisiyatif kullanmayacak kadar cimriliğim üzerimde bugün. @İlknur a.ka. iko’cumun yorumu üzerine bu ay okumayı düşündüğüm ama bir türlü karar veremediğim Garwood kitabı oldu Ödül. Sıkıcı bir çeviri, rezil kapak kısmını işin dışında bırakırsak güzel başladı kitap. Kendisini yeni İngiltere kralına götürmek için gelen üç şövalyeyi eli boş yollamayı başaran Nicholaa, bu sefer Baron Royce ile mücadele etmek zorunda kalıyor. Normanların ülkelerini istila ettiğini düşünen kızımız canını dişine takıp savaşıyor ancak en sonunda kralın karşısına çıkarılıyor. Kralın şövalyelerinden birine ödül olarak vermek istediği bu güzel kadının Royce’u kandırması, sapanı kullanışı vs eğlenceliydi. Ama evlilik olayından sonra biraz sıkıldım ben, ne yalan söyleyeyim.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janja

    It does not matter how many times I read it, it always brings me to laughter and good mood.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lelyana's Reviews

    Aku sukaaaaaaaaaaaaa buku ini..... [image error] relieved after baca buku gak jelas dengan hero gak jelas...kali ini sodara2...Hero nya beneran...heroine nya beneran adorable.... [image error] Once upon a time, waktu jaman tahun 1066 saat perang Saxon dan Norman, Lady Nicolaa ternyata jadi legenda dan kisah nya di ceritakan di seluruh penjuru Inggris... Sehebat apa ya si Lady Nicolaa ini....Yuk kita simak cerita nya... [image error] Lady Nicolaa kecil2 mematikan, dengan ketapel nya yang hebat dia be Aku sukaaaaaaaaaaaaa buku ini..... [image error] relieved after baca buku gak jelas dengan hero gak jelas...kali ini sodara2...Hero nya beneran...heroine nya beneran adorable.... [image error] Once upon a time, waktu jaman tahun 1066 saat perang Saxon dan Norman, Lady Nicolaa ternyata jadi legenda dan kisah nya di ceritakan di seluruh penjuru Inggris... Sehebat apa ya si Lady Nicolaa ini....Yuk kita simak cerita nya... [image error] Lady Nicolaa kecil2 mematikan, dengan ketapel nya yang hebat dia berhasil melumpuhkan 3 orang komandan Norman yang saat itu menduduki Inggris dan membuat Royce, komandan pertama Raja William yg saat itu jadi Raja Inggris asal Normandia,penasaran dan ....berhasil juga di buat benjol dan luka oleh Nicolaa yg hebat itu... Royce juga datang ke kastil Nicolaa dengan misi membawa Nicolaa ke hadapan Raja buat di jadikan "The Prize", hadiah bagi ksatria yang memenangkan pertarungan sampai mati untuk menikahi sang legenda....wohooohoho...hebat sekali ternyata Nicolaa ini sampai Raja terkagum2.... [image error] Sempat tertipu oleh Nicolaa,yang menyamar jadi Daniella, biarawati,kembaran Nicolaa...Royce sempat gak enak hati karena napsu liat biarawati yang cantik itu. [image error] Nicolaa ternyata juga naksir berat sama Royce yang mukanya banyak luka dan codet memanjang di wajahnya...yg dilihat Nicolaa cuma mata abu2 Royce yang indah...ehem..ehem.... Kayaknya love at first sight niiiih........ [image error] Nicola mengasuh keponakannya Ulrich yang sangat di cintai nya, dan terkagum2 melihat keluwesan Royce menghadapi si bayi.... Dalam perjalanan ke London, Nicolaa yang brandalan berusaha kabur beberapa kali (4 kali tepatnya) yang membuat Royce kewalahan....tapiiii...yang sangat unyu dan membuat aku terkesan adalah, saat itupun Royce sudah protektif banget sama Nicolaa, dan Nicolaa selalu tidur snuggling di pangkuan Royce gituuuuuuu....aaaaauuuuuuuuu...mauuuuuuuuu [image error] Sampai di London, semuaaaaaaaa prajurit dan ksatria Raja terpana melihat kecantikan Nicolaa, cuma Royce aja yang pura2 cuek (padahal sih hati nya mendamba,dan gak tahan buat meninju orang yang deket2 Nicolaa).... Istri Raja William, tau banget waktu bicara sama Nicolaa kalo Nicolaa jatuh cinta sama Royce, dari reaksi Nicolaa terhadap Royce, trus bisik2 lah si Ratu dan Raja...gak usahlah ksatria itu bertarung, biar aja Nicolaa yang memilih sendiri pengantin nya.... [image error] Mulailah saat2 mendebarkan Nicolaa memilih suami , Baron Guy yg sok kegantengan yakin banget kalo dia bakal di pilih, tapi dengan cuek nya si Nicolaa jalan lurus ke Royce dan bilang ke Royce ...skakmat ! hahaha...mereka punya stori soal main catur ini, yg gak bisa di ceritain disini ya.... Guy yg gak mau terima, nanya kenapa dia milih Royce, padahal kan dia "perfect"....trus apa kata Nicolaa? "Boys has perfection, I choose a MAN" ... hahahahhaha ....pucat lah si Guy, rasain, biarpun Royce gak "cantik" tapi Nicolaa jelas tergila2 sama Royce.... Biarpun saling naksir (diam2), jangan dikira malam pertama mereka berlangsung dengan baik....lamaaaa setelah sebulan baru mereka uhuk2 lho..hebat banget si Royce nahan his lust ke istri nya...sebetulnya nyesel juga sih si Royce soalnya dia janji kalo tangan Nicolaa yg terbakar (karena nolong ponakan Ratu) sudah sembuh baru mereka uhuk2...padahal malam pertama mereka menikah, Nicolaa yg ada di bawah pengaruh obat tidur tengkurep di atas dada Royce.....ahhahha..kebayang klan "resah" nya Royce selama itu.... [image error] Ada juga usaha percobaan pembunuhan terhadap Royce yg bikin Nicolaa stress berat.... Singkat cerita, sampailah mereka di castle Nicolaa yg diakui Royce sebagai castle dia, bikin Nicolaa gondok, tapi gak bisa apa2, apalagi kebiasaan Royce yang suka sekali "lecturing", ceramah ke Nicolaa....nah disini banyak sekali dialog dan kalimat2 lucu yg bikin senyum2 sendiri (yg harus di baca sendiri ya....) [image error] Justin adik Nicolaa yg tadinya putus asa, juga jadi prajurit Royce yang setia , sampai gerombolan pengacau anak buah Baron Guy datang ,Morgan dan Henry, yg saat memberitahu undangan raja,sempat melempar biji catur kesayangan Nicolaa yg di ukir alm ayahnya, yg membuat Royce ngamuk berat dan membuat Royce menyerang, ngamuk dan melempar Morgan sampai tembok kayu sementara mereka bolong karena lemparan Royce.. Nicola cuma bilang, terimakasih buat jendela nya,suamiku, jd ada udara segar sekarang... [image error] Padahal saat itu dia udah kesel banget dan udah nyiapin ketapel buat membidik Morgan dan Henry....untung ketauan sama Royce...lumayan juga sih di hibur Royce dengan uhuk2 di siang hari..... [image error] Hm,bicara soal uhuk2 pasangan ini lumayan hot juga sih hihihihihi.....sampai Lawrence (tangan kanan Royce yg ganteng) tersipu sendiri waktu mereka mau uhuk2 dengan jendela terbuka wkwkkwkwkkwkw Sampai di London, ada intrik mematikan yg akhir nya membuat Royce akhir nya mau ngaku kalo dia emang cinta sama Nicolaa dan gak bisa hidup tanpa Nicolaa....unyu sekali nih disini...apalagi Nicola kembali jadi legenda after menyelamatkan nyawa raja....sigh [image error] Recommended banget nih...baca sendiri deh buat tau seperti apa kisah mereka dan seperti apa Royce,suami terunyu' sedunia saat itu.....pasti jatuh cinta, just like me [image error] APPENDIX : Ada saat2 terunyu yang aku suka yg aku mau share disini : - Waktu after ML, Royce bangun malem2 cuma mau buat biji catur di bantu Justin sampe tangannya luka2... - Saat Nicolaa bilang ke Justin kalo dia cinta Royce dan Royce cinta dia, sampe akhirnya Royce gak malu2 lagi bilang cinta, abis itu..langsung deh...uhuk2 ihik2 ihihihihihii - saat Nicolaa berusaha mematuhi rule number 3 , gak boleh nangis, tapi selalu gagal, dan diem2 nangis, entah nangis kesel,entah nagis bahagia - Saat Royce kangen sama Nicholaa yg bandel waktu Nicholaa berusaha jd istri yg baik dan selalu tersenyum, - Saat Royce kangen menceramahi Nicolaa.... Pokoknya seru...aku suka banget pasangan ini [image error]

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne Boleyn's Ghost

    Yes, Royce would train his men. And she would train him. My 5-star rating is very much informed by nostalgia. Sorry not sorry. Look, I was 16 when I first read this, and 16 year-old me thought that it was the bee's knees. 33 year-old me acknowledges that it is not actually the bee's knees, but it remains divine in its own way. Of all the historical romance authors who rose to prominence in the 1980s, I most prefer Julie Garwood. I'd describe her as having a “soft” bodice-ripper style. Her novels we Yes, Royce would train his men. And she would train him. My 5-star rating is very much informed by nostalgia. Sorry not sorry. Look, I was 16 when I first read this, and 16 year-old me thought that it was the bee's knees. 33 year-old me acknowledges that it is not actually the bee's knees, but it remains divine in its own way. Of all the historical romance authors who rose to prominence in the 1980s, I most prefer Julie Garwood. I'd describe her as having a “soft” bodice-ripper style. Her novels were gentler, lighter, more accessible (and they sure as heck have aged better than most of their counterparts). While the plot and character development aren't overly, well, developed, resulting in stories that border on simple and saccharine, Garwood injected plenty of humor and adventure and heartfelt emotion to make for a truly enjoyable reading experience. Set during the Norman conquest, this novel charts the love story between Saxon noble Nicholaa and Norman commander Royce. Nicholaa is a typical Garwood heroine: beautiful, smart and snappy, capable but also flawed. Royce is a typical Garwood hero: strong and formidable, dependable and devoted to the heroine. They must navigate a treacherous political landscape as they settle into a not-really-arranged-but-kind-of-arranged marriage. A stubborn attraction takes root, and genuine affection and respect bloom. Unlike many bodice-ripper counterparts, they do not spend 95% of the novel either fighting or having hate-sex. They do fight, but they also work together, play together, laugh together. If you’re a reader who wants to try more "classic" romance novels but is wary of the problematic aspects, try Julie Garwood. Her stories may not be very deep, but they are very charming and very fun.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arlene

    Romantic story that's filled with lots of tender moment. Royce and Nicholaa were a lovely couple. Entertaining, endearing and passionate. In The Prize, Nicholaa’s home is invaded by the Normans and she’s captured as a prize to be delivered to King William. Royce is the king’s loyal subject that is tasked with bringing this headstrong Saxon to the king, which proves to be a series of small battles the entire journey. When Nicholaa gains favor with the king for a courageous act, he allows her to pi Romantic story that's filled with lots of tender moment. Royce and Nicholaa were a lovely couple. Entertaining, endearing and passionate. In The Prize, Nicholaa’s home is invaded by the Normans and she’s captured as a prize to be delivered to King William. Royce is the king’s loyal subject that is tasked with bringing this headstrong Saxon to the king, which proves to be a series of small battles the entire journey. When Nicholaa gains favor with the king for a courageous act, he allows her to pick who she’d like to marry rather than the original plan of her being awarded to a worthy knight. No surprise, she picks Royce. Check mate… I loved Royce and Nicholaa’s story! They were a beautiful couple that had many tender moments, fun dialog and a few small battle of wills that kept things fun and interesting. Royce’s lectures and patient ways were absolutely endearing. Nicholaa’s stuborn and gentle responses were perfect every time. Great historical romance that had the right ingredients for a heartfelt adventure. Love… Waves of Fiction 2015 Reading Challenge - A book set in another country.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lakshmi C

    This review is the story from from the pov of the female lead, Nicholaa. She was spunky, brave and deserves something different. Nicholaa - The Normans and Saxtons are at war, the Normans are winning. I easily defeated two Norman invaders but the third is difficult to get rid off. There are rumours that I will be captured and given to some Knight as a Prize, I plan to escape before that. Royce is cunning and will hand me over to the King soon. I keep trying to escape but he finds it amusing and i This review is the story from from the pov of the female lead, Nicholaa. She was spunky, brave and deserves something different. Nicholaa - The Normans and Saxtons are at war, the Normans are winning. I easily defeated two Norman invaders but the third is difficult to get rid off. There are rumours that I will be captured and given to some Knight as a Prize, I plan to escape before that. Royce is cunning and will hand me over to the King soon. I keep trying to escape but he finds it amusing and is in control, patient at all times. Damn the man for being so cheerful as I worry about my destiny. When we reach the palace, the tables are turned and I am free to choose my suitor. Royce is doomed, our lives are changed forever.    My parents loved each other and I always wished for a similar marriage. I keep planning for the same with Royce but all my plans are for nought. I try to get him drunk but that backfired on me... Marriage is like a map, Royce says. He commands his army, his household & our marriage with ease. Maybe its time to give Royce the obedient wife he believes he wants...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paige Bookdragon

    This is my first Julie Garwood and if this is how she writes her stories, then I think I would be reading some of her books in the future. The Prize is fluffy book, one that I didn't expect from a medieval novel. I've always thought that books that are set during the time of William the Conqueror is kinda boorish or stuffy. Which is wrong because if Julie Garwood'S novel is to be set as an example, then this era is more "loose" than the Victorian era. Women here are "encouraged" to maim warriors, This is my first Julie Garwood and if this is how she writes her stories, then I think I would be reading some of her books in the future. The Prize is fluffy book, one that I didn't expect from a medieval novel. I've always thought that books that are set during the time of William the Conqueror is kinda boorish or stuffy. Which is wrong because if Julie Garwood'S novel is to be set as an example, then this era is more "loose" than the Victorian era. Women here are "encouraged" to maim warriors,yippee. Royce and Nicholaa are one of the funniest couple I've ever read and I would totally recommend this book to those who love medieval/historical books. Full review with GIFs to come.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    "The Prize" takes place during William the Conqueror's time. We have the Saxon and Normans at each others throats. When Lady Nicholaa is captured by Royce Melborn, she finally is forced to pick a husband out of the Normans. She ends up choosing Royce and from there, these two have what I consider one of my favorite romances. Seriously you guys, when Nicholaa comes across Royce, she ends up taking his ass out during a battle with a slingshot. I kind of fell in love. Nicholaa does what she can to "The Prize" takes place during William the Conqueror's time. We have the Saxon and Normans at each others throats. When Lady Nicholaa is captured by Royce Melborn, she finally is forced to pick a husband out of the Normans. She ends up choosing Royce and from there, these two have what I consider one of my favorite romances. Seriously you guys, when Nicholaa comes across Royce, she ends up taking his ass out during a battle with a slingshot. I kind of fell in love. Nicholaa does what she can to protect her home and family, and tricks Royce (dude I laughed through most of this book) but eventually is outmaneuvered by Royce. Nicholaa is everything you want in a heroine. Smart, loyal, and when she realizes she loves Royce, decides she will be the kind of wife he keeps lecturing her she should be. Royce's constant lectures pop up throughout this book and will make you laugh. I loved Royce cause he treats Nicholaa with respect throughout the book and realizes how smart his wife is. When one of Nicholaa's brothers (Justin) is found, missing a hand, Royce trains him along with the rest of his men and won't let Justin go off and die somewhere. I have to say that I loved Royce, no more than when he realizes that when Nicholaa decides to be the kind of wife he says he wants, he realizes he was an idiot, and wants his bossy wife back again. There are wonderful love scenes in this one and some great palace intrigue as well. I found myself loving Justin as much as Nicholaa and wished that Garwoord had written a sequel telling his story, since there is still the loose end of one of Nicholaa's brothers who is hell-bent on killing William the Conqueror and the rest of the Normans.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Uvi

    3.5 stars. The writing is good, but the plot, not so much...also, the whole -let me bend you to my will-while- I only bend a little- because I am a man and you are subservient to me- gets a little annoying after a while. I really wanted to love this author, because I love reading historical genres, but every book I read by her is basically the same underlying theme and the heroes are not desirable, at all. I know the times were different and the gender roles were different in those centuries, but 3.5 stars. The writing is good, but the plot, not so much...also, the whole -let me bend you to my will-while- I only bend a little- because I am a man and you are subservient to me- gets a little annoying after a while. I really wanted to love this author, because I love reading historical genres, but every book I read by her is basically the same underlying theme and the heroes are not desirable, at all. I know the times were different and the gender roles were different in those centuries, but geeeez can't we challenge the hero just a little??? Judith McNaught basically does the same with her characters, the heroine ends up "bending" so to speak, but McNaught challenges her heroes with a rollercoaster of emotions along the way. Just really wanted to like this author because of all the great reviews, but once again was disappointed... On to the next.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Meryl

    4.5 stars Oh I want my own Royce!!! ♥♥♥ This is the best Julie Garwood novel I've read so far. It was a sweet read. Nicholaa and Royce are so sweet and cute together, I was giddy most of the time reading it. However, it seems like the story finished too early that I thought there's a second book or something. I just wish there had been more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    KatieV

    3 to 3.5 stars. I liked it, but nowhere near as much as her Highlander romances. I do think that the sense of any conflict or real excitement was lacking. It's sweet with very low angst if that's what you're in the mood for. Garwood can definitely be good for that. I like to read her when I'm in a negative mood, she can usually make me smile.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sha Mslvoe

    The best, delightful medieval romance. I really enjoyed it. I love how the characters developed with so much love. A must read if you want to get the best of Julie Garwood.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jami

    Well I'm 80 pages in and so far, I'm not impressed. At all. The heroine Nicholaa is just...annoying. The author says time and time again that she's just so sweet that she can't hold a grudge against anyone. Really? No one at all? Not the people who are invading your country, slaughtering your people, and hacking off your younger brother's right hand? You can't be mad at those people? Why not? Because you have no spine? Because you have no honor? Weakest. heroine. ever. Garwood seems to think that Well I'm 80 pages in and so far, I'm not impressed. At all. The heroine Nicholaa is just...annoying. The author says time and time again that she's just so sweet that she can't hold a grudge against anyone. Really? No one at all? Not the people who are invading your country, slaughtering your people, and hacking off your younger brother's right hand? You can't be mad at those people? Why not? Because you have no spine? Because you have no honor? Weakest. heroine. ever. Garwood seems to think that because she's writing a romance, she can't write realistic characters. Look, if you are a young woman being captured and dragged to London TO BE RAPED (Let's be clear here-she doesn't want this) you would be mad. You would be terrified. You would feel SOMETHING. But on the week long journey, Nicolaa barely thinks about the fact that she's going to be turned over to a stranger who will have the power of LIFE AND DEATH over her. For a more realistic portrayal of what that would be like, read "Maid of Lorne" by Terri Brisbin. The heroine in that one is also forced to marry the leader of an army conquering her keep. And she's PISSED about it. And SCARED. Because that's what you would feel like if you were ABOUT TO BE RAPED. I'm not saying, "Stop putting rape in historical novels." It's realistic, it's accurate, it has its place no matter how much you, as a reader, rail against it. But that is what we're talking about here. Not a traditional arranged marriage, but a woman being dragged, literally, kicking and screaming to London so the king can hand her off as a prize but she's not angry about it. She's just inconvenienced by the whole thing. That really, REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. Rape was a sad fact of life back then, I understand that. But the author just writes it off like every woman in that time period wouldn't care one way or the other. And I just don't see that as being realistic. You would care, trust me. And Royce? Well she keeps asking him if she's really going to be given to a stranger and he says yes. And he laughs about it. Because rape is hysterical. And here's where I get irritated. Because even though as a Norman warrior its realistic that Royce would not care about a woman's impending rape, he is also the LOVE INTEREST, so, you know, really he should be a little more scowly about some other man raping the girl he has a crush on. But he's not. He really just doesn't care. So you really don't get the feeling that these two care at all about each other BECAUSE THEY DON'T. When they arrive in London, and the realization sets in that she will never truly escape her fate, she FINALLY starts to panic and cry. And Royce teases her. Yep, he makes fun of her for being scared. Seriously, there is just nothing even resembling compassion from this man and I don't see how this relationship makes sense. Writing Nicholaa this way really does the character a disservice. It not only makes her seem incredibly weak, but it also, frankly, makes her seem stupid. Like she's not smart enough to realize her whole life is ruined. Like she's not intelligent enough to realize her brother has been permanently maimed, her home is gone, and she'll never see her family again. Because if you had two brain cells in your head, you would be mad about that stuff. You would be upset. And writing Nicholaa as this weak little ninny who is so stupid she can't grasp the enormity of what's happening to her just makes me not interested in how its going to play out. I have a feeling this is going to end up on my Did-Not-Finish shelf.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Oh how I loved Julie Garwood when I was 15. But she had a few books which feature heroines that I have always wanted to strangle. Nicholaa is one of them. First of all, why the double As in the name?? But I digress. I must admit that I was underwhelmed by this book. The story was ok but with Nicholaa as the heroine I was rolling my eyes all the time. A woman who wants her warrior husband to love her, playing childish games and the author makes these childish attempts into some kind of a great al Oh how I loved Julie Garwood when I was 15. But she had a few books which feature heroines that I have always wanted to strangle. Nicholaa is one of them. First of all, why the double As in the name?? But I digress. I must admit that I was underwhelmed by this book. The story was ok but with Nicholaa as the heroine I was rolling my eyes all the time. A woman who wants her warrior husband to love her, playing childish games and the author makes these childish attempts into some kind of a great allure. I couldn't warm up to Nicholaa and Royce was kind of dull too. The book could have been much better had Garwood written Nicholaa differently. I just don't get why anyone would find a meddlesome mother hen of a heroine attractive? That is Nicholaa.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    One word to describe this book would be "Checkmate", for it captured me, heart and soul! Julie Garwood gets another big 5 star rating from me for this book. There are just some authors out there who have a gift to be able to put their pen to paper and create such perfectly splendid heroes and heroines. I have never met a Garwood hero or heroine that I did not like and Royce and Nicholaa from The Prize are no exception! This story has some factual parts to it as it takes place in England in the yea One word to describe this book would be "Checkmate", for it captured me, heart and soul! Julie Garwood gets another big 5 star rating from me for this book. There are just some authors out there who have a gift to be able to put their pen to paper and create such perfectly splendid heroes and heroines. I have never met a Garwood hero or heroine that I did not like and Royce and Nicholaa from The Prize are no exception! This story has some factual parts to it as it takes place in England in the year 1066 when King William (The Conqueror) and his Norman warriors had invaded England and were suppressing the Saxons in what was called the Norman Conquest. Most of England submitted to the Norman rule but there were still some resisters in the North. The King sent his warriors to defeat the rebels and this is where our fictional story begins. Nicholaa had been left to defend her family's home against the Norman invaders. Both of her brothers were warriors fighting against them. She was also left in charge of her older brothers' baby. Then her younger brother Justin, was injured in battle and so Nicholaa was caring for him also. But Nicholaa was very clever and could easily handle caring for a baby and her injured brother and defending their home against attack. She and her small group of protectors that she was in charge of had already defeated two groups of Norman warriors and were prepared to come up against a third when the unthinkable happened. Nicholaa was tricked and captured! The King had sent his best baron warrior, Royce, to capture The Prize, the lady who had defeated the others and wanted the baron to bring her back so he could offer her as a bride to the most deserving Knight. The King thought that Nicholaa was such a special prize that he allowed her to choose her husband, picking from the most worthy and noble soldiers. This is when one of my favorite moments from the book happens: Nicholaa and Royce had spent a great deal of time together and had already figured out that they did not get along and really were not too fond of each other. Although in Royce's mind he could not picture anyone but himself with her and in Nicholaa's mind he really did have a very gentle and sweet side to him. But, Royce had dragged her away from her home and family and decided that if she had to suffer then Royce would to! She made her decision and starting walking across the room to the man she had chosen as her husband. Her attention was solely directed on one man. Royce. He was leaning against the far wall, looking very bored, almost sleepy. But he was staring at her. The closer she got, the more worried he looked. She tried not to smile... Lord, it was a fine moment. Nicholaa continued to move through the crowd until she reached Royce. When she was just a foot away from him, she stopped. She didn't say a word, just looked up at him for the longest while. He couldn't believe she was standing there. He shook his head. She nodded. "Royce?" she said his name in a whisper, but he heard it all the same. "Yes, Nicholaa?" Her smile captivated him. She motioned for him to come closer. And then she stretched up on tiptoes and whispered into his ear. "Checkmate." Oh, that was such a wonderful part of the story!! After selecting her husband the book focuses on their marriage and the job Royce now had of taking over her family's household, which was full of people skeptical of this Norman, including her injured brother. I loved watching as Royce and Nicholaa fell in love and learned what it meant to give and take in a relationship. I loved how they each had different ideas of what marriage should be like and tried to make the other one bend to his/her idea but in the end they both compromised! I loved that Royce was a scarred hero, in the literal sense, and Nicholaa thought he was the most handsome man she had ever seen. She never saw his scars, just the man he was inside. I loved that Nicholaa was always up to something and Royce was always trying to figure out just what she was up to. This book was very sweet and full of very memorable characters and moments. I wish Julie Garwood had written a story for Nicholaa's brother Justin. He was a character that we saw a lot of growth in and he turned into a very nice young man and overcame a lot of obstacles. I would really love a story for him! I recommend this book to every historical romance lover and even those who have not read any historical romances, this might be the one to get you hooked! Checkmate.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)

    I am so glad this book was recommended to me; I really loved it. I think the best word to describe this book is... charming. It starts with the heroine Nicolaa defending her home against the Norman invaders, different knights are sent in, but by using her cunning and trusty slingshot, she manages to see them off; until Baron Royce arrives. The love story starts from there. Both the main characters are incredibly lovable, and the dynamics of their relationship were funny and touching, whenever they I am so glad this book was recommended to me; I really loved it. I think the best word to describe this book is... charming. It starts with the heroine Nicolaa defending her home against the Norman invaders, different knights are sent in, but by using her cunning and trusty slingshot, she manages to see them off; until Baron Royce arrives. The love story starts from there. Both the main characters are incredibly lovable, and the dynamics of their relationship were funny and touching, whenever they speak, it always left a smile on my face. One particular scene when Nicolaa is telling Royce his duties as her husband springs to mind. Royce is a logical and seemingly stern man with an appearence to match, but really is gentle and kind, where as Nicolaa is both cunning, gentle and innocent, some of the best bits in the books are when Royce is catching Nicolaa in her deceptions and then lecturing her whilst she sits and daydreams : ) This book is worth reading and I would descirbe it as a keeper as it is something I would read again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Leona

    I must be in the minority after reading all the rave reviews. I would give this 2.5 stars. Though it was a quick read, it somehow lacked the depth relative to her other novels. It was a little too lighthearted and I found that both the H and h were not very exciting. Typical Garwood has always had a lot more tension, great character depth and riveting plotlines. I couldn't put this at the same level as Ransom, Bride and Honor's Splendour. If you are new to Garwood, I would recommend starting wit I must be in the minority after reading all the rave reviews. I would give this 2.5 stars. Though it was a quick read, it somehow lacked the depth relative to her other novels. It was a little too lighthearted and I found that both the H and h were not very exciting. Typical Garwood has always had a lot more tension, great character depth and riveting plotlines. I couldn't put this at the same level as Ransom, Bride and Honor's Splendour. If you are new to Garwood, I would recommend starting with her other novels.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Krista Baetiong Tungol

    I picked this book because I was of a mind to read ‘lighter’ stories after Helen Hollick’s sober Saxon series (The Forever Queen / I Am the Chosen King) and because Norman Conquest, which is the period depicted in this novel, is my current favorite historical theme. Also, I have never read a Julie Garwood novel before and it intrigued me to find out why many readers seem captivated by her romance stories. The story follows Nicholaa, a young Saxon noblewoman, who is forced to marry one of William I picked this book because I was of a mind to read ‘lighter’ stories after Helen Hollick’s sober Saxon series (The Forever Queen / I Am the Chosen King) and because Norman Conquest, which is the period depicted in this novel, is my current favorite historical theme. Also, I have never read a Julie Garwood novel before and it intrigued me to find out why many readers seem captivated by her romance stories. The story follows Nicholaa, a young Saxon noblewoman, who is forced to marry one of William the Conqueror’s vassals to secure her fealty to the new sovereign and help restore peace in her lands. She is supposed to be won as a ‘prize’ from a competition between William's unmarried barons, but a sudden twist in events has led her to be the one picking her own ‘prize’ instead. She then chooses Royce, a skilled Norman warrior who has successfully breached and conquered her fortress after several failed attempts from the other Norman besiegers. Royce is not only clever, but he also proves to be patient and generous as an overlord as Nicholaa would realize later on. The subject theme (Post-Conquest) is interesting; only, the plot ended up unimpressive—if not a little far-fetched—and the sequence of events a bit uncoordinated. The conversations sounded too modern for a medieval setting, while character building was uncomfortably weak. Points of view (POV) also shifted abruptly, and if you’re not quite observant you’d get totally confused as to whom the story is speaking for at every turn. Nicholaa is supposed to look after her people’s welfare, but most of the time she is by herself, whining and being fickle. She is also supposed to be defiant with the Norman lord who has claimed her and her lands, but one look at his “beautiful silvery eyes” and her resolve suddenly turns to dust. She even stoops low at one point and tries to be the submissive wife for her husband even when she admits she’s damn unhappy about it (blame it on love if she’s not being so absurd or masochistic). Royce, on the other hand, is too patient with his wife’s pettiness that I already want to smack him for being ridiculously enduring (again, blame love for this). They are not the most compatible couple, but as this is a romance novel and we expect happy endings out of it, the author gets the story line crammed with sweet verses and intimate moments every now and then to warrant the particular demand. Sorry, Miss Garwood, but this novel falls short for me. It doesn’t mean that I’m scratching your other books off from my to-read list, though.

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