Snow in July
by Kim Iverson Headlee
Commanded to marry by William the Conqueror, and facing shattered oaths and a ravening evil power determined to overthrow the new king, Alain and Kendra face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.
As Sir Ruaud babbled in his semicoherent English about Sir Robert, Kendra fought a jumble of emotions regarding Ruaud’s squire. Not only was his station beneath her rank, his being Norman placed him beneath her contempt. And yet she couldn’t tear her gaze from him.
Several inches taller than Sir Ruaud, the squire was trim where Ruaud sported a paunch, and he radiated quiet dignity to counter Ruaud’s comic disposition. Both men wore their blond hair cropped close, but Ruaud’s darker locks didn’t curl about his ears and forehead in whimsical wisps begging to be touched. Ruaud’s nose bore the lumpish evidence of having been broken at least once, but no scars marred the squire’s face. And those eyes—merciful heaven, if the squire regarded her once more with those probing, sea-green eyes, she would faint from the delectable agony.
Relief washed over her when he broke eye contact and strode to the packhorse. Broad shoulders and sinewy arms rippled as he wrestled something from a saddle pack. For one wanton moment, she imagined being encircled by those arms, protected, cherished. Loved… happy…
She shook her head. One of his countrymen had murdered her brother. She must despise this man.
And yet that task was proving to be a major chore.
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books.
Alain is given and English estate as reward for helping William win at Hastings. He is also given the daughter of the Thane of the estate as his bride. Kendra doesn't want to amrry anyone, much less a Norman, the same race of man who murdered her brother.
But darker forces are at work, and Alain and Kendra are thrown together then forced apart. And those Kendra trusted, betray her.
Historical romance is not usually my thing, but I said yes to reading this so something must have piqued my interest. It has just a hint, and I do mean a hint, of paranormal, so that must have been why I said yes.
It was, not my thing aside, a wonderful read! Full of history of the time of William the Conqueror, indeed, William actually takes part, and ACTIVE part in this story, rather than just being mentioned. Full of the tradtions and habits of that time. Full of twists and turns that kept me fully engrossed in the tale. I loved Harold's twist, I loved that paranormal doesn't dominate the historical side. If you read fast and skim, as I often do, you might have missed the paranormal bit, I had to go back and reread a bit because I did! I loved that although Kendra is not any sort of magic person, she has her gift, passed down from her mother, and its Alain who kick starts it again.
It is clean, but weirdly, has that smoldering passion you expect in a more explicit book, that grows and gathers pace. It does get a bit bloody, especially when the Normans, Saxons and the bandits are fighting, but sword fighting and arrows through the heart does tend to be, now doesn't it?
The history is told not in a "teaching" way, more in that its told as part of the story, the way the story flows so well is a tribute to the way the history comes across.
And, it doesn't say how, you have to figure it out for yourself, but I loved the fact, that Alain made it Snow In July, just for Kendra, on their wedding day.
**same worded review appears on Goodreads, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk**
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from "the other Washington") and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.
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