The Prize by Julie Garwood
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: July 5th 2011
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In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the lovely Saxon captive, 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. 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!
Alright this one is going out to Carolyn Jean.
I had this book in my office so during my lunch hour break, I did a quick reread of it and thought I’d put up a review about why I love this book so much. In this book, we have Baron Royce who was sent by the King to capture the headstrong Lady Nicholaa and bring her back to London so that he can wed her to one of his most deserving knights.
Irritated that he’s sent on this little adventure to capture a woman who has outwitted three other of his peers who came before him, Baron Royce does his duty and takes off to get this smart little chit. She tricks and she plots but even her best plot didn’t save her from Baron Royce. He could plot and twist plots with the best of them and it becomes this little game where each of them try to outwit the other with Lady Nicholaa trying to get away from Baron Royce and Baron Royce trying to keep his captive under his watchful eye until they get back to King William’s court. Reading about their journey to London made me laugh a lot. Seeing that Baron Royce would use whatever he could to get Lady Nicholaa out of the convent made me cringe but also made me realize that he was determined to get his job done….at whatever measures he had to take. So anyway, they finally get to London and King William decides that the prize (Lady Nicholaa) will be allowed to choose her groom.
Baron Royce isn’t the most handsome of all lads in England so he knows that Lady Nicholaa would not choose him. He’s so convinced of this that he stands at the back of the grand room and waits for the decision to be made. There’s this big attraction going on between Nicholaa and Royce but they haven’t acknowledged it, nor would they have acknowledged it if Lady Nicholaa wasn’t given this golden oppurtunity to strike back at Baron Royce which she promptly takes advantage of.
When Lady Nicholaa walks up to Baron Royce, leaving Baron Guy in the dust, a smile creased my face and never left it. When she walks up to him and says, “Checkmate.” I nearly died of laughter.
This is what I love most about Julie Garwood, she can entertain the socks right off of you, I promise that. She’s got those one liners to start off her chapters and to end her chapters that you can’t help but love and laugh and love her books all the more.
Watching Lady Nicholaa try to make Royce fall in love with her and watching Royce fall in love with Nicholaa made this book great for me. Some could argue that this book was left with so many open ended storylines with the whole Thurston ordeal and Baby Ulric and all of that but for me, I chose to see this as a golden opportunity for Julie Garwood to continue these character’s stories…and I’d still read them should she ever write them regardless of how much everyone hated Shadow Music. =)
I’m a big time Justin fan, Nicholaa’s younger brother. He was the reason why I loved this book so much. To see him from the broken young warrior he was at the beginning of the book and to see the growth in his character and the bond he formed with his “enemy” and to see him finally acknowledge Royce as his brother, it was just the best thing, for me, about this book. I loved watching Justin’s character wild and unruly in the beginning because by the end of the book, he was a different person, he was a different man and he was a different brother to Nicholaa. His character was such a strong one that I find that as much as I love Royce, I’ll always love Justin a little more and will forever wait for his story to be told. I loved his friends that he made in his new home and I seriously loved the scene at the end where he tells Royce that he wasn’t thanking his leader, he was thanking his brother.
As corny as it is, I love this stuff!
I still stand by what I said before (in my many discussions I’ve had on this story) I’d be willing to see what kind of character Julie Garwood would write for Thurston. I didn’t care for him at all in this story, I didn’t forgive him for what he did to Justin (you’ll have to read the book to find out) and the whole thing with Baby Ulric made my insides twist because I wanted to know what kind of life Thurston would give him…it would be really interesting to see what JG would do with that story, there’s so much to cover that she’d have so much storyline for a new book…I just wish she’d write it.
As a whole, this book is really good. I enjoyed the heck out of it the first time I read it and I find new things to enjoy every time I read it after that. You’ll fall in love with the characters and the storyline is just light enough and just funny enough that the pages will keep turning until you’re done with the book and kinda sad that the journey had to end, but you should definitely check this book Carolyn Jean, so many people have enjoyed it that I’ve no doubt that you’ll enjoy it as well.