Go to Homepage   Marilyn Grall: Conquest of the Heart


New Concepts Publishing (ebook);
ISBN: 1-891020-68-4
Mercenary captain Sir Stephen Dubois lucks out at the Battle of Hastings. When an assassin hidden among William the Conqueror's entourage strikes at William's unprotected back, Sir Stephen foils the attempt. In gratitude William rewards Stephen with an estate -- and a bride. 

Since her father and two brothers died fighting the Normans at Hastings (and her mother committed suicide after hearing the news), 17-year-old Lady Mary struggled to keep impoverished Almswick Manor together. Mary knows that William deeded her ancestral lands to a hated Norman, but she doesn't know that William made her part of the bargain. 

The usual conflict between headstrong beauty and stern but fair hero follows. And therein lies this reviewer's problem with Conquest of the Heart. I read the same plot in too many other historical romances depicting England after the Battle of Hastings. Norman conqueror comes to manor. Feisty Saxon heroine battles him tooth and nail, stoutly denying that she's fallen head over heels in love with him. Treacherous Saxon neighbor/warrior/ex-betrothed a) wants the heroine for himself; b) wants the heroine's lands for himself; c) all of the above. 

Marilyn Grall writes well and nicely fleshes out her characters. However, I hoped for more -- something different from what I've already read from numerous other authors. Many romance readers will enjoy Conquest of the Heart, but this reviewer is still waiting to be pleasantly surprised by a historical that dares to be different. 

Teri Dohmen

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