Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday Review: Conqueror's Kiss by Hannah Howell

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday all my reading chicas!
Initially released in 1991, this week's throwback is not quite as aged as I had planned for this feature. However, I picked up some nasty germs and have been down and out with a bad cold for the past week and it has put me behind in my reading.  As I have the re-release version of this book scheduled for review, I thought I would include it as the blog feature this month. I am happy that publishers are re-releasing some of these older romances... particularly the ones written 20-30 years ago.

Conqueror's Kiss 
by Hannah Howell
Initial Pub. Date:  Nov. 1, 1991
Re-Release Date:  Oct. 27, 2015
Publisher:  Zebra, a Kensington Imprint
Pages:  416
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

There is little hope for sanctuary in the midst of the tumultuous Scottish border wars, yet one woman may finds safe the arms of her swarn enemy...

Jennet Graeme has witnessed terrible tragedy during the many years of strife between the Scots and the English. As Scottish invaders plunder her convent sanctuary, she defiantly resists the blond warrior who claims her as his prize. But his brute strength is overpowering and Jennet is forced to ride with him through the lawless lands, tending to the wounded, protected and desired by a man she wants to hate ... but cannot ...

Sir Hacon Gillard is moved by Jenner's compassion and mercy. As a loyal knight, he's pledged fealty to his king's command, even as he loses his heart to this remarkable woman. Merciless in combat ... yet there burns within him a spark for something far beyond the heat of battle ... 

Conqueror's Kiss is set in early 14th Century Scotland among the pillage and plunder happening on the border of England and Scotland between Edward and Robert the Bruce's armies. This was a tumultuous time in history for the two countries, and it seems that the people who suffered most were the innocent townfolk who took know part in the warring between the kings. This book contains a lot of rape, murder, slaughter and fighting - which was on par for the time. These atrocities committed on behalf of kings are another reason for me to be grateful to have been born in the 20th Century!

Our hero is Sir Hacon Gillard. Let me first start by saying that I hated his name. I don't know how to pronounce it - like bacon, Hasson, Hack-on, Hac-one??? I ended up scouring the internet trying to find a pronunciation guide, but I was not able to find a Scottish pronunciation. I was able to find Italian and English pronunciations that sounded similar, so I just went with it (sounds like Hack-on). I really wish authors would give us a phonetic spelling in parentheses the first time they use one of these types of names. Anyway, other than his name, I liked Hacon, the big braw blonde knight. While he followed commands of his king and liege lord to fight along the borders and pillage and plunder towns, he did not engage in the killing of defenseless women and children. He was an honorable and loyal man, with a good sense of humor.

Our heroine, Jennet Graeme has been hit particularly hard by these wars. She witnesses the rape and murder of her mother, then it seems that every town she moves to after that is caught up in the fighting. Finally, at Berwick, she is taken as plunder by Hacon. Jennet got lucky in her captor for all the qualities discussed above about Hacon. Rather than rape her as spoils of war, he sets out to seduce Jennet and keep her. Jennet was a great heroine - she was feisty, steadfast in her beliefs, and not afraid to voice her opinion. The banter between her and Hacon was fairly good and I enjoyed seeing them grow to care for one another in the midst of war.

Usually I gobble up these older historical romances because I love when a book has numerous plot conflicts and resolutions within one story. However this one seemed to drag on and on and I found myself skimming it toward the end. This could also be because I have been sick and reading was a little bit of a chore this week due to the brain fog that comes with a really bad cold.

As usual with these older books, I like to look at the cover evolution.  So let's check this one out:

I received an advanced copy of the reprinted book from Zebra/Kensington in exchange for an honest review. 

View all my reviews