Monday, December 21, 2009

Reviewette: Winter Awakening by Amanda McIntyre


WINTER'S DESIRE
First book in the Celtic Spice anthologies-
Amanda McIntyre, Charlotte Featherstone, Kristi Astor
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-60535-4
Harlequin Spice-Books
www.Spice-Books.com
November 2009


Winter Desire-Harlequin Spice November 2009
I can remember your strength and your gentleness. A strange combination, to be sure, but a potent and intoxicating one . Your pale blue eyes will haunt me for the rest of my days…for ours is a passion indulged only in darkness and ends now with the first shaft of daylight on the dawn of midwinter.
On Solstice eve long ago, a Druid priestess and Norse warrior succumb to forbidden, erotic desire. Their passion is one that neither death, decree—nor time—can tear asunder.
Now three women of later centuries, Sabeline, Sinead, and Aisling begin their own sensual journeys, awakened by the ancient power of the priestess’s words—
“Burn bright of winter’s desire.”
*Winter Awakening (Dark Ages)
Sabeline experiences surprisingly unbridled nights with her betrothed’s best friend in a lusty medieval tale...
It was the celebration of the betrothal that would align Wales and England, but Sabeline was aware of her intended's promiscuous ways and so turns to his friend, not looking for more than companionship, but with a stolen kiss beneath a full moon, finding a passion that both deny until they meet years later at the appointed time of her marriage to the Norman Lord. One touch, and a spark ignites between the ill-fated pair. Torn between duty and desire, they succumb to their passions in secret, until fate turns a blind eye and they must seek the powers greater than themselves to quell the evil that threatens their very lives.

This is all obtained from Ms. Amanda McIntyre site.
This book is mine. Just like this review. This is done for my own purpose and all personal thoughts are my own. Now on to what you came here for...
My Review:
This is one story out of three in this sweet, hot, sexy anthology. Since this is a short story, my review will be short and sweet. I do not like to give to much a way.
Wales, 1119
In this time period, I always have to remind myself of the standards back then. A woman of virtue was a virgin when she got married. A man could have any number of mistresses and that was deemed okay. Women were not allowed to speak up either. So, when I begin a story, I always have to remind myself of these few things.
Now with these things in mind, we meet Sabeline - she is in her early twenties. By an agreement between her father and the king of England, she is to marry a Marcher Lord; that would create an alliance to form a barrier against the warring tribes of the north. Lord Benedict is the man for the job. "...his brazen courage and his skills on the field of battle had won him the king's favor. And so the arrangement was made." This was to be a union for political reasons, not romantic reasoning. So, are we to believe that these two will fall in love and live happily ever after or will the course of a winter's desire intervene...
This is an awesome love story. A story of hidden desire, a love that knows no boundaries. What things we would do for the love of a lifetime?
Sabeline is a strong woman. After the lost of her mother and her brother, that left just her and her father. She knows that the town people kind of look down on her, because what was intended to be passed down to her brother - the son, the man of the house - is now passed down to her, a mere woman. So, the arranged married between her and Benedict is thought to be a good power move. Knowing her duty to marry is not for love, but for country is very noble; but by the Winter's God she is willing to see it through because it is the right thing to do. Knowing that her intended, Benedict has a roaming eye does not sit well with her either. She tries all she can to win his affection. She even learns ways of pleasing a man from her cousin Margaret. Sabeline even goes to Benedict's friend, Lord Ranulf for help. But what do you do when your intended has the eye for everyone else but you? Just because their marriage is for political gain, does that mean that love can not be in the mix... right?
There was one part of the story that did kinda bother me a bit. Sabeline confused me a bit; in a passage that is taking place in the present, she is very unsure of the ways of pleasing a man and very bashful to be observing what unfolds in front of her; but we see her three years previous and she is a very bold young lady with a very blunt tongue. I am not sure what turn of events happened in between those three years to put the bashfulness in her manner, but it was noted.
Lord Benedict is a man that adds the drama to this story. He is a playboy, never quiet able to satisfy his sexual hunger. He takes his pleasure as often as he pleases and with whom ever he pleases. Knowing that he is going to be married soon does not change his ways. I am not a fan of Benedict's character. There is no love in his heart, except for himself and his appetite of women. His motives are thought to be his devotion for his king and country; however as the story unfolds we learn some very devious motives behind a very devious man.
Lord Ranulf's duty is to serves as the kings witness to the union of the marriage. Ranulf is a man of honor, code and devotion. He was chosen by the king to oversee this marriage. Ranulf gained his own title of knight through his reputation in tournament play. It was not handed down to him like Lord Benedict. Ranulf is seventeen years Benedict senior. He was ordered to train Benedict in the way of battle and knighthood. Although, Ranulf sometimes felt like he was playing nursemaid to Benedict and for that - his blooded boiled. This man intrigued me more than I would like to say. I saw his core emotions and it made me want to reach out and take him in my arms. His heart and soul were in the right place... but was it at the right time?
Now that you have met the three main characters... The story is told... An arranged married for the political reasons, no love of any kind between Sabeline and Benedict. The couple were set to marry in three years, after the men finished their crusade of securing military presence along the border region. During the three years, Benedict would write letters to Sabeline how ever often he could... or at least Sabeline thinks that the words are from Benedict. The three years pass.. and the men return home.
A woman of virtue, a man of honor and a playboy with his own agenda... What would become of these three on the night of the Winter Solstice?

This story is written in first person through Sabeline and Ranulf. I am a first person POV kinda girl. It allows me in the mind of the characters; for some, they find this a bit distracting, but I absolutely love it. I love both, the emotional and power struggle in this story. Ms. Amanda made me feel Sabeline's heart and soul. I felt her emotions as they would have been my own. Then she turned me around to see what was in Ranulf's mind. This is again, another great story by Ms. Amanda! The sex scenes were steamy enough to heat up any cold night you might have. There is even one in there that may rock your boat...!!! So, if you are looking for something to warm up your night and get your blood pressure up a couple of numbers... Get this book!!!!

Because you never know what can come of a wish upon a Winter's Solstice....


**I do not have the reviews ready for the other two stories, but as soon as I do, I will have them up**

Please take pleasure in reading the excerpt that lures us into the world of Sabeline at Ms. A's sitere --->> here.
This is what we can expect next from Ms. Amanda... You gotta love this cover... Alone it is hussy worthy!!! If you want a private lesson on what this book is about, please go --->> here.
Hope you enjoyed the review... Now, what are you waiting for... Don't walk, run to the nearest book store and get this book!!!!

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19 comments:

  1. I'm at work Cecile!!!! Should I play hookie and run to my nearest B & N? I may or may not have done this before *chagrin*

    Great Review!

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  2. MMm sounds hot! And that is my fav time period :D Not to mention place. So yeah I think I could like this too

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  3. Nice review cecile! I dig the two men Lord Benedict and Lord Ranulf and along with your comments on the lovestory gets me very excited! I so need to read something from Amanda Mcintyre and Charlotte Featherstone, both authors on the shelves because the really appeal to my historical lovin' readers nature :)

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  4. Hi sweetie! That's a wonderful review! But what do you mean, short? ;) I loved it although I'm not a huge fan of historicals :)

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  5. Hey Ms. Smokin! You are at work... Yes, I would say - go on lunch hour, snack break or just play hookie!!! But go get this book! Mr. Smokin will benefit from the Hottness of it, lmbo. Thanks for stopping by hon.

    Blodeuedd!!!! Hey sweetie, Ohhh you think your hot cocoa is hot huh... Just wait till you read this book! You will not need your hot cocoa. Maybe a glass of cold water, lol. You will love the background of this book!

    Leontine!!! Hey honey! I am so glad that you made it here. I hope all is well with you! Oh believe me, these two men are something else... Whew! Let's just say that if Benedict would be a faithful partner, she would be constantly have a wicked smile on her face! But I have to say that Ranulf took my breath away with his devotion! You know I will insist you read these two ladies (and Ms. Astor's) work! They are amazing!! But of course you know I am such a lover of their writing! And the historical setting, they rocked it out!!!!

    Janna! Hey babe!!! I am so glad that you made it over here... I need to dish out some eye candy. Kinda been slipping a bit! I will make that up to you though!
    Yea, you caught the short too huh... When I went back to re read my review.. I was like, "who am I kidding... short my butt!" I love this story. The flow of (except for that one party) story was beautifully written. Ms A's style always stays in my heart after I read it. Even if you are not a fan of historical, I will tell you to read this one. And her other work... You talk about freaking HAWT!!! And she has such strong women in her stories! That is another thing I love!
    Thanks for coming by!

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  6. LOL! Shall I send some of my men over to your place hon?
    Okay you convinced me, I'll put her on my wishlist! Because you know I love HAWT! And I happen to heart strong women too! :D

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  7. Hi Cecile!
    I still have to read this one. I've had it since it came out. I don't know why I haven't read it yet, I love Amanda's books.

    I hope all is well with you and you're ready for Christmas! Hugs!

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  8. I love the word reviewette, I am going to write that one down! Loved your review, this sound like a wonderful read, historical romance is one my favorite genres so I think I am going to like this story.

    I hope you have a wonderful day without too many holiday stress!

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  9. Sounds like a book I'd like.Great review Cecile.I'll have to add this to my growing list of books to get.

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  10. Hey Cecile! Great review!

    You reminded me of a couple things that I experienced with this novella. One, like you, I wondered at the heroine's earlier sexual boldness compared with her current modesty. Second, in my case the first person narrative (which I generally like) confused me because it would take a few sentences each time to figure out which POV I was in. And lastly, I thought the story started with bang but tappered off and didn't hold my interest. However, there was a pretty good twist at the end.

    I can't wait to read your thoughts on the other two novellas!

    Hugs, VFG

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  11. OH hon great review! I so can not wait to read this one it sounds amazing!!! I'm running to my bookstore as soon as I can! ;)

    BIG HUGS and hoping you have a great one my friend!

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  12. Thank you for the lovely review and I'm sure that readers will love the other stories in this book as well!

    If I may, I would like to any confusion with Sabelines behavior-earlier(she is but a teen) she is charmed by Lord Ranulf-perhaps feeling a bit put off by her newly intended's lack of attention. Still, inquisitive. She is attracted to his Ranulf's honor.

    Three years later, she knows what she must do--having read Benedicts letters for three years, she is smitten by the change she believes he's made.(but they are all written by Ranulf, because Benedict hadn't the finesse or time)

    And too, she is older and is ready to learn more (though she knows very little) about her own physical pleasure/responsibilities in her upcoming marriage. Her concern if she can please this man she has come to know through his letters.I hope that helps clarify things a bit;))

    But, reading is always subjective. What may be hawt for some, is not for others;) I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Ms. C.

    I enjoy finding characters that don't necessairily fit the norm and having villians that if they were just a bit more honorable would make hawt heroes as well (case in point Lord Aeglech-Tortured)

    Thank you for taking the time to review this story and all the best to you in 2010!!

    Amanda

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  13. The hottie on the cover has the BEST eyes ever. Photoshopped or not - hawt.

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  14. @ Janna, yea I might need some men to keep me warm and cozy while the Mr. Hussy goes to the camp for the weekend, lol!! Or... I might have to go through my own file cabinet, that is where I keep them hidden, lol!!
    Oh I am so glad that I could convince you put this on your wish list!!! It is awesome!

    @Amy C! Hey hon! Oh, you must let me know when you do read it... what your thoughts are! I can not wait to hear them! I know you heart Amanda... so what are you waiting for girl.. lol!! I know I know.. =)
    Well, I thought I was ready for Christmas... still I looked over my list and realized I still need gifts!!! YIKES!!!

    @Marissa!!Hey honey! =) The word Reviewette brings a smile to my face! Thank you! This is a wonderful read. You will not be disappointed!
    I am also hoping that I have a wonderful holiday without to much stress, lol!!! And I am wishing the same for you honey!

    @Elaing8!! Hey honey! This is a great book!!! Thank you! I enjoyed this book a LOT! I know you will like it!

    @VampFanGirl! Hey hon! Thank you. I wondered at Sabeline's actions in the early part of the story, but then reading Ms. A's words, I understand now the how and why's of her character.
    But that got me thinking... Being on the rise of womanhood (17-18yrs old) you're braver, nothing to lose. And when something is in front of you that you want... you go for it. But then a few years down the line, you figure out that those actions might not be the best way to get what you want.

    I am a First Person POV person, so I really enjoyed the flow and was not confused by that part of it. I am sorry that it did not flow that way for you.
    As far as the tappered off part... The beginning was very erotic but I felt it painted the way for the story. Without it starting with Margaret... things would not come to light as they did.
    Hope you have a great day!!! And more thoughts are welcomed!

    @JennJ! Hey honey! Thanks for coming over! Thanks for reading the review. Oooo, I can not wait to hear your thoughts on the book as well!!! You need to run, not walk to the nearest bookstore to get this one!! Hope you have a great day honey!

    @Ms. Amanda McIntyre! Hello Lady! You are more than welcome. I truly did treasure this book. The other stories are just as great in this book too.

    Thank you for the lovely review and I'm sure that readers will love the other stories in this book as well!

    If I may, I would like to any confusion with Sabelines behavior-earlier(she is but a teen) she is charmed by Lord Ranulf-perhaps feeling a bit put off by her newly intended's lack of attention. Still, inquisitive. She is attracted to his Ranulf's honor.

    Three years later, she knows what she must do--having read Benedicts letters for three years, she is smitten by the change she believes he's made.(but they are all written by Ranulf, because Benedict hadn't the finesse or time)

    And too, she is older and is ready to learn more (though she knows very little) about her own physical pleasure/responsibilities in her upcoming marriage. Her concern if she can please this man she has come to know through his letters.I hope that helps clarify things a bit;))

    But, reading is always subjective. What may be hawt for some, is not for others;) I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Ms. C.

    I enjoy finding characters that don't necessairily fit the norm and having villians that if they were just a bit more honorable would make hawt heroes as well (case in point Lord Aeglech-Tortured)

    Thank you for taking the time to review this story and all the best to you in 2010!!

    Amanda

    @Hannah ~ OMGosh, yes!!! He can stare at me any day he wants! Thanks for stopping by honey!!

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  15. Hey Cecile! Wonderful review, I have to get this I've been on an anthology kick here lately and I really loved Ms. McIntyre's writing in Tortured!

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  16. Hi Cecile,

    I hope you don't mind that I borrowed your term sex-on-a-stick-man to express how I felt about Damien, I think it is such a great term to describe such men...

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  17. Marissa ~ Are you kidding me!!! I am honored you would use it That book rocks... =) Glad I could bring my smuttiness to the world, lol!!!

    Tricia ~ Hey honey! This is an awesome trio of authors and stories!!! OMGosh... if you love Ms. A's writing in Tortured (which I absolutely love) then this short read is going to get you going!

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  18. Hi Cecile!

    I'll have to pick this one up! Sounds excellent, hot and yummy!

    Great little review!

    Dottie :)

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I want to thank you for stopping by my place... I hope to see you again!!
I hope you enjoy my little bloggie home as much as I do!
With hugs, love and smiles... Cecile

My Fictional Smutty Boyfriend.... =)

"Quotes"