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REVIEW: Lord Greville’s Captive by Nicola Cornick

Dear Ms Cornick,

Wow, my historical cup doth runneth over. So far this year I’ve read two books set in ancient Rome and two during the reigns of the 17th century Charleses. Thanks again for sending me a copy of this book. I usually don’t miss at least trying a Harlequin Historical that isn’t set during the Regency. I don’t know where I was on this one since the Restoration Era is another favorite of mine.

Four years ago Lady Anne of Grafton and Simon, Lord Greville were engaged to be married. Both families were pleased and, despite not really knowing each other, Anne and Simon were both cautiously optimistic that theirs would at least be a marriage of passion if not love. Then the political differences between the King and his parliament boiled over into Civil War, tearing the country and families apart. Now, on the eve of battle, Simon finds himself besieging the manor and people which were once promised to him by his betrothal. For Simon has followed his conscience and pledged himself to Cromwell thus going against even his own father while Anne and her father have remained true to their oath of loyalty to King Charles I.

Grafton Manor is a prize that Parliament wants and Simon and his troops have been laying siege to it for weeks. Hoping against hope, Anne makes a last ditch effort to avoid the destruction and bloodshed by sneaking out of the manor to plead with Simon to call off the attack. When that effort fails, the battle ensues the next day. After the dust settles and the dead are buried, Anne and Simon find themselves only beginning their own personal standoff. For Simon wants not only the rich estate of Grafton but also the heart of its mistress. Anne would be happy to agree to their marriage if only her oath to her King and the treasure he entrusted to her care didn’t stand in her way. And while Simon admires her spirit and her loyalty, he can’t allow those to thwart him.

Thank you for giving us two people who have genuine reasons to be in opposition to each other despite their personal feelings. This is an era when a man’s sacred honor rested in his word and no man gave it lightly. Since Anne was her father’s only child and had been raised by him to take over the administration of the manor that was her heritage, her word and her oath were as binding as a man’s, something I was delighted to see Simon appreciate and respect. The fact that Anne was also the King’s goddaughter only added to her reasons for staying true to her oath. I also like the fact that Simon principles have already been tested for four years, ever since he felt he had to go against his father. Both have tremendous stakes involved and as such, I could understand them refusing to give in to the other for most of the course of the book.

Brava for including the viewpoint of the common people involved in the conflict. The lords were the ones with the fine principles but it was the little people who bore the brunt of the fighting and destruction. It also makes sense that they’re going to feel pulled towards the ones they feel will protect them and theirs despite their loyalty to their long-standing masters.

I think you did a good job showing us characters who appear to think and act as 17th people would. Yes, there were class differences and political differences and these things were important and respected. Anne would feel it her duty to protect those under her care just as Simon would feel insulted if anyone questioned the fact that he was a gentleman and raised to behave as one.

What didn’t work as well for me was the two dimensional villain and Anne’s eight week loss of consciousness after being shot. Medically, could someone have survived that long in those days without eating? And what would have caused it since she didn’t have a brain injury? Sorry, it’s my medical training kicking in here in disbelief. And while I like the take-no-prisoners character portrayed by Simon’s father and think he really fits image I have of noblemen of those days, he kind of devolves into a deus ex machina used to get Simon and Anne back together for good.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and these characters you created. If not for the niggles at the end, my grade would be higher. B- for “Lord Greville’s Captive.”

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

5 Comments

  1. Danielle
    Feb 22, 2007 @ 17:15:49

    At first I had a hard time getting into this book but I really like Nicola Cornick and kept on telling myself to give the book a chance. I’m glad I did. I agree with you review!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Jayne
    Feb 22, 2007 @ 18:30:23

    It kind of reminded me a bit of an old PBS production of “By the Sword Divided.” And the cover actually matches an incident described in the book and used period clothes! Whoo-hoo!

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  3. Nicola
    Feb 27, 2007 @ 14:38:57

    Hi Jayne

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book – despite your niggles! Must admit I hadn’t thought about the medical aspects of the case until you pointed this out. Note to self for future Civil War books! Thanks so much for reviewing Lord Greville’s Captive and thanks also to Danielle for your comments too. I loved “By the Sword Divided” and think I must have been heavily if subconsciously influenced by it when I wrote the book. I do think Harlequin gave it a lovely cover.

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  4. Jayne
    Feb 27, 2007 @ 18:25:54

    Are you planning another Civil War book or is this just something that might happen? I’m so glad to see that “By the Sword Divided” is avaliable on DVD now though I’m not sure it’s available in the US yet. I loved the costumes and the scenery in it.

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  5. Nicola
    Feb 28, 2007 @ 15:20:49

    I am definitely planning another book set in the seventeenth century, Jayne. I love that era and get loads of inspiration from my work as a guide in a seventeenth century country house. So I have a plot and characters already in mind, just waiting to be written! The only problem (and I’m not really complaining here!) is that I have to fit the other books in around my HQN Regencies so it might be a while before the book is done, but it is a project very close to my heart.

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