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Defy Not the Heart (Shefford's Knights #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,178 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
In Clydon Castle, 1192, Reina is taken captive by the knight Ranulf and chosen to partner the despised Lorth Rothwell. Instead she offers herself to Ranulf, with a promise to make him a great lord. Ranulf, a golden giant of a man finds that he passionately desires this proud, headstrong beauty.
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 3rd 2000 by Severn House Publishers (first published 1989)
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Jessica Durben I know this is a little late. No he doesn't rape her per say. There are some growing pains in the bedroom and the first night of nuptials on one…moreI know this is a little late. No he doesn't rape her per say. There are some growing pains in the bedroom and the first night of nuptials on one partners end is a little rough due to being intoxicated. Other than that the book is a great read. My very first romance actually. I was 8 lol and my grandma left it in the car during a road trip.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stacey is Sassy

The gruff and stubborn hero meets his match in his little general.

I’m a huge sucker for a historical romance and medieval is one of my favourite types. So, I put out the call to my Facebook buddies on what was their favourite medieval HR and authors. Wow, seems like I’m not alone in liking these types of books. Johanna Lindsey’s name came up more than once and Defy Not The Heart seemed to be agreed upon, as a good example of her work. Within the first pages, I knew I was hooked. Yes, the languag
Jul 04, 2012 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ohhhh, you guys. 1989, such an odd time for romance novels - not quite old school, not quite new. To wit:
1. Fabio is on the cover. In purple tights. Because that's totally what men wore in 1192.
2. Seriously awesome, kick ass, take charge heroine, whom we meet wearing armor and defending her keep, which she has been in charge of for a few years. She's 17.
3. Causing marriage by rape is frowned upon.
4. Kidnapping? Go for it!
5. Husband-to-be agrees to write it in their marriage contract that he'll
Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura V.
Ay Johanna ¿por qué no seguiste escribiendo libros así? Juro que no te reconozco en los últimos libros, tan faltos de emoción y química.

Decir que devoré este libro es poco. Ranulf es todo un bruto por fuera, pero cuando sonríe, ay de mí, pero me encanta. Son tan tontos juntos. Reina es tremenda, en ningún momento cambia su personalidad y sigue tan irreverente como desde un principio.

Me causó gracia porque el contexto político en el que está ambientado es lo que recientemente leí en History chan
Tutti Dolci
I've often found Johanna Lindsey's stories to be either lukewarm or heavy on the Rapey McRaperton with not a ton of substance. However, and despite having Fabio on the cover (barf!), this story won me over. I loved Ranulf Fitz Hugh and more so his lady, Reina.

Don't know that I'd fully qualify this story as a Bodice Ripper, though it definitely had some elements. There was definitely the build up, which began with contempt that eventually turned to love. But not just love. Mutual respect, admira
This is another of the "fave" romance novels of my preteen years.

About the COVER:
I don't know how I feel, to be completely honest. Okay I'll admit it. I love this cover.

Yes Fabio is hilarious. Yes he's wearing lavender tights. Yes her hair is blowing in the breeze and her bosom is heaving. Yes his chest is gleaming and grossly oiled and his hair is long.

But it's like a CLASSIC ROMANCE NOVEL COVER. The font in the title is FABULOUS. The metallic shadowing. love it. I swear I even think the compos
3.5 Stars! This is one of the many books I came away with after our hoard-house clean-out awhile back. Got rid of most of them, but decided to go ahead and keep it since I'd had the second in this set on the TBR for years, and now I know I'll one day read it too.
I wasn't sure if I was ever going to read it, but it turned out I had to read it after all, it was picked as my September pick over in Western and Medieval Romance Lovers. This was my first book by this author, and I was pleasantly surpr
I never thought I would ever use the adjective sweet to describe one of Johanna Lindsey's books. I've always had a love-hate relationship with her stories especially the older ones. I found her heroes to be not heroes at all but chauvinistic pigs (most of them). But this novel was a revelation! I absolutely adored Ranulf! At last, a medieval warrior who does not have the upper hand. In this case, it is Reina who wields all the power in their relationship! Their love was sweet and grew slowly but ...more
I had read some reviews about this book before I had started it and some said the the writing of the dialog really bothered them, so I was prepared to not really like the book. However, it didn't bother me at all and I did really enjoy the book. IMO, it is a differnt kind of Johanna Lindsey book in that there really wasn't any emotional drama. The two main charcters made a choice to marry and made the best of the situation. There was no huge misunderstandings, no cheating, no dire escapades. The ...more
This was one of the first romance novels that I ever read. I just fell in love with all the characters and their author Johanna Lindsey.

my favorite part was how he Ranulf Fitz Hugh the hero of the story had to learn how to pleasure his wife Reina, and wasn't ashamed to admit it... Okay he was more afraid of hurting her cause he was so big, but it was awesome how he was willing to get the help he needed for her. True there is more to the book that I loved, but that was one of my favorite parts.
Mar 12, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable, but "Tender is the storm" is still my favorite J Lindsey book.
Jul 20, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really good book
Jane Stewart
Fun, fulfilling and enjoyable romance novel.

Good characters. Good plot. Events are well done. I had no problems with this. I definitely liked Reina, her sharp wit and directness. She called Ranulf names when appropriate and argued with him. He wasn’t used to that. He was a neat character. This book was similar to Lindsey’s other well done novels.

Story brief: Reina’s father is wealthy. He dies before he can arrange a marriage for his daughter, but he communicates to his overlord that he has agree
Monique J.
Feb 10, 2012 Monique J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Defy Not the Heart features my favorite Lindsey hero—the gruff yet noble Ranulf Fitzhugh. Set in medieval England (circa 1192), the castle of Lady Reina de Champeney is under seige. In the hopes of forcing Lady Reina to wed, the dastardly Lord Rothwell has hired the brave and oh-so-buff Ranulf to kidnap the noblewoman. But Reina is no shrinking violet. She quickly comes up with a proposition for Ranulf—he should marry her himself. And from the way Lindsey describes the golden-haired knight, I’d ...more
M.A. Levi
Aug 09, 2011 M.A. Levi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was truly wonderful. I would say Perfect.

There were several twists and turns of sad/happy events. The Characters are truly wonderful. They were written with great personalitys.

Plus there is a gay guy in here. I have read "most" of Johanna's Books.

I only have 4 more books to go and I'm done with all the books she have ever written.

It has almost have taken 1 and half years. and I read several different authors in between them and NOT once was there a gay guy in either one
I enjoyed the fiery nature of the developing relationship. How her independent nature, quick wit, short fuse didn't cower when face with his mammoth size, volatile temper & fervent distrust of ladies. It was endearing when he sort advice on how to pleasure his petite lady without injury.
I wasn't to sure about this book at first. Ranulf really pissed me off, but Reina was nice. I really, really (and I mean really) hated how Ranulf first took her when they married. He like, hurt her so much, and then didn't even pleasure her! I was like: "Dickhead! Dickhead..." anyways, the story got slightly better as it went on, and by the end it was actually quite alright. I laughed so much at the bit where he goes to the whore just to find out how to pleasure Reina. I found Ranulf quite sweet ...more
Caroline The HEA Lover
Pretty cute! Ad for ONCE, the hero is NOT a god in the sack! He's awful and the heroine won't let this pass. Usually the heroes are always sex gods this one had to work for it, see? it's never too late to learn! ;)

I adored the secondary characters on that one.
Apr 01, 2016 Nessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I didn't feel connected to this story unlike some of Lindsey's other books. True her heroes are brutish louts most of the time but Ranulf wasn't the least bit endearing to me.

Ranulf may have had a hard time being brought up as a bastard and due to his 'pretty face' the other men used to poke fun at him while the ladies flock to him, barely at age 16. Despite having a string of lovers, because his affairs were often fast, hard and rough, he doesn'
Gator Girl
Ok. Perspective. Got to keep this review in perspective.
It's a good ole romance novel from the 80's AND it has Fabio on the cover!!!
Side note: Saw Fabio on the Today Show with Hoda & Kathie Lee. Yesterday, 3/16/16 he became an US citizen. Congrats Fabio!!!

So, I'm still looking for a book I snuck from my mother's bookshelf and read as a young teen. Part of my sex education. Which is sort of funny to me on this side of reality..... 20+ years of marriage and 3 children reality.
Markirah Shaw
Not sure why I have a copy of this book. Somebody must have given it to me a decade or so ago, because I would never have bought something like this of my own free will. Nevertheless, I found it in one of my boxes of books and decided to read it.

Considering the genre, it wasn't half bad. In a nutshell, a handsome grouchy giant meets and falls in lust (then in love) with a petite, self-possessed, pretty young woman - a beloved formula for romance novels.

The characters' see-sawing emotions would
Sep 18, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
c1989: 1192; knight, bondage, protection, nuptial, bargain. One of the best things about scrolling through numerous book blogging sites is that it reminds of the books that I've read before the advent of GR and those that featured on my manual records which are now gone.(*sighs* still very sad about that). But this...this book I remember now. And it still puts a smile on my face two decades later. Yes, it is a fairly standard romance but the dialogue really is fun. Definitely recommended to thos ...more
May 13, 2014 Seffra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 Stars....maybe 4/5 stars

Johanna Lindsay really knows how to weave a wonderful tale. She has a way of writing a story that readers can't help but read and READ until it's done.
I really liked the character of Ranulf who was at first annoying and rude and a huge ass but once Miss Reina came into his life he became a better person and oh man he's a big sweetheart. Raina on the other hand was a tad bit annoying. I'm all for strong-willed females but she didn't know when to put her foot in her m
Jul 06, 2014 Racelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review yang saya berikan sangat subjektif, bergantung pada selera pribadi saya.

Review saya untuk cerita ini tidak akan terlalu panjang karena saya sudah agak lupa dengan ceritanya. Seharusnya selesai baca langsung tulis reviewnya.

Cerita ini berlatar Inggris pada abad pertengahan. Lady Reina sudah tidak punya siapa-siapa lagi, sehingga ia harus melindungi dirinya sendiri dan kastilnya. Siapa yang tidak tertarik untuk memiliki kastil dan lahannya? Dari yang saya tangkap melalui cerita ini, jika pe
L. (Climbing Mt. TBR one page at a time)
Rather bland. I will say I liked the heroine, Reina. With her father dead, she was single handedly running a mini-kingdom, and doing a pretty good job of it. Reina was sensible and got shit done. Ranulf was a typical Lindsey hero: the tallest of the tall, the broadest of the broad, the dumbest of the dumb. Yet together there was simply no chemistry. They started off marrying for convenience so were complete strangers to each other. But even later, after they had been together for awhile, they ne ...more
May 09, 2016 PurpleDot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book beyond words.

The hero and heroine and even the secondary characters are endearing. The story is unusual, but interesting. I often hurry on reading a book so I know how it ends, but with this one, I was actually sad when I reached the last page because I simply did not want to let go.

I got hold of a copy a couple of months ago and since then I have read it dozens of times.
I even read portions of it every night before going to sleep. Yes, that's how much I love it.

It still pains
Apr 10, 2014 Belinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Johann Lindsey's books and this one is over the top. You get one handsome, blond, masculine hunk of a man who turns every woman's crank. This being historical romance and funny too. Ranulf is a landless knight who only wants to get enough money to buy land. He has been hired to kidnap Reina for the despised Lord Rothwell who wants to marry her. But Reina is no fool, she gets Ranulf to marry her because she knows that land is important to her husband. I love Ranulf's cat who was petted by ...more
Becca Walker
I liked this novel, I didn't love it, I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was but I just didn't like this as much as some of Johanna Lindsey's other novels.... And she is one of my all time favourites!

It felt a little bit 'churned out', there were classic HR elements but I felt they were a bit slap dash , the terrible villains didn't quite pose much of a threat, they had a baby but Reina finding out about it and the birth were skipped out, they fell out and she forgave Ranulf within minut
Bu kitabı okumakla anladım ki yazar her telden çalabiliyor ve bunu pekte başarılı yapmakta.
Dec 29, 2015 Missy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sizzling read from 1989.

A blond hunky gaint (Fabio on the cover) and brave young woman....and castles and knights, how could you not pick this one up?

We first meet our brave Reina wearing armour and defending her castle and people. She is a brave and caring young woman with a brain, and she will do all she can for her people and land. Even meeting the gaint that scared away her attackers doesn't faze her as he picks her up, shakes her and then drops her on her butt. She speaks her mind and doe
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Johanna Helen Howard was born on March 10, 1952 in Germany, where her father, Edwin Dennis Howard, a soldier in the U.S. Army was stationed. The family moved about a great deal when she was young. Her father always dreamed of retiring to Hawaii, and after he passed away in 1964 Johanna and her mother settled there to honor him.

In 1970, when she was still in school, she married Ralph Lindsey, becom
More about Johanna Lindsey...

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