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For My Lady's Heart

(Medieval Hearts #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,286 ratings  ·  210 reviews
In medieval Europe, vows and laws are as inflexible and confining as a suit of armor. For Ruck, a noble and honest knight, those rules provide an unwavering path. Even as his wife leaves him for the Church, taking his money and his steed, Ruck’s life is one of devotion and mission.

For the beautiful widow, Princess Melanthe, those same laws and traditions conspire to consum
Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Published December 16th 1993 by Berkley Books (first published 1993)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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This story is just stunning!!! I never thought a romantic historical fiction could be written to rival Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale, but if anyone could do it then it would be Kinsale. And she did. For My Lady's Heart is stellar on so many levels. We have probably the most wonderful hero ever written, a tortured heroine for a change, incredible seamless use of medieval dialogue and terminology, and imagery so vivid the reader is transported. She manages to challenge as well as enterta ...more
How do I say this is the finest hero ever put to paper without sounding like a hyperbole-spewing squeeon?
*clears throat and boldly announces*
This is one of the finest heroes created in ink.
The heroine is brilliantly complex.
I'm dazed with wonderment.

I want to befriend every single person who loved this book as much as I did... they are truly my soul-peeps. I am going to stalk every one of you. Fair warning.
Don't urge me not to...
where you go I will go, and where you stay I will
Blacky *Romance Addict*

The book was great, but the narrator? I swear, I'm in love with him  photo 836920.gif
ETA: The lovely ladies at AG just updated my review with some soundclips :) Bonus!Nick Boulton is A Very Good Thing. Go listen!

Medieval romances aren’t a great favourite of mine. I will admit that I haven’t read a large number of them, but most of those I have read have been too anachronistic for my taste. Of course, there is going to be a degree of anachronism in any historical romance – after all, we usually read about the titled and the wealthy and not about the miserable poor eking out a har
Sam (AMNReader)
What! I finished a book? In a record six weeks?

Settle down. Settle down.

I don't think I'd like this book as much as a did if not for the Boulton factor. If not for the Allegretto. If not for Kinsale's usual one asshole protagonist.

Because, whew, Ruck was a little TOO devoted. Read: boring. He saved himself there right at the end. Melanthe is mean, and a weird combination of vulnerable and commanding and insecure.

Basically, I didn't get them. Still convinced of their love...because Kinsale, but
Lea's Audiobooks Hensley
Remarkable story and Nick Boulton's narration is amazing. Laura Kinsale continues to wow with her audiobooks. Every one of her titles (five to date for me) is worthy of multiple relistens.

Narrated by Nicholas Boulton

I was hesitant to listen to For My Lady’s Heart as I read that it contained (horrors) Middle English. I want my listening to be easy but the lure was strong with all the highly favorable comments I was reading and … it’s a Medieval, a sub-genre I thoroughly enjoy. And that Middle Eng
Sep 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Old RRA-L review:

I liked FOR MY LADY'S HEART a great deal, and I generally don't like what passes for medieval. I read it on the recommendation of someone whose opinion on books I respect, and it is what got me to read medieval romances (and Laura Kinsale in general). Most medieval romances have modern stories dressed up and in a castle. A book I otherwise enjoyed ruined the ending by having the heroine marry her dead twin sister's widower--sorry, but in the Middle Ages that was incest, not a ti

I adored (nearly all of) this book. It is a romance masterpiece. I wish it would have gone on more as I enjoyed the language and prose so very much. I also adored the hero and the heroine too, though Melanthe was a bit off putting once they reached Wolfscar. The set-up and plot for the "romance" was really unique and well-done. And the humor! Kinsale has an ability to deftly add character-driven humor that does not seem forced nor contrived.

I also want to thank Ms. Kinsale for allowing the reade
Leigh Kramer
Absolute perfection! My first Kinsale did not disappoint. This is the second medieval romance I’ve read but this one felt the most medieval. The characters speak Middle English, which can take some adjusting to at first but it adds such a lovely lyrical quality to the dialogue. But if Middle English feels like too much for you, Kinsale released a modern condensed version alongside the original in the 2011 ebook and I plan on reading that eventually to see how it compares.

The story was inspired b
This is one of the best Kinsale romances I've read, and an instant favourite.

I loved the language especially, which isn't usual in my reading experience, but that was perfectly comprehensible without the need for a dictionary. And the plotline has clear "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" undertones, which I think was the author's intention. The hero, Ruck, is quite compelling, and the heroine, though at times she can raise eyebrows, is complex. Their romance developed by stages was entertaining t
Elisabeth Lane
Laura Kinsale never disappoints me. In For My Lady's Heart, she has written a masterpiece, not just of romance, but of universal literary merit. It's one of the most subversive works of literature I've read. Well, listened to actually. My husband and I got the audio book and played it in the car on road trips for about six months. And since I'm going to spend the rest of this review talking about myths and cake, let me just say that Nicholas Boulton's narration of this book is outstanding. Well ...more
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
This book. This book. I have basically been about nothing else for five days. It's a banquet of a novel and no mistake.

Set in the 1370s, at the height of Edward III's court of chivalry, it tells of a nameless knight sworn into the service of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. This knight has vowed not to reveal his true identity until his deeds in battle and tournament have earned him the right to claim his patronage; he's known as the Green Knight for the armour that he wears. He was once marri

There were times when I thought that I'd never finish this book which made me sad - not finish a Laura Kinsale book? That's crazy! I found it very difficult to get into at first. I'm not sure whether that was the medieval setting which is different from most of the historical romance that I usually read, whether it was use of medieval language which can take some getting used to, or whether I just didn't connect with the plot and characters. After trying and failing with the first couple of c
Jane Stewart
Sep 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: can-loan
Are you kidding me, there is a Glossary of Middle English terms at the END of the book? And it's only after trudging through 400+ pages of it that I find out? I know, those are the perils of reading a book on Kindle. Sigh.

In any case, the book is a long slog through the first half. Then I got it as an audiobook and Nicholas Boulton managed to bring out the humor in the dialogues. Without it, Melanthe reads as cruel and Ruck as blind and doggedly faithful. So in short, get the audiobook.

ps: Cha
For My Lady’s Heart was a very good entry into the medieval romance novel genre. I’m no expert but I’ve read a good number of medieval romances and this one is one of my favorites.

One of the things I enjoy about Laura Kinsale’s books is the work she puts into the details of her story. I also enjoy the original perspective of her stories. It doesn’t always work but when it does, the stories are memorable.

Ruck and Melanthe are an original couple. Ruck is both a betta and alpha hero with Melanthe
Regan Walker
3 and 1/2 Stars: Heartless Princess Meets Naïve, Pure-hearted Knight

If you became a fan of Kinsale, like I did, from her books SEIZE THE FIRE and FLOWERS FROM THE STORM, just know this story is very different. First, unless you read the optional "modern" version that comes with the eBook, it is full of Middle English (there is a glossary to help). While, I give Kinsale full marks for taking on the task of trying to write in the ancient tongue so as to give the reader a sense for the period, I co
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For My Lady's Heart is a medieval set in 14th century England. It is a story about a knight who spends thirteen long years trying to make a fictional character out of himself - the perfect knight - just to prove that he is worthy of his name. It's also a story about a princess, who has spent half of her life manufacturing lies, because it was her only way of survival in a treacherous court. Laura Kinsale has written a book about two very different people, who during the course of the book learn ...more
Christa Schönmann Abbühl
The narration of Nicolas Boulton together with Kinsale‘s incredible writing produces pure magic.

This is the second book by Kinsale I have listened to, and again the setting could make it a very problematic read. The Middle Ages are no longer as popular in modern romance, and Kinsale goes very far in her world building, with little concession to the modern reader.

And it matters not. This listen was so completely immersive that I mostly forgot that I was listening to a book. I lived through the dr
Dnf at 2% I'm not going to rate this because I dnf'd so early, but I stopped reading because I hit a deal-breaker and couldn't move past it.

But there had been only a few sweet weeks of kissing and bedding, with Isabelle as loving and eager for it as himself, before the king’s army had called him to France. When he’d come back, knighted on the field at Poitiers, full of the future, triumphant and appalled and eager to bury himself and the bloodshed in the clean tender arms of his wife—he’d come b
Hannah Hearts Romance

Quick review: Wow, the things Laura Kinsale can do with language and plot. This book was such a wild ride, truly an amazing representation of the roller coasters that are old school romances. Melanthe is absolute icy perfection and -- I don't say this lightly -- one of the best heroines I've ever read. Ruck is her broody, tortured man and I love him too, but he can't measure up to the magnificence that is Melanthe. He just gets closer than anyone else.

[READER BEWARE! Major CW.] I originally d
Rosina Lippi
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On my list of favorite female protagonists are more than a few difficult women. If you go looking, you'll find (for example) that readers either love or hate Melanthe of For My Lady's Heart. The comments I have heard is that she is too hard and even abrasive, although I think some of the dislike of Melanthe has to do with the fact that this novel is not an easy read; Kinsale does a good job of approximating Middle English for a modern audience, and it takes a little work to get into it.

I loved
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really don't believe that the dream team of Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton can do anything wrong. Having said that, I'm sure I wouldn't have enjoyed this intriguing story, set in this difficult historical period, nearly as much, had I read it in print. Ms.Kinsale's fertile imagination, impeccable and thorough research and the melted chocolate voice of the delicious Mr. Boulton are an absolute given for perfectness.

I personally adore the medieval period and in particular the Plantagenet dyn
Like many of Laura Kinsale's books, this one is a masterpiece of historical romance writing. If you enjoy stories set in the Medieval era, you *must* read this one!

The Medieval era, at least as described in the historical romances of Laura Kinsale, Roberta Gellis, Madeline Hunter, Jo Beverley etc, is so violent, horrifying and strange, that it's usually hard for me to be able to relate to the story and get into it. Maybe we can blame this on Walter Scott, who started the whole genre of violent,
DNF at 8%. Just couldn't get in to the language and I feel like a dolt for it. Maybe I'll read the 'modernised' version at some point. oh the shame
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story of Ruck and Melanthe took a few chapters to grow on me. But I was finally drawn in and lost in the language of knights and their ladies. Laura Kinsale has an amazing way with words. And Nicholas Boulton once again wrapped me in a cloak of pure storytelling narration.
I experienced this story as an AUDIOBOOK - if you have never read a Kinsale book there are a few things you need to know:
- Laura Kinsale books are angsty.
- Things are NEVER tidy
- The heroes are always flawed
- The heroines usually get hurt by the heroes
- Laura Kinsale's writing talent MAY ruin you for less gifted authors. Now that I have read her work, I get far less enjoyment reading/ listening to historical romance/ fantasy stories that a
Narrator- 5*
Story- -4*
degree of authenticity- 5*

I finished this audio book a few days ago but have had no time to write even a short review. And since I am still short on time, I'll only add my two cents to the already very thorough reviews. Listening to Nicholas Boulton is always a treat and when paired with the very talented Laura Kinsale, it is a winning combination. I am in awe of Kinsale's ability to use language that lent a feeling of authenticity to this medieval story but I was still abl
It's a good thing I enjoyed Flowers from the Storm so much, because if For My Lady's Heart had been the first Kinsale I picked up, I might not have read any more and would have missed out on The Shadow and the Star, Seize the Fire, and Midsummer Moon, among others.

It begins with the hero, Ruck, losing his wife, who thinks herself a saint, and all of his possessions to the church, leaving him penniless until he's rescued by the gift of two emeralds, given to him by the Princess Melanthe on a whi
May 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
The one where Princess Melanthe, the widow of an Italian prince, is involved in dangerous political disputes among three Italian families over her lands and herself, and Ruck is neither married nor single, neither landed nor baseborn, neither above her nor below her.

It's been a long time since I enjoyed a romance this much.

The historical period (1400s) is so distant that a story set there has pretty much the same essential pleasure as science fiction. The people and settings are strange, vivid,
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Laura Kinsale is a New York Times bestselling author and both winner and multiple nominee for the Best Book of the Year award given by the Romance Writers of America.

She become a romance writer after six years as a geologist--a career which consisted of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and driving hundreds of miles alone across west Texas to sit drilling rigs, wear a hard hat, and at

Other books in the series

Medieval Hearts (2 books)
  • Shadowheart (Medieval Hearts, #2)

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“But no monk am I in my head, God grant me pardon," he whispered. His body drew closer, velvet and taut elegance. "My confessor has chastised me oft, and bade me study on my sins at length. And so, lady"--he kissed her, the hunger in it sinking down through her like a comet falling--"I have studied.” 1 likes
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