Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate's Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people's lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.
Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother. Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman…unless it snows in July.
Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman "squire." But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.
Nothing feels quite so romantic as traveling back in time when knights had honor and would brave anything for king and country. And the women? Few were as gentile and fragile as we would like to believe. When a Norman knight is promised the hand of a Saxon lady as part of his reward, they both have misgivings, he for failing to keep a promise, she for detesting the thought of belonging to a countryman of her brother’s killer. Duty is duty and both are prepared to do whatever they must. But Alain cannot stand by as neighboring villages and estates are plundered and people are dying, and hence begins a tale of subterfuge, evil, betrayal and even a touch of magic. Yep, everything a good romance needs is all here in Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee.
There is evil afoot and it creeps up slowly, as Kim Iverson Headlee slowly draws us deeper into her tale. The centuries are peeled away and technology is replaced by determination and the strength to survive. Smell the fresh breezes, feel the mud and rain and learn to accept it all as being part of a life where war is up close and personal, man to man, sword to sword and death could be just around the corner. Ms. Headlee adds her own light twists of magic or sorcery and her world feel real, alive, and puts one’s senses on high alert. The crowning spark comes from the title itself, as its meaning becomes clear through Ms. Headlee’s brilliant imagination and subtle sense of humor. Gripping, intriguing and with a slightly different flavor, this historical romance is in a full gallop from the starting gate to the finish line with a cast of characters that feel like a part of history we can only dream about.
I received this copy from Kim Iverson Headlee in exchange for my honest review.
While the title, Snow in July, did not entice me, the book description did, so I decided to give this a read. I love novel set in the medieval period, especially ones involving the Battle of Hastings. I became immediately engaged since the book’s opening scene is in the midst of that battle. I love it when a book drops me in the middle of action right away.
Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre is a troubled man. While he wants to serve his king, he does not feel he is worthy of the honor bestowed on him. He broke his vow to his mother to protect his younger brother, who fell during the Battle of Hastings. He has decided to return to his home rather than accept the riches and the fair lady. However, when he is called upon to settle unrest in the area where the estate is located, loyalty wins out. He goes there disguised as a squire to avoid the betrothal.
Lady Kendra of Edgarburh made a vow at her brother’s deathbed to never marry anyone who carries the blood of his murderer, but also promises Del that she will seek happiness. Distraught over her inability to use the healing powers she should have inherited from her mother, she is riddled with guilt. She mourns for her brother and visits his resting place each day, placing a rose on his image.
When Kendra is abducted, Alain rushes to save her, but when he reveals who he is, will his deceit doom his love for the Lady Kendra forever?
I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between Kendra and Alain, and I rooted for their happy ending throughout the book. For the majority of the story, the pacing is excellent, keeping my attention until the last part of the tale.
I loved Lady Kendra’s character from her first scene. Her love and concern for her brother brought me to tears. She is exactly the perfect heroine for a medieval romance. She remains true to her vows and her honor, while still maintaining a gentle demeanor.
Alain’s character is a hero after my heart. He’s a warrior with all the chivalrous honor I expect in a medieval novel set in this intriguing period. He’s also fierce in his loyalty to his king, determined to succeed on his mission. While he initially does not want to marry the Lady Kendra, he will obey William the Conqueror, knowing the king’s plan is a good one that will unite England.
Snow in July was a solid 5 Gold Crowns until the last part of the book. I struggled with the paranormal thread, finding it a bit too far-fetched. I think this story could have been accomplished without that angle. I also feel the book should have ended well before it did. While I love having all the loose ends tied up, this one took too much time accomplishing it, causing the last couple of chapters to drag.
Nonetheless, Snow in July is a well-written story with plenty of action and a tender romance. Ms. Headlee definitely gave me a wonderful glimpse at this amazing time in history. Her descriptions of the attire, the dwellings and daily life activities gave an authentic setting for this beautiful love story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good medieval romance, you will not be disappointed. Happy reading!
Alain is a Knight forced into marriage by the Norman King, who has just won the Saxon thrown.
Instead of going to introduce himself to the family, Alain, together with his best friend decide to go undercover as different characters which in itself leads to a the development of a complex situation.
On top of this they have to deal with a kidnapping of the intended bride, unexplained paranormal events and medical challenges that can only have plagued medieval times.
I enjoyed the story very much. What kept the pages turning for me were the unexpected tragedies and escapades which led the good guys on interesting quests in their intent to overcome evil.
I felt that this gave credence to the slow development of the love story between Alain and Kendra.
tI did have some areas which I thought just did not sit well enough to make this an exceptional book despite the engrossing storyline and unpredictable plot.
I did not understand the amount of time they took dilly dallying on the mountain fort where Kendra was being held when they were supposed to be on a rescue mission.
I also had a bit of a problem with the references to male on male sexual references, but that’s just me…. when there is a possibility of a rape scene in a male prison on TV, I am the type that quickly changes he channel. So under normal circumstances, I would have thought twice and maybe three times about picking the book on that point alone. It's just a little hangup I have because I don’t want the imagery in my head when I’m reading for leisure…no thank you ma’am.
But if you can look past that, I believe you are in for a great reading experience. These two point you might think make the book deserving of a 3 or 3.5 rating and under normal circumstances, I would agree, but I feel the overall story is too good and interesting to justify that range so I give it 4 stars.
I received this book in exchange of an honest review.
I enjoyed reading this historical romance book. Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has seen a lot and been through some rather ugly battles for his king. He has his demons of having issues with not protecting his brothers like he should have, even though it was not his fault. He is given a request from the king that he marry a certain girl and receives the estate, because of his bravery and honor for the king. Most men would be delighted to receive a bride and and land, but he is not your normal knight. Lady Kendra of Edgarburh is the intended, but she wants nothing to do with it. She has lost her brother and does not want to be forced into marriage, she holds the Normans responsible for his death. The Normans and Saxons are still dealing with how the war ended in Hastings, so that brings forth many issues. Alain decides the best course of action is to pretend something he is not to find out who this Lady Kendra, not only that the king has been having issues within the area and wants it investigated.
Alain sees Lady kendra and she does take his breath away and she becomes smitten with him a little as well. She keeps reminding herself that this cannot be and keeps the vow to herself alive, but things change in an instant and she has bigger issues to content with. Alain figures things out what is going and can he win over this beautiful woman and let go of his past?
I first started reading it, and loved the background of how the people are contending with the last battle. I found myself intrigued and wanting to know more how this romance story will play out. I have to say that it had a bit of everything not just romance. It had paranormal, magic and suspense,and plus romance. The historical backdrop was very ideal and I felt the characters were very real and their emotions came through. I would have to say I loved this story and could picture myself in the time with everything going on!
Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre is a Norman fighting at the battle of Hastings. After witnessing the death of his brother he is severely wounded. The new King William rewards him with the deed to an estate and the daughter of the estate's present Lord as his bride. No-one refuses such a reward from the King, but Sir Robert puts off claiming it as long as he can. When be discovers bandits are robbing and murdering in the area he knows he can't delay any longer. Lady Kendra Waldronsdotter is a Saxon and the last thing she wants is a husband. Especially one of the Norman race. A Norman ambushed her brother on the way home from the battle and she has been struggling to save his life ever since. Kendra is a healer, but not as powerful as her mother was. This is a wonderful story. There is a touch of magic and strange happenings. Lots of adventure and intrigue. Our hero is brave, strong and honourable. Even if he does tell quite a few lies, he has what be thinks is a good reason. Our heroine is grief stricken and unwilling to obey her father, or the Norman King. We even have someone with supernatural abilities. But I am not telling you what they are. You will have to read it for yourself. A fascinating and magical journey through history. I loved it.
I picked this book because it was classified as YA medieval paranormal romance, all of them my favourite genres. I agree with the medieval romance aspect and the paranormal to a tiny bit but I would never call it YA though. I am not sure which part made them think it's suitable for YA. It might be suitable for them but not wholly acceptable for them.
Aside from that, I have no complaints with the book. I loved the story and the characters. Alain was not what I expected. I was thinking that he would be a bit more jaded and rough. But he was a smooth person with the right amount of tenderness and softness. But he was man enough not to appear too soft. As for Kendra, she was a feisty one. I loved her spirit and her will. I gotta mention Ulfric too. He was a very good villain. He totally made me fall for him with his schemes and his evil mind.
The story's pace was a bit slow at the start but half way through it picked up. The mystery and the action and the political intrigue had me engrossed in the book. The writing was easy to read and descriptive enough to entice my imagination.The romance wasn't overdone and it was a fun book to read.
My one line read : A fun medieval romance with a bit of paranormal and intrigue.
How could one not love this novel by Kim Iverson Headlee? Snow in July has everything a reader could want, Romance, Intrigue, History, Magic, and most of all (for us Arthurian lovers) a knight in shining armor! The story is set during the Normans and Saxons, which in itself, the history is a character that parallels the novel. In the midst of everything, our star-crossed lovers have to overcome thievery, beasts, and dangerous sorcery, however the biggest obstacle of all is their intense feelings for one another. I must say, that this novel does not drag at any point. I found myself not wanting it to end. Our beloved characters find themselves falling in love whether they want to or not. Alain and Kendra have what this time period is known for, honor. But the question remains, can our lovers throw caution to the wind and be honest and vulnerable? See for yourselves, as today you can grab a copy of this intriguing and irresistible novel and find out. I couldn’t recommend a better book for the fall, Snow in July fits in so many genres, it will please everyone.
The author has a way with her writing that will pull her readers into the story that she has created. I completely fell in love with this from the beginning. The plot was very believable and descriptive to know what was going on. I really enjoyed the characters especially Kendra and Alain. I mean how would you feel after being forced into a marriage and finding out the things she did about the man you were going to marry. I think she took it a lot better than I would. However, when dangers start to seek them out will they find love and overcome everything or will trouble come. Can they forgive each other for the burden that weights between them! All I have to say to this is read the story because you will be glued to this amazing story. With this being the first time I have read anything by this author I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I do know that I will look forward to reading more by her. This to me was definitely a fresh look into romances that I enjoy!
*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great read! As you start the story you are instantly pulled into a new time period, and the whole ourse of the story you are aware of it and you can feel how it would have been. Kendra and Alian are characters that you can really get behind and I love the dynamic between the two of them throughout. The story progresses at first without her really knowing who he is, as he is there scoping out the territory....her HA! She feels like she is breaking the rules and he is getting to know her. The book moves at a fast yet comfortable pace and isn't over the top in any way. I really enjoyed the writing style, as I said the book is set in the past and you keep that feeling but aren't bogged down with verbiage or references that will throw you off. I suggest this for 15+ ~Dowie
Four stars because the paranormal in the story became a bit much. Lady Kendra as a natural healer is fascinating but the bad guy being a shape-shifter was more than the story needed. Ulfric was terrible just as a human being.
The characters were very well written. I thought Kendra's grief for her brother was a bit selfish, and melodramatic. She seemed to thrive on grieving for her brother.
Sir Robert and his friend are very engaging from the start of their subterfuge to becoming part of Kendra's family even before the romance really begins.
This was a surprising story that was rich in description, and in the history. The paranormal aspect is not heavy but the shape-shifter was a bit too much. It just did not fit in with the history, the mystery, or the story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Received a complimentary copy of the book to read and review.I must admit first and foremost that I don’t usually read historical romance but this one was an exception. When I read the blurb for it I knew I had to. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. It’s a real page turner. It has some great twists and turns. It will appeal to all readers who love a good book. I love the world and the characters that Kim created with this one. The plot is great. I highly recommend it be added to your TBR list. I look forward to reading more of Kim’s books.
I loved this book. The characters and the plot sucked me right in. Kendra and Alian have a attraction from their very first meeting. I think the author does a great job of setting and keeping to the time period. I really liked how you knew that even though you were reading everything in English the book made sure you knew they were speaking other languages. Faith, Love , Loyalty are all tested, can Kendra keep her promise to her dying brother? I was sad to leave there story behind.
A novel that began life as a collaborative effort last millennium is available at long last! The other writer, a dear friend of mine, had to bow out for personal reasons, but she gave me her blessing to finish our fun little tale, and this is the memorable result.
I hope you enjoy my first foray into the realm of historical paranormal romance!
This book was very good. Nothing like I expected it to be. I would recommend it to those who loves to have their selves pulled in immediately. It is for those who want something they absolutely CAN NOT put down. I loved it from beginning to end and will make plans to re-read as soon as I get the chance.
My first supernatural romance and I was impressed. The characters are well developed. Snow in July was a poignant love story. The plot took some twists and turns which kept you wanting to read more to see if Kendra would find (and keep) her true love. The reference to the white and red roses and their recurring theme brought consistent threads to the tale. Recommend it!
If you’re looking for a romance with the drama and angst you need this is the book. Sir Robert, a Norman is ordered by the king to marry Kendra, a Saxon noblewoman. Sir Robert feels that he failed to keep an important vow previously and would be unable to fill the vow of marriage. Kendra’s brother was killed by a mysterious Norman, and as a result has refused to marry any Norman, even though it was ordered by the king. This leads to a man pretending to be someone he is not, a woman who learns she has to make an important decision, regardless, and the mystery just keeps unfurling, with supernatural elements that keep the story rolling nicely along. From the beginning Robert and Kendra have chemistry but both have their own personal demons to battle in order to find the happiness that they are so desperately looking for. Both have misgivings and personal trials they battle throughout the book. But in the end will their denial of what’s in front of their face be their downfall? It seems so and there were times when you just grumble and think “really?! Come on!!” There are a lot more details to this story but there are just so many that I feel like I would be giving something vital away. The mystery in this story is just superb and all the details fall in place as the story progresses along with the relationship development between the hero and heroine. This book was received in a goodreads giveaway.
A direct descendent of 20th century Russian nobility and married with a descendent of the 7th-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia… my mind was hooked by Kim Iverson Headlee, long before reading her first book.
When I had the chance to read Snow in July, the hook became a powerful harpoon. I felt this from the very first moment and while starting to read the book, I realized that it would unfold deeper and deeper. The author possesses the gift to keep you locked in with her book in your hands, while your eyes move inside its pages, left to right, up and down from the first page to the last one; all along Kim Iverson Headlee gives your heart an adrenaline boost.
The book starts describing the two main characters, Alain and Kendra who, for political reasons, were meant to marry each other. Before their first meeting, both of them had their fears and reasons to reject the marriage, but were incapable to refuse the King’s order.
Alain was thinking, “Marriage meant making more vows… vows to love and honor and protect. Vows too easily broken”.
Kendra promised to herself that she will find happiness “but it would never be in the arms of a man whose race was responsible for her brother’s death”.
I have to admit that the author succeeded to give me a bundle of feelings to cross, while reading Snow in July, from cover to cover.
I started admiring Alain’s reasons and my heart ached for any experience that he had, which made him think the way he did. At the same time, seeing Kendra’s reason, I almost hated her anticipating that all the conflict in this book will be based on her promise.
And… yes… it was in this way… many times I was against Kendra but that was not all. The author possess the ability to play with the reader’s mind, so I found myself so hooked by the book, almost fascinated by the way in which the events were advancing. The second I relaxed thinking I was reading a calm portion of the story, the next moment something unexpected would arise and my heart would start to race again.
I recommend this book to any reader who wants to feel something while reading. The bucket of feelings you find yourself trapped in, makes the reading act with curiosity. For not even one moment was I wearied. The plot, the characters, the twisted situations, everything succeeded to make me read without a break.
The fact that Kendra was “wishing yet again for the gift their mother was rumored to have possessed, the ability to heal with a simple touch”, made the action even more interesting for me. Being passionate of this aspect of life, called by some people “paranormal”, made me pay special attention to the moments when the author described and included this kind of action. Not giving all the details about such a healing procedure, the author managed to hook the reader even further. But… who needs details when one’s heart will anyhow understand what it is all about? This, only for the reason that Kim Iverson Headlee, really knows to dose any information; she knows how, when, what and how much to give, so it make things attractive but without giving it all away.
A scene that greatly involved my brain and heart in the action was the one in which Alain is saving Kendra after her abduction. I knew that he was supposed to succeed but… my heart raced a great deal while Kendra herself tried to escape, being afraid that she will mess up everything.
However, what I loved even more inside Snow in July, were in fact the secondary characters. I am that kind of reader who usually finds herself attached to the protagonists, but the author made me love many other characters here. I will mention only a few: Ruaud, Alain’s friend for so many reasons which can’t be counted here; Alain’s and Kendra’s brothers, who were gone in other worlds since the beginning of the action, but still so very present until the last act; Snake, Kendra’s predator who succeeded to melt my heart even if he was one of the bad guys in the book. I will stop the list here, adding only that because of these secondary characters, Snow in July is that kind of book which I want to read twice, being sure that not even than will I be able to grasp all the details behind the words.
My eyes were full of tears and joy, I was smiling and I was sad, my heart raced a lot while following the action step by step. The author really knows how to play with your adrenaline level. I even hated the author when she left me in deep frustration on Alain’s and Kendra’s first kiss. I liked what was described so much, that when it stopped I had the feeling that I was robbed by something that never happened and I didn’t even know what it could be.
To make things short, because I am sure the reader will enjoy reading the book more than my words here, I will conclude by saying that…
I totally recommend the book to anyone who wants to dig inside a medieval romance, placed in a moment in time when many twisted events happen, where the protagonists and secondary characters provide you contradictory feelings, using any phase between a good laugh and a deep cry, all being described with a mix of old and new English, French and Saxon words. I recommend this book for all these reasons and maybe for others more.
The book left me with a huge desire to find all about the Glastonbury thorn’s secret. The moment after I turned over the last page, I was running to discover the secret behind the words “to heal the pain, you must endure the thorn”. Whether you can find or not what I was talking about… I will let the reader in you discover it, after Kim Iverson Headlee’s words will have touched your heart.
I won this book in a Goodreads contest in return for an honest review. Having said that, I read this book in one sitting because I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Kendra & Alain. It's really well written,has believable characters who for the most part are likeable. There's plenty of action and romance. I don't want to spoil the plot ,so I'll just say I truly wanted to see if the young couple get together by the end of the book. If you like historical romance, you will enjoy this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review and rated it 4 out of 5 stars.
An Anglophile since childhood, I jumped at the chance to read and review Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee because of the historical period and setting. Set in the 11th Century, during the battle of Hastings, Ms. Headlee’s story is filled with knights, ladies, battle scenes, magic, and political upheaval. If you’re a fan of Medieval history and romance, then this is a story you will no doubt enjoy.
Beginning with the Battle of Hastings between Duke William II of Normandy and Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, Ms. Headlee introduces us to her primary character, Sir Robert “Alain”de Bellencombre, a Norman knight who has sworn to fight for Duke William and at the same time protect his younger brother. I liked “Alain” right from the start; he’s noble, honorable and is a man of his word. He’s the kind of guy you would want as a friend guarding your back. Born a second son, “Alain” hopes to be rewarded for his service to his king, but didn’t count on the king rewarding him via a marriage contract to a Saxon lady. No political dummy, William knows to keep the peace that the Normans and Saxons will need to intermarry and he’ll kill two birds with one stone by marrying his knights to wealthy, titled Saxon ladies whose inheritance will stabilize his kingdom.
We are soon introduced to the second main character, Lady Kendra of Edgarburh, the Saxon lady promised to “Alain” as a reward. The only living child of her father, her husband will inherit all of her father’s lands upon his death. I also liked Kendra from the beginning; beautiful, honorable and a gifted healer, she’s also suffering from a terrible loss – her only brother was killed on his way home from the battle of Hastings (he had fought for King Harold) and she fears being married to a Norman would be a betrayal to her brother. Especially since she and her father believe her brother was killed by one of “enemy”.
While neither character is eager for marriage, they are bound by a king’s order and a father’s promise and determination to keep his people safe. Ms. Headlee does a good job with the historical setting and with maintaining the tension between the characters as they are placed in difficult situations. Keeping their promises Alain and Kendra find themselves facing thieves, kidnappers, treachery and even sorcery, while attempting to fight their growing attraction to each other.
Ms. Headlee also does a good job developing the secondary characters and I especially liked meeting Ruaud, Alain’s closest friend, who made me laugh, and Waldron, Kendra’s father, who really cared about his daughter and the people he oversaw. The villains of the story were also well developed and fairly colorful – both in language and mode of dress. The mystery of who is behind all of the trouble was well written and the story takes several unexpected twists and turns, although I knew the identity of the villain in charge almost right from the start.
Will Alain be able to rescue Kendra when she is kidnapped? Will Alain and Kendra allow their growing attraction to turn into love? Will Alain and Kendra be able to help heal a nation made up of two different peoples? You’ll have to read Snow in July to find out. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Headlee’s work.
Is it selfish to want happiness when one is called to fulfilled their duty? What of the emotions and doubts one bears? Are they ignored for the sake of duty? Or are they acted on?
Kendra and Alain are both grieving, she for her brother and he for a broken promise. Obligation has already bound them together. Fulfillment has yet to take place. Deception keeps them from really knowing one another and could, in the end, bring about more pain than happiness. But if it helps Alain get to know his soon-to-be bride, is the price worth it?
For a moment, I didn't think it was. Lies beget hurt and distrust among people, but Alain proved his honor time and again when it came to Kendra. Was it easy to forgive his deception of being a squire instead of her betrothed? For me, yes because his heart and intentions always ran parallel to one another.
The evil that grows in the shadows lurks throughout the story. It doesn't fade in the background while Alain and Kendra's relationship and feelings flourish. It seems to develop in time with it and brought with it this sense of urgency in me. I crossed my fingers that Kendra would remain safe, that Alain would rescue her before it was too late. I held my breath as I watched the climax unfold and breathed a sigh of relief when the dust settled and the world was right again.
I've never read anything by Ms. Headlee. I'm not sure if her other stories are like this one, written with depth and pull, appeal and intrigue. Not only did she open this story with an epic battle scene but she never lost that momentum it set. Alain and Kendra are characters worth knowing. Their emotions for one another and for their circumstances were, at times, consuming and made me wish their happiness would happen sooner. But a quick end wouldn't have been fulfilling for me. Another aspect I think other readers will enjoy and, hopefully, appreciate, is the history woven into this story. It isn't told, doesn't read like it would from a textbook, but is, like I said, woven through Alain and Kendra's story. You don't have to be a history buff or be familiar with the time period because Ms. Headlee does an amazing job of putting you there, of having you experience the life and times and going-ons of this period.
A beautiful story that doesn't diminish evil while building up and reinforcing a love that defies all boundaries.
Longtime fans of my work know that I love playing with legends, and in that regard Snow in July is no different.
In addition to mentioning the local tradition that associates King Arthur with Glastonbury—though his alleged grave would not be discovered at the abbey for another century beyond the lifetimes of Kendra and Alain—I adapt the legend that the wounded King Harold Godwinson survived the Battle of Hastings and lived out his remaining days as a one-eyed monk.
The primary liberties I took were in regard to Glastonbury Tor and its surrounds. The Tor’s association with being an island dates to the millennia-old memory of the River Severn creating annual floodplains that inundated areas bordering the Bristol Channel as far inland as Glastonbury. This geologic event had ceased, for the most part, by the dawn of the Middle Ages, though the Glastonbury district still existed as swampland in the 11th century. The present-day tower is all that remains of the 14th-century Church of St. Michael, built upon the site half a century after its wooden predecessor was destroyed by an earthquake. I presume that the older church was built upon the foundation of a much earlier structure, since the site has yielded evidence of habitation dating back to Neolithic times. The maze ruins constitute just one of the hypotheses about the Tor’s terraced slopes.
All other details are fictional, although I made every effort to integrate them with historic facts as seamlessly as possible. As for some of the more exotic language choices, such as Cristes mæsse and ma demoiselle, I have either adapted or invented them to lend an ancient flavor to my story without going through the exercise of inventing a new language, as I have done with The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles (Dawnflight, Morning's Journey, et al)!
Thank you for your interest in my work, and I hope you enjoy my first foray into the realm of paranormal historical romance.
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books.
Alain is given and English estate as reward for helping William win at Hastings. He is also given the daughter of the Thane of the estate as his bride. Kendra doesn't want to amrry anyone, much less a Norman, the same race of man who murdered her brother.
But darker forces are at work, and Alain and Kendra are thrown together then forced apart. And those Kendra trusted, betray her.
Historical romance is not usually my thing, but I said yes to reading this so something must have piqued my interest. It has just a hint, and I do mean a hint, of paranormal, so that must have been why I said yes.
It was, not my thing aside, a wonderful read! Full of history of the time of William the Conqueror, indeed, William actually takes part, and ACTIVE part in this story, rather than just being mentioned. Full of the tradtions and habits of that time. Full of twists and turns that kept me fully engrossed in the tale. I loved Harold's twist, I loved that paranormal doesn't dominate the historical side. If you read fast and skim, as I often do, you might have missed the paranormal bit, I had to go back and reread a bit because I did! I loved that although Kendra is not any sort of magic person, she has her gift, passed down from her mother, and its Alain who kick starts it again.
It is clean, but weirdly, has that smoldering passion you expect in a more explicit book, that grows and gathers pace. It does get a bit bloody, especially when the Normans, Saxons and the bandits are fighting, but sword fighting and arrows through the heart does tend to be, now doesn't it?
The history is told not in a "teaching" way, more in that its told as part of the story, the way the story flows so well is a tribute to the way the history comes across.
And, it doesn't say how, you have to figure it out for yourself, but I loved the fact, that Alain made it Snow In July, just for Kendra, on their wedding day.
**same worded review appears on Goodreads, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk**
Beautiful story!! Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre is a hero in most people eyes but his own. He is in anguish because he feels responsible for his brothers death in battle. The King does not see "Alain" in this light, however, he sees him as his own hero and someone he can trust. With this trust in mind, the King grants him a betrothal to a Saxon heiress. This marriage will come with a title and lands. But there is trouble on this land, rumors and evidence of smugglers. The King wants Alain to investigate as well as meet his bride. Alain goes to see what he can make of the entire situation, but he goes as Squire Alain, Not Sir Robert. HE wants to get a feel for the situation and he can investigate the smuggling much easier as a squire than a knight.
Lady Kendra of Edgarburh is not at all happy about these events. But she is still grieving the loss of her brother. How could she even contemplate a betrothal? It's absurd. She is still reeling from the fact that the gift her mother had for healing seems to have passed her over. Now she has to deal with a Norman Knight and how to break the betrothal. She will not marry him. She meets the squire and realizes that he is someone she is attracted to, but that makes it worse, she is betrothed to another!
All the while there is something going on just out of recognition. Smugglers and thieves run amuck in the countryside. Who is behind it all is what Alain is trying to figure out.
This was pure joy to read! I felt the story line was fresh and had just enough excitement to keep me reading well into the early hours of the morning! Alain and Kendra are real people with real issues, even if the are a bit wrong in their assumptions. There is intrigue and romance and a bit of magic! I think you will love the story as much as I did! This author writes the time very well! I will certainly look for more of her books.
Sir Robert is given a duke's daughter as a way to show peace between the Saxons and Normons. He has been betrayed by his fiance that left him for his half brother that has a title and money. He doesn't want an arranged marriage but wants to see if he can win the damsel's heart. Once he sees Kendra he is smitten but still wants her to love him.
Kendra has made a vow to her dying brother to find happiness. Yet she has made a vow to not marry a man from Normandy that was responsible for her brother's death. she told him on his death- bed she would marry when it snows in July. She meets the Squire Alain (sir Robert posing as a Squire that is scoping out some rebel rousings in the area) and she is smitten but knowing he is Norman she can't act on her feelings. Her Cousin keeps asking for her hand yet she refuses. Ulfric needs Kendra and plots to have her abducted. He will go to any extreme to get what he needs for his ow reasons
Ther is a lot going on in this story. It is told in many viewpoints but it's not too hard to follow. You have Alain andKedra as main characters but also get some viewpoints from her father, Ulfric,one of the abductors and Alain's partner and friend. There are little illustrations that seperate each view that adds charm to the story. There is lots of action, and so many twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
Snow in July is a sweet, exciting historical romance. It says it's paranormal but I didn't see much paranormal in it. However, It does have one shifter but I would say it's more magic. So I suggest don't go into this expecting a lot of paranormal activity but read it expecting a fabulous story set in historical times with Knights and Kings.
If you like knights in shining armor, sweet romance, lots of action, a touch of magic and a very romantic ending I highly suggest this story.
On the battlefield at Hastings in 1066, Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre, a younger son, watches in horror as his younger brother dies, helpless to do anything about it.
King William rewards Sir Robert for his bravery on the battlefield with the estate at Edgarburh, along with the hand in marriage of Lady Kendra, daughter of the Thane of Edgarburh. Sir Robert wants neither, especially the woman.
Lady Kendra is likewise not interested in Sir Robert – or any other Norman knight – but she is interested in Squire Alain who presents himself at Edgarburh in Sir Robert’s place. However, Squire Alain is beneath her station and, is therefore, an unsuitable match – plus she ‘belongs’ to Sir Robert.
She’s also grieving the loss of her beloved brother, Del, who survived the Battle of Hastings, only to be murdered by a Norman soldier en route home. Or was the murderer someone in disguise?
Her grief for her brother, and her confusion over Squire Alain, was so consuming, she took some time to visit some of the people on the estate who needed her healing touch. She was sure she could get her mind off things.
Abducted by outlaws, and taken to a secret place, Lady Kendra hopes help is coming.
Squire Alain tracks the outlaws and rescues Lady Kendra, then leaves her with a family connection through her mother, Ulfric of Thornhill. Squire Alain returns to Edgarburh, but soon finds himself rushing back to Thornhill to rescue Lady Kendra - again.
Do Sir Robert and Lady Kendra find each other?
Ms. Headlee is a great storyteller, bringing that epoch time in England’s history to life. I enjoyed ‘Snow in July’, and recommend it highly. I give it 5-stars.
By Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time & Adelle’s Time
Again I am surprised by how much I like one of Headlee's novels. She always manages to take a story that I'm not sure I could be interested in and brings me into a world of multifaceted characters and detailed scenery. I'm constantly left with a feeling that I want to BE in the time/place that are the settings of her stories. I have never liked the time of lords and ladies, knights and kings so well as I do when immersed in her worlds.
Well-developed characters in Alain and Kendra truly carry the story. They both bear emotional burdens of their pasts as they struggle to do what is right in the present time. It is their individual journeys, as well as their budding love for each other, that become the focal point around which all other threads of the story are wound.
The supporting characters are treated just as importantly. This story would not be the same without Ruaud, Lord Waldron and even the detested Ulfric. Even those who have passed, specifically Del and Etienne, have great bearing on the story and how it plays out. Although I do believe that Noir won my heart as my favorite character of them all :)
Honestly the Tor is my favorite location in the book. The rest of the settings are beautifully detailed, from Edgarburh's lush rose garden to Thornhill's bee garden, however the darkness and desolation of the Tor make it more rich a setting than the rest. As I read about Alain and Ruaud traversing the lake to get there I found the cold seeping into my bones as if I was on the boat with them and their horses.
I could go on and on about this book. Let's just end this by saying the 5 stars are well-deserved.
It 's a good historical novel, with an intriguing love story, lots of action and plot twists, adventure, a bit of paranormal and magic. It's set after the battle of Hastings where Kendra and Sir Robert have lost both a brother. They feel guilty for not having protected them enough. William the Conqueror reward Sir Robert, alias Alain, for the help in the battle giving him the land of kendra's father and he was offered the girl as wife. How can Kendra marry the murderess of her brother? She will marry him only if it will snow in July, the month of their marriage. It will be really hard for them to be together. The characters are very complex and realistic: real people are perfectly blended with the fictional characters. William the Conqueror is a very active within the story. Alain is a man with a great sense of duty. He arrives in his new land under a false identity, he wants to better identify the outlaws and block their violence. Kendra is a girl determined to fulfill the last wish of her brother: find happiness and fight for it. Should try to learn to use the gift she inherited from her mother, that of healer. I really like to see the tension and chemistry between Kendra and Alain It 's written really well, the pace is a bit slow in the first pages but then becomes so exciting and addictive that it is impossible to put it down. The descriptions are so detailed that it's like having a time machine and have transferred in 1066. Research carried out by the author were really thorough. I recommend it to anyone who loves historical novels. I received an advanced readers copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.