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Heart of a Knight
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Heart of a Knight

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  819 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Britain, 1351. After an arduous exile to flee the darkness and danger sweeping her lands, Lady Elizabeth D'Auvers returns home to Woodell Castle, yearning only for her looms and her quiet life. To her astonishment, she finds the castle and farmlands thriving, thanks to Lord Thomas of Roxburgh, a knight errant whose size and strength offer protection to Elizabeth's castle a ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by HarperCollins Publishers
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  819 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Nobody writes sensual (as in, creatively engaging all the senses and making that matter) quite like Barbara Samuel/O'Neal, and Heart of a Knight didn't disappoint in that sense. It did seem repetitive at times (yes, I get it, Dark Thomas is a big, dark, gigantic, threatening hulk of man), and I was pretty bored by the characters themselves for the first part of the book. My main problem was Thomas being all "I have a secret that must not be told, if the truth came out, it'd be a fate worse than ...more
 Mummy Cat Claire
Lady Elizabeth is a young widow who left her castle and all her peasants behind to run away from the plague. When she comes back she finds a stranger has taken over her home. Thomas is a nice guy but he just seems lame. Adriana is smart and has a lot of responsibility on someone so young. She knows what she should do but she is still young. Her niece is a dense blonde who needs a slap in the face.
The premise of the book was a good idea but I think it could have been executed in a better way. By
Oct 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book-nook
There are things are really liked in this story and things that prevented it from being a 4 star read. I love Barbara Samuel's use of language. She has a lyrical prose that is full of sensuality in its descriptions. But unfortunately that prose does not, in the end, serve this story well. It is an implausible tale of bastard son who fakes being a knight and falls for a lady. She also falls for him and somehow they must find a way to be together. The first thing that bothered me is that a bastard ...more
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I adore Barbara Samuel's books. She's an autobuy author for me.

However, I missed her romance novels when they were first published. So I was thrilled to find them offered in e-format.

As always, Samuel can't hit a false emotional note. Characters who, in other books, would be one-note are given unexpected depth. There's not a lot of action - most of the book takes place in the castle keep - but the characters are so human and so well motivated that I couldn't stop reading.

I agree with some of the
Mary B.
This book was ok. Writing was excellent, as is typical of this author. The story was not for me, though. I didn't find Thomas to be very heroic. I didn't entirely like the way the two characters came together - Thomas having taken many of the peasants before falling in lust with Lyssa. It gave me the impression that he was dazzled more by her beauty and title than anything else, and I felt it was a rather low thing for him to do. Wasn't really buying the love. Also, it was just kind of boring.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: barbara-samuel
I would have rated this one higher if the beginning hadn't been so boring. I almost quit reading it. How many times does an author have to tell me the color of the H's eyes and hair. Totally too many times in this book. Descriptions were too wordy for me. I plodded through thinking at least I wouldn't want to stay up late to read it.

Then 1/2-3/4 through the books it did get better. The last 1/4 of the book was pretty good. I'm not sure the rest was worth reading to get to the end though.
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
Nov 23, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-no
I feel like if this book was a person it would be a fifty year old cat lady alcoholic that looks back on her life one knight (okay that was pun intended) one night and realizes that she at one point in time had so much potential and could have been great if she'd only laid of the booze and cat lovin'. Mainly I liked the concept where as the actual story is very dime store romance novel ick.
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
i am usually not at all crazy about medieval romances, but this one was a charmer. the hero is a knight who turns out to be a peasant, the heroine is a high-born lady who becomes less than a lady in her knight's arms, the wicked step-children take forever but do finally redeem has about everything i could ask for in a romance with the requisite HEA!
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this one. 2 great characters that were both interesting and meant for each other. All characters came across likeable and/or believable, no bogus fill in the blanks people. Fantastic good guy alpha male and strong female in a very believable setting. If in doubt please do read it.
Not worth reading further, all I'm picking up on is what looks to be an oversexed medieval in some dark broody kind of setting with way too many 'twas, 'tis and the like.
Diane K. Peterson
4.5 stars. A lovely story with the message that circumstances of birth do not determine the quality of a person's character.
I gotta say this book was actually a bit disappointing. I’m used to strong, dramatic stuff from Samuel and this one was just so-so. Not horrible but not that awesome either.

I liked that the author strives to give us a firm grounding in history, citing occasionally the Black Death and the social unrest among the classes due to it. She also gives enough details, setting-wise, to firmly establish the story in the late Middles Ages rather than a vague “medieval” setting.

Yet, she veers from past patt
Krista Baetiong Tungol
This novel brushes on the aftermath of the Black Death that ravaged England and most of Europe in the 14th century, and centers on a young widow named Lady Elizabeth D’Auvers (or Lyssa) who returns home after months of self-exile. Afraid that her people did not survive the plague, Lyssa is thus surprised and heartened to find them safe and healthy—thanks to a mysterious young knight named Lord Thomas of Roxbourgh who sought shelter in their place one stormy night and offered protection while the ...more
Rachel Skinner
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I was touring Pembroke castle (Wales) on a stormy day, the only tourist in sight, and decided to find some appropriate reading material to keep me company while having lunch in the deserted cafe. I did a search for 'knight' on my kindle app and found I'd snagged Heart of a Knight a few months back while it was free, so jumped in.

My first impression was love/hate. Considering where I was at the time, the 14th century setting really came alive for me
Jeannie Lee
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
This really was not what I thought it was going to be. I must say this has been about the best romance book I have read yet this year! If you think this tale is about winning the heart of a knight, you are sadly mistaken! There is so much more to it than that.

I wasn't going to like Lady Elizabeth, based on the first few chapters of the book, but by the end of the book I did like her. It is hard for us modern women to understand just how ingrained it was in the young women in history, especially
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis: "Lady Elizabeth D'Auvers returns to her beloved home, Woodell Castle, after a self-imposed exile to save herself and her stepchildren from the plague sweeping Britain. Afraid that she will find death and ruin, she is relieved to discover that her castlefolk and lands have thrived in her absence due to the presence of Lord Thomas of Roxburgh. Lord Thomas's great physical size is equaled only by the size of his heart, and his kindness and care for her people earn him the Lady's gratitude ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Why we read historical romances we already know and what we look for in them we know as well.
I look for a good writing, well shaped characters, intriguing stories and a lot of passion.
This is what I found in "Heart of a Knight".

The main characters you immediately love.
The minor characters you like as well, as they do not simply stand as a corollary of the main couple - as frequently happens in romances - but show their feelings, their psycology and influence the story.

I also liked how the fight
Heart of a Knight takes place in Britain in 1351. Lord Thomas of Roxburgh comes to Woodell Castle in a snowstorm and is asked by the people to help them and protect them. He stays and keeps the men in the nearby forest from attacking them and in the spring helps them plant their crops. Lady Elizabeth D’Auvers returns home to Woodell Castle after leaving to escape the plague and only wants to return to her looms and her quiet life of her home. She is pleased to find Lord Thomas has taken good car ...more
Apr 28, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
The only thing I didn't like about this book was the rushed ending. Yes I know the author does give a rushed explanation of the marriage between Lyssa and Thomas but I think the author should have added a few more pages to give this book the "awwww" factor it deserved. By having King Edward walk onto the field, after Thomas wins the melee, to knight him right then and there in front of everyone would have been a better ending. Also since Isobel finally figured out her feelings for Sir Stephen th ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and everything about it. The characters were all multidimensional and fun to journey with--even outside of the romantic aspect of this novel. Barbara Samuel does well at weaving a story that sucks her readers in-- Thomas is a hero I rooted for from the moment I began reading, and Elizabeth's pain and suffering practically sprang through the pages. Very rarely have I read a book that I haven't been able to put down, and stay up well past a decent hour reading. This book had very ...more
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. Some characters made me very mad, which was a good thing! Some I could have done without... and I could have done with just a little more resoultion at the end... maybe an epilogue a little further in the future? But all in all I liked it. Was it all believable? No, its a work of fiction meant to entertain... I was entertained! I didn't understand some of the reasoning in certain scenes, but hey, it's not my book! I enjoyed it, it was a good weekend read! I look forward to rea ...more
Aug 17, 2011 rated it liked it
It was OK, after a while it got a mite depressing. The context is too similar to the other B/Samuel book i recently read; Night of Fire in that the hero & heroine seemingly have insurmountable odds of getting married & a lot of above the board honourable intentions make them sacrifice their own happiness & reject the other & they part ways. & they are shattered. etc etc. After a while all that needless self sacrifice just palls. Strictly to be taken in small doses.
Aug 13, 2015 marked it as not-my-cuppa  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rita-winners
I love A Bed of Spices, another Medieval book by this author, but couldn't make it through this one. A few tropes starting popping up that I find off-putting, including a scheming, slutty teenaged stepdaughter, so I abandoned this for greener pastures. Life is too short and there are too many books.

I will absolutely read more of Barbara Samuel's work.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everything you could want in a medieval romance. Swoon-worthy knight, elegant lady, no undue angst, chivalry, mystery, deceit. Some reviewers thought it was unlikely but I believe that, given the ravages of the plague, it sounds likely that an enterprising, intelligent man might take advantage. And it definitely sounds like something King Edward III would consider. Well written.

Anna Bowling
This is a historical romance with generous helpings of both. Thomas and Lyssa's story couldn't have happened at any other time; the wake of a deadly plague crosses class lines, and delves into the true meaning of nobility. For those who like their black moments *really* black, this fits the bill, and the payoff is well worth it. Highly recommended.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ebook
Pretty fictional, the story fails "historically". The cousin of the king in love with someone below in 13-ish is only a concept in these days. No one would ever dream to unite two opposite worlds so easily in the Middle ages. Writing is not dull, but the story is just a big no, if you think about the historical part.
Nancy Bennett
Apr 28, 2015 rated it liked it
For me, this was a 2-star book until the last 25% when it suddenly turned and left me feeling a 3-star when I finished. I don't know why. I enjoyed the entire book; I liked the characters; the writing was fine; the setting and plot were believable. I just felt "eh" for the longest time and then suddenly I liked it more.
Lita Acevedo
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story so much. this one is keeper. I read it in one day and looked for a sequel but there was none. This was so well written and kept me fully engrossed. I would happily recommend it to anyone who likes historical romance.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good book, some of the scenes in the book are a bit too long and boring and I had to skip a few pages because of this. Apart from this quite good if you want a old fashioned mills and boon kind of romance story.
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Barbara Samuel is a multiple RITA award-winning author with more than 38 books to her credit in a variety of genres. She has written historical and contemporary romances, a number of fantasy novellas with the likes of Susan Wiggs, Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney. She now writes women’s fiction about families, dogs, and food as Barbara O’Neal.

Her work has captured a plethora of awards, including six