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The Dragon and the Jewel

(The Medieval Plantagenet Trilogy #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,004 ratings  ·  67 reviews
With her sapphire eyes and silken dark hair, Princess Eleanor was a bewitching beauty made for a man's pleasure.  Once a child bride, but widowed at a tender age, she swore never to marry again and took a vow of eternal chastity...until Simon de Montfort marched into England and set his smoldering dark gaze upon her, King Henry's youngest sister, the royal family's most pr ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published November 10th 1991 by Dell (first published November 1st 1991)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  2,004 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Set in 13th century England, this story is focused on Princess Eleanor and Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester. When she is nine, Eleanor is wed to William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. Luckily William isn't a perv and its marriage in name only until she's 16, a big age difference it works due to how the author depicts William and the development of things. Others are plotting the demise of William Marshall for his influence with the king and on the night William would finally claim his br ...more
~**Anna**~ A Romance Reader
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an epic read! Really enjoyed it.
Regan Walker
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Enthralling 13th Century True Love Story, 2nd in the Plantagenet Trilogy

In the words of the author, “The story of Simon and Eleanor is one of the great love stories of the thirteenth century,”—a story that Henley masterfully brings to historical romance, a tale of two passionate people and the historical events that swirled around them.

Many women never find one true love; Eleanor Plantagenet was blessed with two, though one, William Marshall, was much older and perhaps more a father figure. The
Tracy Walters
This book started out to be pretty interesting and by the end I was so sick of Simon and Eleanor I wanted to scream!!! I usually enjoy Virgina Henley but this book became annoying after 2/3's the way through. Eleanor was a spoiled brat who would do stupid things on a whim just to piss Simon off so he would be "rough and passionate" in bed. Simon was a good guy who tried to do right by England and succeeded, could always count on him to bed Eleanor as soon as he was home from some ex ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really great read. I have my nitpicks of course as it happens with every historical fiction and romance, none is exempt. I became very passionate about the Provencal sisters and before that, the Plantagenets starting of course with their founder in 1154, Henry II and his ambitious but independent wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Duchess of said land and Countess of Poiters in her own right. I read extensively of her from Amy Kelly's biography "Eleanor of Aquitaine and the four kings" de Mede's "Elean ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
This book was not that good. The purple prose smut scenes were hilarious.

The hero was such a creep to me. Henley placed such an emphasis on the hero's larger body size etc in comparison to Eleanor's youth and petiteness. Big age differences and body sizes don't usually bother me, but this got to the point of ew and squick for me.

I preferred her husband, who unfortunately died, so instead, we had to deal with the creep that was the Dragon. Ick.

I couldn't stop reading this one tho.
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this when it was new, a fictional account of real people—epic storytelling!
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think I just found my new favorite author in the historical romance section. This book is not just a romance but a historical novel as well. So much attention to detail is given that it will be a sin to peg it as another romance novel. This book had me running to Wikipedia the whole time I was reading it and I am proud to say that I know more about King Henry III and his reign now than I did when I started this venture. Whoever thought the Story of Simon De Montfort and Eleanor was this intere ...more
Feb 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Res by: geekturnedvamp
The one where Eleanor, sister of the young Medieval king Henry III, is married at nine and widowed at seventeen. I gather she finds tempestuous true love later, but I didn't stick around.

I force myself to read fifty pages before I give up on a book, so I read fifty pages entirely made up of three things: someone gazing at something (often a mirror) and reflecting on a huge shovelful of exposition; people talking to one another and handing back and forth slightly smaller shovelfuls of exposition;
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The turbulent love affair between Eleanor Plantagenet & Simon de Montfort...."a passion that would erupt in scandal & rock the embattled realm, staining the pages of history with blood & betrayal....igniting the pages of history with the rapture of all-consuming love...."

Oh, I loved this book to read over & over again.
Sep 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Historical: Simon de Montfort & Eleanor Plantagenet (she was daughter of Prince/King John from the days of Robin Hood). So must be 1200’s England. Pretty good writing - amusing and touching points. The message it gave grated a bit - the girl’s first love was the man who treated her intellect as equal and shared all decisions with her. Her true love, though, was the one who got his way by assaulting her senses. He believed that because he was the man, she should toe the line without protest or ex ...more
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
While it felt like it took FOREVER for Simon and Eleanor to get together (she spent the first quarter of the book married to some old war hero) it was worth the wait!

While I feel that in her more recent outings, Henley has lost her touch, Dragon and the Jewel is one of her best. The love scenes are X-rated steamy hot, as you'd expect from one of the original masters of the genre.
Kats Burn
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is Virginia Henley at her best. This is the second of the Medieval Plantagenet trilogy. Simon De Montfort takes your breath away. It seemed as close to being historically accurate as it could be. The novel had suspense, humor, and the most steamiest scenes one could endure. Take a chance and fall in love with another set of Virginia Henley characters.
Romance Reader
I love Ms. Henley's writing and this is some of the best. One of the greatest aspects of this book is that it's based on the stories surrounding one of the greatest love matches of Medieval England. (Don't get any pretenses of historical accuracy though!)
i love this book ♥ i was able to know simon de monfront, earl of leicester and his beloved wife, eleanor of england. i've learned a lot about the battle of lewes and the reign of henry III. a really good read :) hope to read more from ms. henley :)
Dec 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: smut, romance
nothing like living with 100 women to have more than enough trash novels to pass around!
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008-book-list
couldn't put it down...
Theresa Almeida
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
He is still one of the sexiest characters ever! I loved her books!!!
Tiffany Day
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read it back in the day - loved Henley - one of my favorites back then
Favorite historical of all time. It's Virginia Henley's best work in my opinion.
Amy Lala
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First and favorite historical romance story.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! I loved the fact that there was so much detail. This is definitely going in my favorites!
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keeper-shelf
Great romping read, lots of historical detail, intrigue, saucy romance and a great hero and heroine. What more could you ask for? Would recommend as a really good read.
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this book was an awesome read!
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My very first romance novel i ever read and it started my love of reading
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Good sense of place and the historical major players. Henry III, Princess Eleanor Plantagenet, William Marshall II were well described. However, Simon de Montfort Sr. was not quite the "perfect knight" , but I understood this as he was the hero of a true love story. "Fire Song" by Geillis shows an entire different side of de Montfort. Henley's book is mentioned in the Wikipedia entry for Eleanor Plantagenet.
Judith Sherrod
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dragon and the Jewel

Eleanor and Simon faught, loved, and lived for each other. Simon wanted what was best for the people of England.
Eleanor felt loyalty to her brother the king but could also see his failings.
Andrea Espinoza
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love story of the ages

Simon and Eleanor were lovers and in love when it wasn't in fashion. They flaunted convention and secretly became husband and wife.
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Virginia Syddall was born on December 5, 1935 in England, where her father, Thomas Syddall, taught her to love history. She obtained a degree in History in the University. In 1956, Virginia married Arthur Henley. They moved to America, and now they live most of the year in St. Petersburg, Florida, and they spend the hot summers in Ontario, Canada, where they have their two adult children and three ...more

Other books in the series

The Medieval Plantagenet Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Falcon and the Flower (Medieval Plantagenet, #1)
  • The Marriage Prize (Medieval Plantagenet, #3)

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“So this was love then—wanting to give only pleasure to the beloved; constantly searching your mind for love tokens that would bring a smile to her lips or a sparkle to her eyes. He deeply regretted it had come so late in life, but since his heart’s desire was Eleanor who was so much younger than he, it could have been no other way. He was grateful it had come at all.” 9 likes
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