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Shadowheart (Medieval Hearts #2)

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,395 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Dangerous and dashing assassin Allegreto wants to regain his rightful place in the rich Italian principality of Monteverde. Happily, the means to do so is Lady Elena, long-lost Monteverde princess and sole heir to the kingdom. Though she is promised to his rival, Allegreto seizes her ship, takes Elena prisoner, and weds her, thus beginning their battle of wits and passion.
Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Berkley Trade (first published 2004)
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Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

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There's a part of me that's screaming, "Five stars! Five stars! Five stars!" with regard to how I should review this book. To be fair, it's a really good book. I'd been wanting to get into Laura Kinsale's works for ever because of how lovingly touted they were in the Smart Bitches's romance-themed book, BEYOND HEAVING BOSOMS. Lately, her books have been going on sale for $1.99 in the Kindle store and I've been snapping them up left and righ
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jenjn79
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria Clara
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿Qué puedo decir? Como siempre, Laura Kinsale, consigue crear historias fantásticas de héroes oscuros y de damiselas a las que no les asusta ningún lobo feroz... Una historia diferente, única, vibrante...
Caz
I've given this an A+ for narration and a B+ for content - I'm calling it 4.5 stars here

Having very much enjoyed For My Lady's Heart in audio format, I’ve been eagerly looking forward to its sequel, Shadowheart, which picks up the story of Allegretto della Navona, the ruthless young assassin who was one of the major secondary characters in that novel. He’s certainly an interesting choice for the hero of an historical romance but I knew that if anyone could make a murderer into a romantic hero, i
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Naksed
DNF at Chapter 18 out of 32.

I didn't get this at all. The whole bdsm thing was so cringeworthy especially as it felt like he was reliving his childhood abuse at the hands of his monster father. As for her, the dominatrix, sex maniac persona was barf. I couldn't care less about the swashbuckling adventure and political intrigue either. I am definitely in the minority when it comes to this author but she is simply not for me. My second attempt at a book from her with the same DNF result :(
Regan Walker
Unusual, Fascinating and Disturbing

To say this book was difficult to review is an understatement. Let me say at the outset that Kinsale writes brilliantly and has obviously done an amazing job of presenting the historical setting of 14th century Northern Italy. The story certainly held my interest; however, it is also sometimes disturbing and, in places, had me figuratively tearing out my hair. Some historical romance readers will have difficulty with parts of it.

This is the sequel to For My Lad
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Cristina
En la Inglaterra del s. XIV, Lady Elena se queda absolutamente asombrada al descrubir que es la princesa —desaparecida hace tiempo— del poderoso principado italiano de Monteverde y la única heredera viva. Ahora, a pesar de que quiere permanecer en el lugar que siempre ha sido su hogar, sabe que tiene que ir al principado y que deberá casarse por motivos políticos con un auténtico desconocido — el actual gobernante de Monteverde.

Allegreto, el joven y carismático asesino de For my Lady's Heart, co
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Pepa
Leer a esta autora siempre es un placer. No es una lectura ágil, sino densa. Pero me gusta mucho su forma de escribir y disfruto mucho de su lectura.
El problema ha sido la historia. No me ha gustado, creo que en muchos momentos la alarga sin ningún sentido y el tema de los personajes no me ha cuajado nada.
No me ha dado la sensación de que esta jovencita de apenas 19 años esté cualificada para hacer (ella solita) todo lo que hace... la evolución a nivel sexual es, cuanto menos, sorprendente y esa
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Crista
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I finished reading this book several days ago. I usually write a review immediately after reading a book, but with this one, frankly, I didn't know what to rate it, or what to say about it. As a usually very opinionated and "sure" type of person...this was a first for me.

Laura Kinsale is not your ordinary romance novel writer. This needs to be understood first and foremost before reading anything by her. She does not write light and fluffy romances that make you sigh and smile. Her novels chall
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KatieV
The progression of their relationship and the way they complemented one another was amazing to read.

I read a lot of romance and much of it doesn't stick with me, but I'm still thinking about this book after finishing it. I didn't expect to like the "femdom" element to their sexual relationship, but it made sense in context. The H was still all alpha-male and the h was strong yet kind and not a shrew at all. I think much of her roughness with him in bed had to do with the fact that she no longer
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Sally ☀️
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although I'm giving Shadowheart the same rating as For My Lady's Heart, I much preferred it. It's probably more of a 4.5 and FMLH is more of a 3.5.

This was much easier to read than FMLH. I don't know whether that was because the language seemed to have changed, there wasn't nearly as much medieval speech, or whether the story got going much quicker, or perhaps both. I haven't read the condensed version at the end but I assumed that the condensed versions were the same books but with more modern
...more
Audrey Ferrer
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extravagante. Imprevisible. Emocionante. Arriesgada.
Laura Kinsale es una maestra en el arte de hacer de lo impensable, un mundo con tantos matices como su prosa. Es capaz de crear personajes verosímiles con características desconcertantes. Il Corvo me ha maravillado: sensual, irónico, inteligente, ...
Mi único inconveniente es que creo que se han alargado en exceso determinadas situaciones,y desde mi punto de vista no está al nivel de Flores en la tormenta... pero es que pocas obras lo podrán est
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Ann has a dirty mouth
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
This book is so much better than the cover and plot summary led me to believe. I have been taking an indefinite hiatus from historical novels for the better part of this year because I became very burned out on them, especially Regencies. I have a feeling when I read many historical romances that the characters are not really in the past- they are modern actors wearing old fashioned costumes for a play. I also really, really hate the historical fiction trope of women being "ruined" after losing ...more
Ruth
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I think Laura Kinsale is my absolutely favorite historical romance author. Her stories are so intense, so well-researched (as if she'd lived in the period herself), and just such wonderful storytelling!!!
Jill
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
AND MOST OF ALL -
- 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 are written by lesser authors. Kins
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Emily
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All of Kinsale's historical romances are intense and a bit challenging. Shadowheart was not an exception to this, and I wouldn't recommend it for those who enjoy a fluffier romance. The sexy bits are kinky, and the romance is quite dark, but it works for the characters involved even though it seems unexpected for the genre. I loved the historical detail, I don't read many middle age period historicals, mostly because they often seem too inaccurate and the modern feel of the characters and langua ...more
Res
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Res by: geekturnedvamp
Shelves: romance
The one where Elayne discovers she's an exiled princess of Monteverde, and on her way to a political marriage, she's kidnapped by Allegreto, who appears to be a mysterious pirate. Sequel to For My Lady's Heart, and like that one, oh so much better than the title and plot summary imply.

Elayne goes from simply spunky to genuinely courageous. Allegreto actually develops a heart. And the plotting! I don't want to spoil some of the wonderful surprises, but at every turn, the stakes get bigger, until
...more
Anna
WOW. Absolutely loved this book. Once I was able to get all the way through it, I found it to be a very satisfying read. With well developed characters all the way around, Shadowheart was a trying, though uplifting, read. A story of revenge, retribution, and unfailing love, it was truly a literary masterpiece. It is wordy, yes, but the intertwining storyline of Elayne's unfailing love as Allegreto sought peace and redemption was worth the time Though at first I found Elayne and Allegreto's roma ...more
Kid Disaster
4.5 stars but for some reason feel the need to round down.

I loved this story! Emphasis on story -- how often can you truly say that when you're reading 'romance'?
(view spoiler)
The romance scenes tho -- not my cup of tea. (YMMV of course) But because I floved the story, I didn't even mind.
Pamela(AllHoney)
This is the 2nd Laura Kinsale book I've read and I didn't care for either. She is an excellent writer and is on many favorites lists but just not my personal style. I read it for a challenge and forced myself not to quit. There were parts that I did like but many that I struggled through.
Sylvia Kelso
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this some time ago but was prompted to add it here with some comments after falling over reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. Among romance novels, this is unique. Some of the earlier parts are somewhat usual, even hackneyed, even symptomatic of the sort of masochistic older romance I really don't like (the heroine is the sister of a beautiful and dangerous Italian heiress to a small nation state, raised in obscurity, sent away to avoid a dangerous marriage, abducted by a pirate, forced into ...more
Lizzy
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, favoritos
Medieval Hearts, # 2 - Único!
Shadowheart é a continuação do maravilhoso For My Ladys Heart. Mais uma vez somos convidados a nos imergir no submundo das disputadas pelo poder em Monteverde, um principado da Itália Medieval.

Elena Monteverde é a princesa herdeira. Uma jovem refugiada na Inglaterra que sem ao menos imaginar, se torna a peça chave de um intrincado plano político de dominação de Monteverde. A caminho do seu destino, um casamento de conveniência com Franco Pietro Reata, Elena é retida
...more
Sonia De la rosa
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo que más me gusta de los libros de Laura Kinsale son sus protagonistas... son hombres que se alejan del héroe perfecto, son hombres que cometen errores y que aunque al final se han convertido en mejores gracias a las protagonistas no pierden sus personalidades. Este libro es un ejemplo de sus libros, en los últimos libros me pareció que había perdido un poco de fuerza sus protagonista pero con este lo ha vuelto ha recuperar.
Il Corvo o Allegrato es un hombre sin corazón (según él) y sin concien
...more
Sheila Melo
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Condensed Version is Better Than The Original

The Condensed Version is Better Than The Original

SHADOWHEART is the sequel to FOR MY LADY'S HEART. It is the story of Allegreto della Novano, the assassin from FOR MY LADY'S HEART. I believe that it is necessary to read the first book before reading SHADOWHEART because much of this book assumes a knowledge of Allegreto's past and Monteverde. Allegreto meets his match in Elena, the presumptive heir to the rule of Monteverde which has been torn apar
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Elizabeth
I wanted to love this book. Laura Kinsale is an author highly praised among romance bloggers and readers. I have loved some of her books. I just finished For My Lady’s Heart,the prequel and really enjoyed it. And this book started off well – spunky, smart heroine. Mysterious hero. But, it’s now the second Kinsale book I’ve DNF’d for being too “rapey.”

Readers were introduced to this book’s hero, Alegretto, in For My Lady’s Heart. I didn’t find him particularly likeable in that book, but he did r
...more
Ava Campbell
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La mejor Kinsale en estado puro en una narración brutalmente fascinante.

Sé que no es una novela para todos los gustos, debido a la naturaleza de la relación que se desarrolla entre ellos, pero no creo que hubiera otra manera de darle su historia a Allegretto. Qué maestría demuestra Kinsale en la evolución de un personaje torturado como pocos hayamos conocido, qué convincente me ha resultado su progresiva dependencia de Elena y los gestos de masoquismo y dominación soportados como una penitencia
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Inkspeckle
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I was mesmerized by Allegreto in “For My Lady’s Heart”. The thing about Laura Kinsale’s novels is that you can feel so much emotion for even secondary characters. But Allegreto was not just a secondary character—not by a long shot. Of course, I had no idea just how deep he was. It gets pretty dark, the deeper you go. That darkness, however, is essential to who he is, balanced by his fear of damnation. When he walked into the church, for example: I, personally, almost felt at the point of a panic ...more
Water
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was not quite as good as the reviews led me to believe. Allegreto is described beautifully, but I never really saw him as dangerous as he was supposed to be since all he did was worship Elena throughout most of the book. Elena's mild S&M obsession seemed out of character and out of place. The book takes a startling turn towards the end, and I just didn't like how it went on or how it ended. This is a FANTASY novel, not a historical. Be warned.
geekturnedvamp
Jun 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
The amazing sequel to FOR MY LADY'S HEART, which I think everyone on the planet should read because Laura Kinsale is brilliant and there is pretty much nothing she can't make work... here she manages to pull off a Renaissance-era historical with a female dominant sadomasochistic relationship, and she won a totally deserved RITA for it. (In the interest of writing a balanced review I should add that the politics and plot pacing may occasionally drag a little, but I didn't even care.)
Anne
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I actually will rate it ****1/2 stars. it was exciting, hard to put down, wonderful love story between two well matched people from different backgrounds. There was plenty of excitement, intrigue and mystery to keep one reading. Recommended.
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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
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Medieval Hearts (2 books)
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“He came down the nave, walking with his graceful stride, dangerous and tear-stained.” 1 likes
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