The Legendby Published 08 Sep 2019
|Publisher||Kathryn Le Veque|
An epic story of loss, love and redemption. On the Seventh Crusade, Sir Alec Summerlin makes a horrible mistake that costs him everything.
Once the greatest swordsman in the realm, he lays his weapon down and refuses to ever wield a broadsword again. Surrendering his spurs, he retires to his father's castle in self-imposed exile. His father, however, has other ideas for his greatest son and betroths him to a local ale heiress.
The Lady Peyton de Fluornoy is as resistant to marriage as Alec is, but she gradually begins to warm to the man who has given up on life. Alec comes to know a lady of spirit, beauty and intelligence. Before their marriage can happen, however, Alec's father is blackmailed by a neighbor who wants Peyton for his own son. Now deeply in love, Alec elopes with Peyton and an entirely new world of danger and passion opens up for them both.
As the conflict with the neighbor heats up, deep and horrific secrets are revealed, and Peyton ends up in grave danger. Alec must recant his vow and draw his sword again to save the woman that he loves as The Legend is once again reborn.
The Legend Reviews
I did not finish, I'm afraid. The initial premise sounded promising, but the story was just foolish. The women dress themselves up to be ugly, but then we are told not long before the eldest daughter is probably the most beautiful woman in England, I hardly think by blackening a few teeth and messing up their hair that people wouldn't be able to see right through their disguises. Plus, in an earlier chapter it is mentioned that the eldest daughter is an heiress to a wealthy brewery and land, so doesn't matter if she was an ugly old crone the hero's father would have married his son to her regardless. Beauty was much admired, but in those days land and power where much more valuable.
I also found the descriptions of the characters as quite overdone, and they didn't always make sense from the characters perspectives, like would the hero's father really be that concerned with his son's looks. It is too bad because I quite like the idea of a knight that has decided to give up the sword.
A first read from this author and I would definitely try another book. This book is like an old school romance with alpha hero, warring parties for land grab, family and secrets. It was a page turner (a bit of crazy sauce too) I needed something fun after a string of PC historical romances. Alec was a well written hero, who had depth and you can feel his anguish of his past. Peyton was a typical spoilt heroine who gradually changed into a mature woman. All the characters were well drawn and that was a strength in the writing and storytelling.
I gave this book 4 stars - the secondary romance between the hero’s friend and the heroine’s sister just didn’t match the prejudice of people during that time. Had the author skipped the chapters with King Edward meeting Ali, the novel would be more believable. Having read a non- fiction biography on King Edward I, it’s a bit unbelievable that he would show no prejudice to men with dark skin yet in real life he banished the Jews from the British Isles, and wasn’t very pleasant to the Welsh and later in his life the Scots. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that she included a inter-racial relationship, I just wished it was in a more believable setting or under a different King. Other than this historical inaccuracy the story would’ve been perfect.
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The role of women in England in the 13th century are clearly defined -- they are the property of their
father, husband or liege lord. Peyton, the heroine, is intelligent, well educated, a successful businesswoman, wealthy, strong willed, and unwed. After she marries her husband becomes her "lord and master" he "owns" her and her property.
There are several sex scenes and I'm not a prude but they could have been shortened and described in less
detail without diminishing the romantic aspect of the story.
These were violent times and there are non graphic details about war, murders, and brutality.
A re-read to write review.
I am lowering my review to 4 stars from 5. The reason is that I felt it was a bit too long and as another reviewer mentioned, the romance became a bit weakened due to the length. Make no mistake.. I did not skim nor did I lose interest but I did feel this could have been shorter and if so it would have had more of an emotional impact. This is being very nit picky. I do tend to review good authors more critically and Le Veque is a good author no doubt.
The story- Without re telling the entire story, it is basically about two sisters whose parents have died. They have been running their very sucessful estate known for it's high quality ale on their own for the last 6 months. Their guardian, the Baron (hero's father) is tasked to see the eldest and heiress Peyton (heroine) marry. Peytons family has been feuding with another family over a land dispute for 30 years. The father of that family (Nigel-bad guy) has pettitioned to have his son (Colin-Bad guy) marry Petyon in order to gain the estate and land. The Baron however wishes to see his own son (Alec aka "The Legend-hero)marry the heiress. Petyon and her sister Ivy do not want to marry, and they try everything to avoid it. So here is the bare bones of the story. As you can guess, it is full of conflict and even has some light humor. It also seems to be more romance driven.
All of the characters are complex. There are two additional romances with secondary characters aside from the H & h which are equally sweet and interesting. The plot involves many themes.. there is racism, a mentally challanged brother, lots of revenge, guilt, and a little mysticism from a crazy aunt who proclaims herself a witch. All great stuff. The pace is steady, having good flow and I did not get bored nor did I skim.
The hero and heroine have a rocky start and it gets pretty vicious at times between them. The hero does act like an ass from time to time, but not too bad... don't give up on him!... you will eventually get to see him grovel and it wont take long before you will see how sweet and wonderful he really is.
The heroine is seriously hung up on former love James. Her internal struggles lay with getting over him and her feelings for James cause alot of the tension with Alec.
The angst doesn't go on too long nor is it too unbearable, so no worries there. I will say that both H & h do realize they love each other but hold out saying it to each other for fear of rejection due to some harsh words they said to one another in a fight.
The hero Alec- I loved the hero. Known all over for his warring skills, as "The Legend" he has laid down his sword vowing to never go to arms again after he accidentally killed his brother while on crusade. He is tormented over this and grieves his brother every day.
His best friend Ali, who has dark skin, is his most loyal friend and he loves him as a brother. They grew up together and fought together, therefore Alec has seen the cruellty Ali has been dealt all his life due to the color of his skin. Needless to say, it infuriates Alec when anyone insults Ali, especially women.
Alec has an older brother (Paul) who is mentally challanged and is next in line as heir. Alec also has a younger sister Thia who he loves dearly although it is questionable as to why.
The heroine Peyton-Having grown up at St. Cloven, which is known all over as having the best quality ales, she has gained a good head for business as well as an excellent palate for ale. it is no wonder she has been so successful in running her family's estate for the past 6 months since her father passed away.
She was formerly betrothed to a man she had known for 10 years and loved (James) until he was killed in a jousting tornament right in front of her eyes. She held him in her arms as he died. She swore she'd never love another.
Peyton has a younger sister (Ivy) who is also her best friend. Ivy is a toughie, bigger than Peyton and stronger.
Peyton also has a talent for painting, but she is not one to show her work.
1. I have my doubts as to the fact that a mentally challanged man would be able to or even be considered next in line as heir to an estate, and not just an estate but a Barony.
2. I think the book could have been shorter but as I said above, I did not skim or lose interest
3. As usual, Le Veques odd repettitiveness comes through.. The "Sapphire blue eyes" of the heroine, the "sky blue eyes" of the hero and "Christ!" were incredibly overused. But it wouldn't be a LeVeque book without this bizzare repettitiveness. It seems to be her trademark.
4. I truly have no clue as to what the reason is that Alec doesn't want to marry. If it was said, it wasn't clear enough for me to remember.
Heroine a virgin
Hero is a virgin
Little violence (not detailed)
Cursing - only "Christ!"
Insta love - no
Loving scenes - I didn't count but there are at least 3 nicely done
No rape, but there are secondary characters who were in their past but it is not detailed.
Although the hero is a virgin, it is mentioned 3 times that he has exotic tastes and has done everything with a woman except penetration, and women have done everything to him as well. It is not detailed, or explained, nor is it ever said how many women or how many times. He does say that he only cared about his own pleasures and never cared about the womans until he met the heroine.
I don't know if this makes him a manwhore or not to you. I would have said "not" a manwhore after the second mention. BUT! when the third time came (near the end of the book) I was no longer feeling it. I'm personally still at odds with myself over it. Especially since the third time he sounded a bit arrogant.
All said and done, I still liked him, but I have to admit I liked him less after the final comment.