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So Speaks the Heart (Avon Historical Romance)

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His violent pride demanded submission. Her gentle heart demanded love. His valor offered refuge to a heart which offered Love. She was born a lady, heiress to rich French estates. But when Rowland of Montville captured her, he saw only a beautiful girl garbed in peasant's rags... a wench to serve his wants. Though betrayed into bondage, Brigitte de Louroux would never be any m His violent pride demanded submission. Her gentle heart demanded love. His valor offered refuge to a heart which offered Love. She was born a lady, heiress to rich French estates. But when Rowland of Montville captured her, he saw only a beautiful girl garbed in peasant's rags... a wench to serve his wants. Though betrayed into bondage, Brigitte de Louroux would never be any man's slave. Yet the fate of an unprotected woman could have been far more cruel than the rough embrace of a warrior lord as fair as Rowland de Montville. Defenseless against his unbridled passions, she yielded her innocence to the desires he aroused in her heart. And he, who had never known the enchantment of a woman's surrender, found a power in love as mighty as the sword he raised against their enemies.


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His violent pride demanded submission. Her gentle heart demanded love. His valor offered refuge to a heart which offered Love. She was born a lady, heiress to rich French estates. But when Rowland of Montville captured her, he saw only a beautiful girl garbed in peasant's rags... a wench to serve his wants. Though betrayed into bondage, Brigitte de Louroux would never be any m His violent pride demanded submission. Her gentle heart demanded love. His valor offered refuge to a heart which offered Love. She was born a lady, heiress to rich French estates. But when Rowland of Montville captured her, he saw only a beautiful girl garbed in peasant's rags... a wench to serve his wants. Though betrayed into bondage, Brigitte de Louroux would never be any man's slave. Yet the fate of an unprotected woman could have been far more cruel than the rough embrace of a warrior lord as fair as Rowland de Montville. Defenseless against his unbridled passions, she yielded her innocence to the desires he aroused in her heart. And he, who had never known the enchantment of a woman's surrender, found a power in love as mighty as the sword he raised against their enemies.

30 review for So Speaks the Heart (Avon Historical Romance)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chitra *CJ*

    "So Speaks the Heart" is the story of Brigitte and Rowland. Be-warned: This is a bodice ripper. The meh and negatives: The book begins and we are introduced to our h who is being forced into servitude and captivity by her evil aunt :- whipped, shamed, slapped, and almost married off to an old perv. They believe her brother is dead, and hence the dipshit aunt has taken over her guardianship. When she is unexpectedly found in a compromising position with the hero, who BTW was about to rape her wh "So Speaks the Heart" is the story of Brigitte and Rowland. Be-warned: This is a bodice ripper. The meh and negatives: The book begins and we are introduced to our h who is being forced into servitude and captivity by her evil aunt :- whipped, shamed, slapped, and almost married off to an old perv. They believe her brother is dead, and hence the dipshit aunt has taken over her guardianship. When she is unexpectedly found in a compromising position with the hero, who BTW was about to rape her when she was bruised and passed out, and he was mad drunk- her fcktard of an aunt foists her off onto the knight to get rid of her. He then takes her away as his serf, then takes her virginity, but soon starts developing feelings for her. But does that stop him from taking his belt to her when she runs away? Nope. Also he does not believe her claims. The redemption: There's a LOT of violence in this book tbh. The hero grew up in it, suffering through his share of beatings- so that's all he knows when threatened. But we also see a softer side of his emerge with the h. The heroine is as expected- obstinate, passionate yet impulsive. She and the hero make a dysfunctional pair in this unusual love story. There are a lot of chase sequences in the book between the h and H, who cannot let go. The discoveries: While the h tries to prove her identity, the hero ends up finding his in a bittersweet reunion too. The pinnacle: The best thing about this book is the amazing dog Wolff- who is loyal, brave and ruthless. The conclusion: Despite everything, the book undergoes a drastic change in the second half, for the better. The hero turns into this obsessed, kind giant- the heroine into a forgiving, brave lass. The angst and heartbreak is real, and the couple rely on each other to get through the trials. Then their comes a time when lies a revealed, and choices are made- but the separation leads to a dramatic, but so insanely sweet HEA. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Safe 4/5

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wendy, Lady Evelyn Quince

    As another reviewer mentioned, it's fair to compare "So Speaks the Heart," aka "Medieval Norman Psychopath Meets French Co-Dependent" to another of Johanna Lindsey's works, "A Pirate's Love" which had a similar captor/captive trope. But this book is way better than the latter because: A) this heroine is not a spineless jellyfish, fights back, and is strong in her own way and 2) The hero is more than just a good-looking rapist who eventually falls in love with the woman he's been tormenting. Ok, As another reviewer mentioned, it's fair to compare "So Speaks the Heart," aka "Medieval Norman Psychopath Meets French Co-Dependent" to another of Johanna Lindsey's works, "A Pirate's Love" which had a similar captor/captive trope. But this book is way better than the latter because: A) this heroine is not a spineless jellyfish, fights back, and is strong in her own way and 2) The hero is more than just a good-looking rapist who eventually falls in love with the woman he's been tormenting. Ok, he's as deep as a crack in the sidewalk and yeah, he's still a bully and a douche. But his background is fleshed out a bit so we understand why he's such an asshole, so I can forgive this knighted hunk for his caveman behavior. Plus the heroine is spunkier, but not in a too-fiesty-she's-annoying-way, but giving as good as she gets to a hero who is a thick-headed stubborn block of wood. After his life is saved in battle, Sir Rowland de Montfort vows to repay his savior by visiting the guy's sister's castle and making sure all is well with her. What happens instead is that Rowland is tricked by the avaricious relatives into believing Lady Brigitte is really a trouble-causing serf. Rather than listen to reason the dude is dead set against hearing anything the filthy peasant has to say. Rowland is a crazy character and would be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. He goes from spouting things like this: “On the contrary. I know a woman can have sweet words when she wants something, and that otherwise, she is a bitch. No, I want no wife nagging at me. I would sooner rot in hell than marry.” and “'You have no rights at all.' He was cold again, the laughing lights gone from his eyes. 'Let us be clear, girl. You speak to no one without permission...'" To nice: "He brought his hand up and caressed her cheek with his fingers. 'For you I will change.' There was a long, surprised pause, and then she asked, 'Why?' 'To see you smile more often.'” To back to crazy, this time rapey and violent: "Before Brigitte could find the words to plead with him, Rowland’s belt descended on her back. She gasped and cried out." He's insane and all over the place, but for some reason, it works for me. Rowland refuses to believe Brigitte is who she claims she is because he'd rather believe he's just raping a serf girl rather than abusing the sister of the man who saved his life. “'I do not ever want to hurt you!' he said furiously. 'You force me to it!' 'Oh, of course, milord,' she said, just as furiously. 'I am the cause of all my pain. I even beat myself.' He stepped toward her menacingly, but she stood her ground. 'What? Am I going to beat myself again, milord?' 'You are awfully saucy for a wench who has just been beaten.' He frowned. Her eyes grew larger. 'Norman bastard! If I were a man I would kill you!'” Rowland's not the only one who catches Brigitte's ire. When catty ladies call Brigitte a bitch, she gives it right back: Brigitte laughed humorlessly. “Well, perhaps a bitch is what I am, but of the two of us, you are the whore. I have heard the gossip about you, and surely Rowland has, too.” Rowland denies to himself how cruel he was to Brigitte, but in the end, he realizes what a jerk he was, and tries to become a changed man because he realizes he's finally in love. “'What do you want to hear from me? That I could not bear to see you go? That if you are not near me I feel as if a part of myself is gone? I am a man of war, Brigitte. I know nothing of tender words. So do not expect them from me.' 'You just said them, Rowland,' she whispered softly." If this kind of stuff melts your twisted heart, regardless of how dickish the hero's been, then you might like this un-PC old school "romance": "But there was a rage in him that fought to be released, the rage of a little boy begging for love, the rage of a little boy beaten, scorned, humiliated cruelly. All of it, his rage reminded him, need not have been." I'm twisted. And have bad taste, so I like this sort of thing. 4 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Azet

    The blistering Epic Love-Tale about the hardened and fear-less Warrior Rowland of Montville who will mistake the Golden-haired and stubborn Lady Brigitte of Louroux for a slave, and he will take her away on a unforgettable journey where they both will find the rapture in falling irrevocably in love with each other. Johanna Lindsey writes in a addictive way of her own where she drowns you into the historical medieval world and simply enchants you with her intriguing characters.Plot is simply amazi The blistering Epic Love-Tale about the hardened and fear-less Warrior Rowland of Montville who will mistake the Golden-haired and stubborn Lady Brigitte of Louroux for a slave, and he will take her away on a unforgettable journey where they both will find the rapture in falling irrevocably in love with each other. Johanna Lindsey writes in a addictive way of her own where she drowns you into the historical medieval world and simply enchants you with her intriguing characters.Plot is simply amazing with it`s intrigue of hidden secrets that presents you to a shocking twist you could never imagine, ferocious rivals willing to stab your back at any minute, bitter and disgusting family members that has hurt our hero and heroine,final intense battle at the end...and the romance between Rowland and Brigitte was Oh So simply severe and sincere. They are both characters to die for and i simply rooted for their love that are also based on so many misunderstandings..and in the end they will give up their pride for it, as they simply know they can`t live without each other. Knowing that he didn`t start out right with her,Rowland decides to woo her and it was a beautiful journey to watch. He craved her attention and acceptance of him-AND he was willing to change for her-this hardened man with a black heart..but ah how i love it! This is romance after all.! The ending made me cry of improbable happiness...!!! His voice was tender. "But you are my stubborn witch. Mine!" He held her very close to him. "And they are mine, a boy and a girl, two jewels from my little jewel. What a wonder you are! And how I love you, lady. Oh, God, how I love you! I will never let you go." -Rowland to Brigitte

  4. 4 out of 5

    KatieV

    This seems to be a love it/hate it type of book. I loved it! Rowland had a vulnerability that sets him apart from the typical bodice-ripper alpha. ***Spoilers**** He does rape her once, but it's not brutal or described in detail. He doesn't intend to hurt her, he just thinks it is his right since she's supposedly his slave. Right? No, of course not, but in historical context it is accurate. He believed she was his property and he intended to look after her and protect her. He didn't really underst This seems to be a love it/hate it type of book. I loved it! Rowland had a vulnerability that sets him apart from the typical bodice-ripper alpha. ***Spoilers**** He does rape her once, but it's not brutal or described in detail. He doesn't intend to hurt her, he just thinks it is his right since she's supposedly his slave. Right? No, of course not, but in historical context it is accurate. He believed she was his property and he intended to look after her and protect her. He didn't really understand what her problem was with yielding to him, which was kinda funny at times. After the initial rape, though, he decides he wants to see her smile at him and doesn't want to have to force her. So, he tries to be more gentle and patient with her. He courts her even though he believes she's just a servant. I found it endearing because Rowland was basically a brute who had never been to court or had much experience with "ladies". He was really out of his depth and so dense at times. There was one scene where she steals a horse & runs away and he finds her and strikes her twice with his belt before realizing he can't stand to hurt her. Normally that would really bother me, but I can see where he was conflicted. He warned her that was what would happen and any other slave would have probably been stripped and flogged without question. Again, historical context. I do not feel Brigitte was actually hurt. She was afraid, appalled, and not used to such treatment, but she didn't have scars, marks, etc. Rowland is even accused by his nasty stepmother of coddling Brigitte, because it is obvious she's unharmed and he's more concerned with assuring her everything is okay and she is safe/forgiven than punishing her for stealing a horse (apparently a death worthy offense). At some point he begins to suspect that she really is the lady she claims to be, but doesn't want to face that fact. He evens breaks a promise to her to checkout her claim, because he knows deep down she's telling the truth and he is afraid to lose her (just as his father is afraid the truth of his birth will make him lose Rowland). I was able to forgive Rowland his deception because he had never known any love or tenderness and was so afraid of losing her. He did make a lot of stupid moves because he was used to using brute force and taking what he wanted. He also did not believe that a lady would want him, so it was safer for him to live in denial with Brigitte as a 'slave'. However, I think if it had never come out that she was a lady, he would have lived happily faithful with her for the rest of his life anyway. He didn't need her to be a lady to love her or find her acceptable. I believe he would have ended up marrying her one way or the other.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Miss Fifi

    3.633 Nottttttttt-Enoughhhhhhhh-Babe! Stars *no idiots were killed during the writing of this review* well...well... since my reviewing skill is so low that it drops off the scale altogether, am gonna make this review pretty not short just to add another stuff to my worst-review-ever resume, so just bear with me (and my luggage of nonsense).. The heroine, Miss Bri-something was stupid. The hero, Sir Rowland was just as stupid. Her step Aunt, D-something was stupid too. His father, Luthor was almost ju 3.633 Nottttttttt-Enoughhhhhhhh-Babe! Stars *no idiots were killed during the writing of this review* well...well... since my reviewing skill is so low that it drops off the scale altogether, am gonna make this review pretty not short just to add another stuff to my worst-review-ever resume, so just bear with me (and my luggage of nonsense).. The heroine, Miss Bri-something was stupid. The hero, Sir Rowland was just as stupid. Her step Aunt, D-something was stupid too. His father, Luthor was almost just as stupid. Her brother, Sir Quantin was twice as stupid. Woff, the dog was kinda stupid too but he was a dog, so he's forgiven. My UnLogic Reasons: The heroine could have fought back when she was being mistreated by her aunt but instead of doing that she went all tstl and cried herself to sleep and worked herself to death. (and simply drowned herself in her own stupidity.) The hero insisted on believing a stranger's words which he had known for like five minutes instead of trusting the girl he had spent nights with! It would be kinda believable if nobody tries to explain it to him, but thats not fucking the case!! The D-something bitch was kinda stupid for lying, torturing people, acting haughty, poisoning and doing other bad things without getting caught when she has got like millions of people (who hate her guts) witnessing her stupid deeds. Seriously hun? At least fucking do them in secret! I bet if I decided to pour some poison into her drink IN FRONT OF HER and DENY ever doing it, she would drink it right away thanks to her stupid way of thinking : Lie, Deny, Pretend = People will just believe. The stupid Quantin trusted that bitch over his millions loyal servants. Enough. Said. Luthor the poor guy couldn't have a son. So he stole someone's son, from a town or sth over. Seriously? Just fucking do a fucking adoption will you?!!!!! Woff was stupid because......he got infected by others' stupidity! Stupidity is in the air peeps!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zeek

    One of my least favorite of JL’s oldies, I still consider it just okay. Brigette is forced to live as a scullery because her half brothers Aunt who has come to live in their household while her brother is away at war, has convinced everyone that is where she belongs. Practically living as a captive in her own home, the French heiress has little recourse but to attempt to run. When Rowland of Mountville happens upon what he believes is a peasant girl on his path to repay a debt to a gentleman who s One of my least favorite of JL’s oldies, I still consider it just okay. Brigette is forced to live as a scullery because her half brothers Aunt who has come to live in their household while her brother is away at war, has convinced everyone that is where she belongs. Practically living as a captive in her own home, the French heiress has little recourse but to attempt to run. When Rowland of Mountville happens upon what he believes is a peasant girl on his path to repay a debt to a gentleman who saved his life, he does as he’s always done- what he was raised to do. Take what he wants and damn the consequences. Forced together because of lies and an unfortunate incident exacerbated by her Aunt's lies, Rowland stubbornly refuses to believe she is anything more than what she appears to be. Because of love she begins to feel for him, she will overlook that...until she finds he’s lying to her as well. Okay, this one’s a toughie. Rowland was raised by a brutish father, so he’s a bit of brute to at the beginning of the story, though his sense of justice shines through even all that. The beginning of their relationship is fraught with misunderstanding and one would say he forced her thru their first time together, but mostly because both were out of the minds- one with drink and one with pain. She definitely changes him and her determination to keep her nobility even when everyone tries to make her into something else, endears her to the reader. And even though Rowland stubbornly refused to believe her, I *almost* forgave him, because he did it out of fear of losing her. *almost* The slight twist at the end concerning Rowland made me want another story from this family, altho I don’t think JL ever went there. (Maybe I’m wrong?) Still, meh. I don’t think I ever have to re-read it again. (I did it mostly because I hadn’t remembered it. Now I will.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jena

    re-read 2021 - 5 ⭐️ and still one of my favs from Johanna Lindsey, THE Queen of epic bodice ripper romance. I love that none of her books have any sort of cheating in them. No cheating Bodice rapey- not pc.

  8. 4 out of 5

    i r e n e

    Not as scandalous as one might hope, considering the hero believes the heroine to be his serf, but a fun story nevertheless. There is chemistry between Brigitte and Rowland but I wouldn’t consider this a steamy medieval read. Go for Brenda Joyce’s The Conqueror for that. Picked this up because Rowland seemed like he would be an a-hole hero, but he reminded me of the hero in Mary Jo Putney’s Uncommon Vows - he takes the heroine away from her home, under an initial misunderstanding, but decides to Not as scandalous as one might hope, considering the hero believes the heroine to be his serf, but a fun story nevertheless. There is chemistry between Brigitte and Rowland but I wouldn’t consider this a steamy medieval read. Go for Brenda Joyce’s The Conqueror for that. Picked this up because Rowland seemed like he would be an a-hole hero, but he reminded me of the hero in Mary Jo Putney’s Uncommon Vows - he takes the heroine away from her home, under an initial misunderstanding, but decides to keep her even when there is no real reason to. Reading this you may think he'd be an a-hole, but he sounds worse than he actually is. Unlike Putney’s Uncommon Vows, our heroine, Brigitte, quickly falls in love with her captor and, at one point, convinces herself to give up on reclaiming her identity because it would mean separation from Rowland. That scene where she lies to Gui to break off the duel - OMG I was dying. I was so glad that Gui (view spoiler)[ knew she was lying. (hide spoiler)] There are pivotal moments that show Brigitte’s true feelings for Rowland, and also the sacrifices that she makes to be with him, but I just couldn’t get down with the fact that Brigitte would not only accept her demoted station in life, but her very identity, because of Love. Also, the reasons that kept both of them wanting to hold onto this illusion were very weak. Even if Rowland was scared of the repercussions of his actions, and Brigitte was scared of parting from him once her identity was discovered, do they both not realize that they would have been able to easily marry once it was all cleared up? More so than between lord and serf? One thing that did surprise me in the story was the domestic violence. Like, everyone was beaten. Brigitte. Rowland. Rowland’s stepmother. Rowland was beaten by his stepmother and stepsisters then when he was old enough to fend them back, he was picked on by his peers and his father. Rowland also beat Brigitte. It wasn’t an extended episode or even a repeated occurrence. It was two lashes with his belt on her back. She wears a winter coat, and he is disgusted with himself. However, he had many threats about hitting her before this happened. There were like, casual instances of domestic violence peppered throughout the story, most often in the form of casual threats by men. That's not something I want to read - scared heroines who are quiet and get in line because they don't want to be hit by the hero. Brigitte reminded me, at times, of the heroine in Kathleen E. Woodiwess’s The Flame and the Flower because she was so scared of Rowland at times. Overall, this was captivating to read from start to finish. Roger made a great villain. Can’t wait to read more by Lindsey.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Noelle

    "So Speaks The Heart" reminded me of why I love the older Johanna Lindsey books. It takes place in France A.D. 972 and she does a great job in her discriptions of the castle, keep , the knights and the serfs. I felt like I had a really nice mental holliday. I loved the mistaken i.d. theme. The H belives the h is a serf and was given to him by her wicked aunt but she is really a lady. With no way to prove otherwise and needing to excape her aunt, she goes with the with him. The scenes where she h "So Speaks The Heart" reminded me of why I love the older Johanna Lindsey books. It takes place in France A.D. 972 and she does a great job in her discriptions of the castle, keep , the knights and the serfs. I felt like I had a really nice mental holliday. I loved the mistaken i.d. theme. The H belives the h is a serf and was given to him by her wicked aunt but she is really a lady. With no way to prove otherwise and needing to excape her aunt, she goes with the with him. The scenes where she has to serve him and take care of him as a serf would do was fun to read, and the twist at the end with the H's family was really good too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This waste of Amazonian forest was not only awful, nonsensical and so bad it remained forever bad, but also exhaustingly, thunderously boring. One could not even seek refuge in the blessings of trashy imagery; evil females stripping the heroine bare to have her creamy flesh flayed, ancient Counts with BDSM chambers (this sadly is only alluded to, we never get an invite to said Count's vices), or amuse oneself with the ridiculous modes of address, the dialogues, the rudimentary character sketches This waste of Amazonian forest was not only awful, nonsensical and so bad it remained forever bad, but also exhaustingly, thunderously boring. One could not even seek refuge in the blessings of trashy imagery; evil females stripping the heroine bare to have her creamy flesh flayed, ancient Counts with BDSM chambers (this sadly is only alluded to, we never get an invite to said Count's vices), or amuse oneself with the ridiculous modes of address, the dialogues, the rudimentary character sketches that never make it to the level of rudimentary character sketches, and the swift transportation of the heroine from one place to an other (not bad for a girl who is, we are told, a prisoner who cannot escape -she constantly does, btw) by some spectacular plot salti mortali assurdi (so much so, you'd think there are pages missing in between chapters). Given all the above, it'll be pointless to dwell on whether any of the demands of semblance are met, or try to assess the writer's ability to convey a 10th c. world (French, Norman or otherwise) feeling. The book never reaches the level where the need to address the requirement that a world be built, a world in which to place the romance, ever arises. I also fear my ears are badly damaged by the constant bickering, the trivial patter, the whining idiocy of the exhausting, zero-dimensional MCs. There was a point, rather early on in the book, where I wanted some knave to run them through with his sword (this happens to the hero twice, but like Lazarus he keeps coming back). As for plot twists, what can one say other than they were obviously made up as the constipated writing chugged along the path it failed to map. In a terrible mess such as this the only saving grace would have been an interesting, or even remotely engaging, romance. Well, you won't find it in here, and there are no purple prose sex scenes to reward the effort of reading this book to the end either. I must say that I am shocked at the high ratings this book enjoys (and coming from good, astute and worthy reviewers of HRs too). I can only say that I found it truly awful and I'm glad it is over and binned for good. Now, I can only hope that it'll also be swiftly forgotten and won't leave some lingering sulfurous smell behind.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    This is one of those stories where I just didn't think the heroine ever did enough to help herself. She starts the story virtually the slave of her evil, greedy aunt. Auntie Druoda (what a name!) is trying to break her spirit and make her go along with a scheme to sell her in marriage to a creepy rich neighbor who likes to hurt women. Briggitte escapes her aunt, only to run into the "hero," Rowland, who decides to take her into custody--and he just happens to be heading back to her home, where e This is one of those stories where I just didn't think the heroine ever did enough to help herself. She starts the story virtually the slave of her evil, greedy aunt. Auntie Druoda (what a name!) is trying to break her spirit and make her go along with a scheme to sell her in marriage to a creepy rich neighbor who likes to hurt women. Briggitte escapes her aunt, only to run into the "hero," Rowland, who decides to take her into custody--and he just happens to be heading back to her home, where evil Druoda waits. OK, she's wearing rags, so he assumes she's an escaped serf. She never even TRIES to make him understand why she's running away. If at ANY point in the first several chapters she had made ANY effort to explain her situation to him, a lot of misery could be avoided. All she'd ever have to do is mention her brother, and that would wake the hero up to the truth. He, meanwhile, is basically TSTL throughout the entire story. He doesn't much like or trust women, so he's not inclined to believe the heroine--but for some reason, he DOES believe Druoda who tells him Briggitte is a serf who gets above herself and pretends to be a lady. And for some reason, he asks Briggitte for her word more than once, and is happy to accept it when she gives it, but he refuses to believe her when she tries to correct his misconception. FINALLY there comes a point where he admits she might be telling the truth and that he doesn't WANT to believe because then he'd have to do the right thing by her instead of keeping her as a slave and using her without benefit of marriage. Ugh. What a guy. It's an OK story. Just OK.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sue Lyndon

    This novel started out a little rough for me because I was a taken aback by Rowland's inital treatment of Bridgette. But considering the horrible childhood Rowland had, it was a wonder he didn't behave even worse than he did. Really, it was a wonder he didn't just leave Bridgette to be stoned to death by her aunt at the beginning. Bridgette challenged Rowland from the start and tried several times to escape, but he wss never as brutal with her as I expected him to be in these instances. Rowland, This novel started out a little rough for me because I was a taken aback by Rowland's inital treatment of Bridgette. But considering the horrible childhood Rowland had, it was a wonder he didn't behave even worse than he did. Really, it was a wonder he didn't just leave Bridgette to be stoned to death by her aunt at the beginning. Bridgette challenged Rowland from the start and tried several times to escape, but he wss never as brutal with her as I expected him to be in these instances. Rowland, who never before thought he'd desire marriage or having just one woman, becomes so attached to Bridgette that he can't imagine letting her go. This blinds him to the fact that she is actually a lady as she claims - instead of a servant. In fact, it takes a whole army to show up as his fief to believe she's the lady she's been claiming to be all along. Bridgette is able to forgive him for the pain he's caused her, over and over again. She is troubled by the truth of his childhood and aches for the little boy who knew no love. She even cares enough to help him discover his true identity and force him to face it down. When they are separated for months right before the conclusion, it seems that too much time has passed for Bridgette to forgive Rowland's absence. But Rowland risks imprisionment by Bridgette's brother to finally come after her a second time. Her anger towards him is so strong, she lies and says she feels nothing for him - but with the help of her brother she realizes she still loves him. The end of this novel is actually very beautiful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Everyone loves a Lindsey! I am certainly no exception. This book in particular holds a special place in my heart as it was the very first historical romance I ever read. Up to this book I was reading only contemporary series romances, such as Harlequin, Silhouette and Loveswept. My Aunt Jill lend me this one from her book shelf, and it was all over for me. This was my niche. I read each and every Lindsey novel that had been published to date, and then began the agonizing wait for the next releas Everyone loves a Lindsey! I am certainly no exception. This book in particular holds a special place in my heart as it was the very first historical romance I ever read. Up to this book I was reading only contemporary series romances, such as Harlequin, Silhouette and Loveswept. My Aunt Jill lend me this one from her book shelf, and it was all over for me. This was my niche. I read each and every Lindsey novel that had been published to date, and then began the agonizing wait for the next release. Then the drooling over the hardcover editions I had no way of affording with my papergirl wages (Hey, I was like 13 at the time). Then finally the paperback would be released, and I would buy, devour it in hours and the agonizing would start anew. I can still remember reading, rereading and then re-rereading my books over and over again while waiting for my favorite authors to get with the program, and feed my addiction. I remember the joy of discovering yet one more author that would take precious space on my bookshelves, after all only the greats made my "collection." I still have 97% of all the books, and it makes me so happy to know that I kept them. Especially now that a lot of them are being reprinted, but not with their cover art. The cover art on those books were the stuff of dreams to a pubescent teenager. After writing this I realize it has been years since I last read this one, or anything from my collection case. The hubby is away this weekend, and I'm thinking it would be a great time to catch up with some old friends.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbie DiFiore

    Why did I re-read this? I loved this book years ago when I read it and I should have left it that way. Reading it again was disappointing and a terrible let down. I was so angry at the first 30% of it I didn't want to read on. Drouda, the Aunt, was an evil evil person. Her machinations made me so angry. And then Rowland the hero was dumb as a rock. He believed her when he should have at least thought about it. That was frustrating and the way e treated the heroine was abysmal. I just wanted to th Why did I re-read this? I loved this book years ago when I read it and I should have left it that way. Reading it again was disappointing and a terrible let down. I was so angry at the first 30% of it I didn't want to read on. Drouda, the Aunt, was an evil evil person. Her machinations made me so angry. And then Rowland the hero was dumb as a rock. He believed her when he should have at least thought about it. That was frustrating and the way e treated the heroine was abysmal. I just wanted to throw the book across the room several times. And the ending just didn't do it for me either. More misunderstandings and relative interference. Give me a break. I was ready to just scream. Just too much. I took it down from four stars to three and promised myself I would not re-read another Lindsey ever. Well except for maybe that one about the slave girl, or one of the Mallory's maybe, or.... Oh who am I kidding. I will re-read her again but I hope it leaves a better taste in my mouth because this one was just a little too bitter for me. I really hate stupid people. And Rowland excelled at that.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Levie

    1.5 The whole “you made me rape you because you’re so hot” shtick gets old real fast. But a girl and her loyal dog never does. Less men, more dogs!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Londoncalling

    I only stayed till the end because of the dog. He was a good boy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline J

    What can I say? I've always liked this goofy old book. Of course it wasn't old the first time I read it. :-) What can I say? I've always liked this goofy old book. Of course it wasn't old the first time I read it. :-)

  18. 5 out of 5

    mad4rombks

    Reread May 11, 2016 Re-read June 2018

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary23nm

    (view spoiler)[ So Speaks the Heart was really a "1" for me, but JL is a good author, so I gave it a 2. I did not like most of the book but the ending was okay. The hero was a complete jerk, the heroine caved to his masculine moves and only some of the evil doers received justice. I should have skipped this one. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ So Speaks the Heart was really a "1" for me, but JL is a good author, so I gave it a 2. I did not like most of the book but the ending was okay. The hero was a complete jerk, the heroine caved to his masculine moves and only some of the evil doers received justice. I should have skipped this one. (hide spoiler)]

  20. 4 out of 5

    Su

    When I came to the part (almost at the very end of the book) where the lost tween story was revealed, I finally remembered that I had read this book years ego.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dolce

    4 solid historical romance stars! Ms Lindsey delivers here.... but it took a little too long for my liking. Why make a girl read hours and hours tortured before good stuff happens?!?!?? Clearly I didn’t mind too much.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sm

    ended up staying up way too late to read this (thank goodness for daylight saving time!) story starts in 972, but I didn't think the characters always spoke/acted like they in 972 thankfully, nothing too jarring to disturb the flow, i just got that feeling of, "huh, they talked like that back then?" (like, when she talks about having to cook her dog's food because he's tame and doesn't eat raw food ... hmmm ... interesting) I really hated the aunt and her despicable maid Lindsey does not spare any ended up staying up way too late to read this (thank goodness for daylight saving time!) story starts in 972, but I didn't think the characters always spoke/acted like they in 972 thankfully, nothing too jarring to disturb the flow, i just got that feeling of, "huh, they talked like that back then?" (like, when she talks about having to cook her dog's food because he's tame and doesn't eat raw food ... hmmm ... interesting) I really hated the aunt and her despicable maid Lindsey does not spare any pain for the main characters - he seems to be getting stabbed or knocked out, while she's getting beaten (view spoiler)[ at one point, he beats her and I thought that was probably going a little too far (hide spoiler)] I liked that she cried a lot (well, not really), but didn't become annoying (and this was the saving grace) - she didn't mind getting dirty and doing menial work. she was a survivor and kept trying to get away, even if it was probably the stupid thing to do, but at least she was focused on her freedom (view spoiler)[ her poor brother does not seem to have any luck, pretty much getting seriously injured every time he tries to be heroic. although, when he comes for her with a big french army? YEAH!! that's the stuff!!!! it seemed to make up for all the crap she had to put up with. like, hey, people think you're really precious, so they're gonna bring out the big guns to rescue you! (hide spoiler)] there's so much going on in this story (view spoiler)[ the evil stepmother and stepsisters who beat Rowland as he was growing up the other kids who beat Rowland his father who beat Rowland two random dudes try to kidnap brigitte and, in the process, beat Rowland and he lands on his sword (unfortunate) so much unnecessary beating! the evil half-aunt trying to take over the property when brigitte's brother is feared dead - it was annoying that she told all these lies and Rowland believed her - even when everyone else around him were all, "uh, dude, pretty sure she's an actual lady ..." - and didn't falter in his belief that brigitte's a lying liar until her brother shows up - the thing that made this okay was the fact that he needed to continue believing the lie for the way he's treated her and then just wanting to keep her with him - thankfully, lines like this made up for a lot of his lesser qualities, "You are every man's dream, but only one man's treasure - mine. I will not stay away from you." brigitte forced into servitude brigitte nearly being forced to marry some awful old dude with an evil daughter who likely killed all her stepmothers Rowland promises her, after she attempts a getaway, that he'll send a messenger to her liege, but then reneges - she becomes happier, but then super sad when she finds out he lied and didn't, in fact, send the messenger Rowland's horse goes nuts because horrid evil stepmother studded the underside of its saddle so it got all bloody when Rowland sat his big fat behind on it - poor horsey! such caricatures of mwuahaha evil characters! turns out Rowland's actually a twin who was stolen when he was but a babe and his twin and parents have missed him terribly and love him dearly it was sweet when brigitte says she was glad stupid roger kissed her because his kiss did not move her, like Rowland's - liked that she spoke her mind and didn't hide things brigitte's brother is alive Rowland's bully and the bully's brother (also a bully) who married one of Rowland's stepsisters end up killing his "father", but Rowland manages to kill both (or maybe just the one - who, again, attacked from the back like the coward he was) poor Luthor, Rowland's "father", lost his first love and ended up with only girls from his shrew of a wife. he ends up stealing Rowland because he was a twin - surely, the family could spare one since Luthor had none (poor deluded man) loved that Rowland kept chasing after brigitte, the times she ran away, and he came for her when her brother took her back, and he came back for her again after her brother sent him away - though i thought it was a little silly that he thinks to leave for good when she turns him down and she has to chase him at the end, took me a little out of the romance at one point, he asks her if she loves him even though he admits to himself that he's not even sure if HE loves HER, "he knew nothing of it. But he knew he wanted Brigitte's love." thought Rowland spends a little too long under the misguided impression that Brigitte's a liar and she and Quintin are a thing when they're actually brother-sister it was very sweet that they end up having twins - boy and girl (hide spoiler)]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Janey

    I never thought I would read a book that would make me feels feel so many different ranges of emotions, all of them alluding to anger. I felt hate, dislike, disgust, and tbh by the end of the book I was just over everything. The number one thing that got on my nerve wasn't even the hero, but the heroine. She took too much from her aunt first of all, and then she wanted to act all big and bad in front of the hero. Granted she hated him because he rapped her, but oh god did I strongly dislike her. I never thought I would read a book that would make me feels feel so many different ranges of emotions, all of them alluding to anger. I felt hate, dislike, disgust, and tbh by the end of the book I was just over everything. The number one thing that got on my nerve wasn't even the hero, but the heroine. She took too much from her aunt first of all, and then she wanted to act all big and bad in front of the hero. Granted she hated him because he rapped her, but oh god did I strongly dislike her. I love strong heroines in my books, in fact most of the time I look for a heroine who can stand up for herself and fight, but there is a difference between being strong and just being a loud mouth. The heroine's problem is that she spoke too much, and she yelled! all! her! points! SHE also always stopped the hero from several fights, without even understanding what's going on. I'm all for good girl being the only one who can take hero out of his haze, but again too much of it is just plain annoying. You know, I can't tell if I disliked the heroine, or if it was the writing style that made me hate the book. Idk the voices just weren't clicking in my mind, and for some reason, I just imagined everyone SCREAMING! ALL! THE TIME!! And don't even get me started on the "plot twist". I felt like the author pulled that one out of her ass, and tried to incorporate it in the riding, by having like one hint early in the book. I feel like I am focusing my dislike too much on the heroine, but I also hated the hero. Maybe not as much as the heroine but I still disliked him. He was too stubborn for my liking, And her brother was also annoying, like dang boy, have several freaking seats. And I feel like her aunt got away too easy, making me dislike this book even more. Maybe I am just feeling over emotional, especially after a week of horrible books, and being annoyed over not finding the "it" book, but for now this book will stay a 1.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather T

    Get rid of the rape being justified by "but your body wants me," and I would have given this one 3 stars (barely). A dominant man might be nice, but a rapist needs to be stabbed. I'd really get pissed at the author for this one, but I realized it was written in the early 80's and apparently rape was considered sexy then so I'll move on since her more modern stuff doesn't seem to have this theme. Whomever started the idea of a sexy rape scene should be smacked. I can't believe women let authors g Get rid of the rape being justified by "but your body wants me," and I would have given this one 3 stars (barely). A dominant man might be nice, but a rapist needs to be stabbed. I'd really get pissed at the author for this one, but I realized it was written in the early 80's and apparently rape was considered sexy then so I'll move on since her more modern stuff doesn't seem to have this theme. Whomever started the idea of a sexy rape scene should be smacked. I can't believe women let authors get away with this as entertainment. I get that it works for the time period of the book, but it still sends the wrong message out there when these girls fall in love with the man who rapes them. If only my copy had had that cover on it...I'd have been warned that it was a book from the 80's. As for the rest of the book, i liked the second half of the book, but the beginning felt weak to me. At least it picked up, but it needed some substance to sustain it. Edit: Apparently I spoke too soon about the authors later stuff... She's still doing this in the late 90's and I may still find later books if I attempt to read the rest of her catalog. This bothers me because I love some of her stuff and I don't want to miss something good. Maybe I'll have to actually start reading summaries before I check out her books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    my problem with the book stems more from the poor character development, and the lack of any real agency in her characters until the end. And for the big brash knight to suddenly decide he'll be nice for some slave? Unlikely. And his reasons for doing so are not really established. You dont really get a solid feel for either main character. The hero's dad come across as a much clearer and complex person than either of them. I suspect this was her first book, though not the first one published, i my problem with the book stems more from the poor character development, and the lack of any real agency in her characters until the end. And for the big brash knight to suddenly decide he'll be nice for some slave? Unlikely. And his reasons for doing so are not really established. You dont really get a solid feel for either main character. The hero's dad come across as a much clearer and complex person than either of them. I suspect this was her first book, though not the first one published, if you get my drift. Never mind the rape. That's how these books went in those days. It shows a lack of the realities or survivor trauma, but it's fiction. And an argument could be made that rape was more acceptable in that day/age. It's not a great reflection on those times, but it is what it is. And since it's women reading these, one hopes it won't have a negative impact on how men treat women. Maybe on him women let a man treat her.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Flavia Sugnu

    Now this is the type of book that makes Johanna's name a well respected historical romance author. I think that me saying I go over this book many times a year even though I remember and know everything that happens, speaks for itself, does it not.?. Now this is the type of book that makes Johanna's name a well respected historical romance author. I think that me saying I go over this book many times a year even though I remember and know everything that happens, speaks for itself, does it not.?.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    3.5 rating, it was good for a medieval tale, had a few good twists. But left important threads dangling a bit. I find I need justice served not just implied. Happened more than once. Not bad but not great.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    4 Stars

  29. 4 out of 5

    DD

    I have never read historical fiction. I know nothing about this genre and previously had no interest in it. But oddly enough it was an episode of The Nanny, where they talked about these types of books, that piqued my interest. Based on reviews of classic bodice rippers, I found them to be mixed and had very low expectations going in. And I thought going from reading pretty much only modern NA books, this would seem barbaric and I would almost immediately put it down. But I also love shows like I have never read historical fiction. I know nothing about this genre and previously had no interest in it. But oddly enough it was an episode of The Nanny, where they talked about these types of books, that piqued my interest. Based on reviews of classic bodice rippers, I found them to be mixed and had very low expectations going in. And I thought going from reading pretty much only modern NA books, this would seem barbaric and I would almost immediately put it down. But I also love shows like Reign and Outlander that are about with historical times so I thought I’d try something new. I chose this book because the synopsis interested me, the reviews weren’t horrible, and it wasn’t as long as some others in this category. Also, I thought reading one from such a well-known and classic author was something unique. What I found surprised me. I couldn’t put this one down. It was definitely different. Very different from what I normally like to read. The writing style, the setting, the characters, dialogue, and actions were so different from modern times but that’s the point. I didn’t understand some of the wording from the times but it wasn’t a big problem, the story still made sense. Obviously it’s in stark contrast to how women are treated today, but Brigitte is still a strong character and for the time, isn’t a doormat. She’s actually a fighter and it was funny to read how much she fought Rowland. The romance between the two is something very special and sweet to read. The book kept moving very well. Always drawing focus back to Rowland and Brigitte. It’s hard to explain, the book was slow moving, and took awhile to unfold, yet there was always something happening. There wasn’t a lot of unnecessary writing. There was the romance as the main plot, but there was also such interesting stories surrounding the romance. It was exciting and addictive. The only things missing for me was a little more steam. And maybe a little more emotion. I so easily stick to the same genre of book to read because I usually know what to expect. This book taught me why it’s good to venture out. I felt like I went on an adventure. I felt like I watched a whole season of one of my favorite shows within one book. This book has definitely opened me up to the world of historical romance. I can’t wait to read more from Johanna Lindsey and others like her. Also, I couldn’t help but picture a young Charlie Hunnam as Rowland.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nessa

    A SOLID 3.5 STARS! THIS WAS LIKE A TYPICAL CLASSIC BODICE RIPPER WITH THE STEREOTYPICAL ARROGANT, DISREGADING HERO AND CLOSE TO HYSTERICAL HEROINE. HERO owed a debt to Brigitte's brother for being saved once and granted Quintin his wish to let his sister that he isn't dead. When Rowland reaches the manor, he mistook the aunt for the sister and everything went downhill from there, or perhaps I should say our story begins. Rowland is a man of pride and as a warrior, he's harsh with words and knows l A SOLID 3.5 STARS! THIS WAS LIKE A TYPICAL CLASSIC BODICE RIPPER WITH THE STEREOTYPICAL ARROGANT, DISREGADING HERO AND CLOSE TO HYSTERICAL HEROINE. HERO owed a debt to Brigitte's brother for being saved once and granted Quintin his wish to let his sister that he isn't dead. When Rowland reaches the manor, he mistook the aunt for the sister and everything went downhill from there, or perhaps I should say our story begins. Rowland is a man of pride and as a warrior, he's harsh with words and knows little of emotional dealings such as wooing a woman. To him, a woman is as good a lay as any other. When he was saddled with Brigitte, he reluctantly takes her in as his 'squire' and takes her home to his father's seat. While they deal with the everyday ongoings of what you can expect of people in that era, Rowland falls quickly for the bewitching beauty but never once did he believed her to be a Lady. During their time together, he has to deal with Brigitte running away from him twice, and twice he refuses to let her go. The first time, he won her body. The second time, he discovered the truth of his parentage. I totally didn't see that one coming. HEROINE was a pampered lady of breeding who believed her brother dead. Living under the cursed thumb of her power hungry aunt, the damned woman manipulated events to her desire and got rid of Brigitte after everyone believed that Rowland had stolen her virginity. Seeing Rowland as her ticket away from her aunt, Brigitte allows him to take her away and tried to runaway, only to be caught. Her relationship with Rowland is VOLATILE, as you can expect from a bodice ripper. She's often being hysterical or cock-teasing him in some way. My only comfort was that at least there were times when she capitulated and acted like a normal woman in love with a sense of rationality. OVERALL there were moments you would dislike, since it's a MUST for a bodice ripper novel and then there were the tender moments that changes your bad opinion of the story. While not my first JL book, Fires of Winter is and always be my favorite. It's probably cause I'm biased since I read it during my teenage days and got awestruck by it. Although grown up, I know better that THAT'S not the way a 21st century woman should be treated at all....or any woman in fact.

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