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Need title - medieval? romance heroine presumed dead...

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Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 255
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:00 pm    Post subject: Need title - medieval? romance heroine presumed dead... Reply with quote

Cole North says:
Thanks much for prompting this discussion; all the contributions have been excellent!

I stumbled in here while trying to track down a historical romance novel with this exact denouement. I went through all the titles/authors listed but I don't think the one I'm trying to find has been named. I hope it's all right to tag my request onto yours and provide a description just in case this sounds familiar to anyone. I wish I could remember more details to make it easier/possible to reverse search! As it is, all I'm providing is a spoiler. Sorry but thanks for any help.

It's a medieval historical romance published perhaps ~15 years ago (or earlier) and it left me rather disquieted but every once and awhile parts of the novel flash into my memory and now I want to find it again-- perhaps I would enjoy or understand it more as an adult.

I believe the heroine was Scottish and the hero was a knight/nobleman or Scottish laird. He was cold, cruel, and seemingly heartless and I found it unpleasant reading what the heroine endured from him throughout their 'love story.' (. . . That's probably why I felt disquieted and didn't bother retaining the book, convinced I would never want to read it again).

Towards the novel's conclusion, after the heroine had suffered heartache constantly, she was suddenly forced to flee the castle on horseback, in mortal danger (from the hero's enemies, iirc). I vaguely remember that by fleeing, she may have been trying to protect the hero from those who would use her against him but whatever her motive, she felt compelled to feign her own death so she could finally escape. She smeared blood (from one of the fallen enemies, I believe) onto fragments of her gown caught on the horse's saddle and escaped on foot and hid herself, hoping the enemies would be deceived after tracking the horse into believing she'd already been killed.

Instead, the horse returned to the castle. When the hero and castle guards saw all the blood on the saddle, they became convinced the heroine had been killed. Iirc, the heroine was not able to return immediately and by the time she finally did . . . the hero had descended into a state of total mental instability, literally insane with grief/anguish in the certain belief that he'd lost her.

Does this sound like it could be any of the medieval/historical romances already listed in this discussion . . . or another one you may have encountered? Thanks again!

PS: I seem to remember that there was a title keyword 'Lion' or perhaps 'lion' was part of the hero's noble title/estate name.

It is NOT THE PRIDE OF LIONS by Marsha Canham.

I hope you can help. I would really like this to be found.

Thank you very much in advance.
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Joined: 31 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Need title - medieval? romance heroine presumed dead... Reply with quote

There is a book by Iris Johansen called Lion's Bride that I think is a medieval.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The part where the heroine flees and fake her death (because she thinks she's in danger), and when she comes back the hero is insane with grief, makes me think of Once and Always by McNaught. Could you have mixed two books ?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The OP says that she is sure that the book is set in medieval times so it is NOT Once and Always by Judith McNaugth.

Cole North updated her post with more info:

[Update: I just posted the below on the thread in which I initially described this book] Thanks again for your help! I swear, if/when I find this book again, I will be so excited to reread it and see how closely it compares to my random memories of it!

The other random scenes I recall are even more vague and unhelpful except they make me confident it was definitely a medieval setting:

The H training with his knights in the courtyard and the h watching but trying to hide her interest in the demonstration of his strength and fighting skill (and sweaty, muscular body).

The castle/fortress was miles from any other buildings; the trees had been cleared for the knights/guards to be able to view any coming ambush from enemy forces.

When the heroine does finally return to the castle and the hero's loyal friend or . . . um . . second-in-command (or whatever it would be in medieval castle hierarchy) realizes she had feigned her own death, at first this friend is relieved but then completely irate with the h because of what had happened to the H in her absence (the H really was quite insane with grief and, therefore, weak/ineffective as a nobleman-- totally incapable of any of directing the defense of the castle. etc. The friend found it hard to forgive for disappearing in such a way and making the H endure the crushing pain.

That's about all I remember but, yeah, I'm *sure* it was a medieval romance; I just wish more details would come to me to make the search easier! I so appreciate the long list of suggestions on the other thread you started for me on this title. I've been going through the list and eliminated quite a few titles already but there are still many potential candidates for me to try. I won't give up and thanks again for all your help! Smile

ETA: [again this isn't particularly helpful in the search though it might provide a couple more "search inside the text" keywords] When the h returns, the guards and second-in-command are talking to her outside the gates. It's sunny and hot and she is exhausted, filthy, sweaty, hungry, perhaps recovering from slight wounds, etc. from the days she was hiding and she wants to go inside and eat and get clean. She had not the slightest suspicion of how upset everyone would be-- and couldn't initially believe/understand when the second-in-command detailed the mad/insane grief of the H and warned her that she couldn't just go back inside that they would have to be careful about revealing to the H that she was alive, after all, because he was unstable at that point. And iirc, they sent for him to come outside; that was where the h set about reassuring him (and bringing him back from his madness). I think they went off together outside the fortress. I remember something about it being very bright outside and her reassuring him that she couldn't be a ghost casting a shadow under the glaring sun."
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds in some parts like Hannah Howell's Elfking's Lady.
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