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Awaken the Sleeping Heart

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AN ANCIENT PROMISE OF MARRIAGE, A WEALTHY WIDOW STOLEN BY A POOR KNIGHT, AND A KING DETERMINED TO KEEP THEM APART Stephen de Brazdifer sails from Ireland for England, seeking the bride promised to him by an ancient royal writ. But he’s too late. King John has already claimed the rich widow as his royal ward, wanting to cheat a man he dislikes, and keep her wealth for hims AN ANCIENT PROMISE OF MARRIAGE, A WEALTHY WIDOW STOLEN BY A POOR KNIGHT, AND A KING DETERMINED TO KEEP THEM APART Stephen de Brazdifer sails from Ireland for England, seeking the bride promised to him by an ancient royal writ. But he’s too late. King John has already claimed the rich widow as his royal ward, wanting to cheat a man he dislikes, and keep her wealth for himself. If Stephen is to have his promised wife, he’ll have to steal her from his monarch. For all her life Cecilia de Gradinton has cursed her wealth and beauty for the freedom they cost her. Now, newly widowed, with all hope of home and happiness gone, she rides toward her new prison under royal escort. But more than one deadly danger stalks her on the road to King John’s court.


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AN ANCIENT PROMISE OF MARRIAGE, A WEALTHY WIDOW STOLEN BY A POOR KNIGHT, AND A KING DETERMINED TO KEEP THEM APART Stephen de Brazdifer sails from Ireland for England, seeking the bride promised to him by an ancient royal writ. But he’s too late. King John has already claimed the rich widow as his royal ward, wanting to cheat a man he dislikes, and keep her wealth for hims AN ANCIENT PROMISE OF MARRIAGE, A WEALTHY WIDOW STOLEN BY A POOR KNIGHT, AND A KING DETERMINED TO KEEP THEM APART Stephen de Brazdifer sails from Ireland for England, seeking the bride promised to him by an ancient royal writ. But he’s too late. King John has already claimed the rich widow as his royal ward, wanting to cheat a man he dislikes, and keep her wealth for himself. If Stephen is to have his promised wife, he’ll have to steal her from his monarch. For all her life Cecilia de Gradinton has cursed her wealth and beauty for the freedom they cost her. Now, newly widowed, with all hope of home and happiness gone, she rides toward her new prison under royal escort. But more than one deadly danger stalks her on the road to King John’s court.

30 review for Awaken the Sleeping Heart

  1. 5 out of 5

    Regan Walker

    4 and ½ Stars - A Strong Knight Claims His Bride Set in 1211, this is the story of Stephen de Brazdifer, who leaves Ireland for England, intent on claiming the bride denied him 15 years ago promised to him by an ancient royal writ. But King John has plans to keep her wealth for himself. So Stephen steals her from the cavalcade transporting her to the king. Newly widowed Cecilia de Gradinton rides with her mother-in-law under royal escort and then they are attacked and Stephen sweeps her away. Aft 4 and ½ Stars - A Strong Knight Claims His Bride Set in 1211, this is the story of Stephen de Brazdifer, who leaves Ireland for England, intent on claiming the bride denied him 15 years ago promised to him by an ancient royal writ. But King John has plans to keep her wealth for himself. So Stephen steals her from the cavalcade transporting her to the king. Newly widowed Cecilia de Gradinton rides with her mother-in-law under royal escort and then they are attacked and Stephen sweeps her away. After Cecilia has only just met Stephen, lust overcomes her and she sleeps with him in the woods. Stephen thinks of her as his wife but she knows nothing of that. She just likes his body. Once she learns he intends to kidnap her, she changes her mind and thinks of him as a “false knight”. Rich in history and detail, this is a tale that will immerse you in the politics of medieval England. Domning has done her research and brings to life the era, including the whims of royalty without honor. Stephen is a knight to admire: strong and courageous and determined to have what belongs to him. Cecilia is more wavering, at one point deciding to hate him and then quickly deciding he’s the husband for her. A tale recommended for those who enjoy a slower pace and lots of historical detail.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

    Continuing the tales of the family of Lord Graistan, this novel follows Cecilia, daughter of Geoffrey, Lord Coudray. Set in the reign of King John, this novel drives home how little control women had over their own lives during this period of history. And yet the women we see show how they use subtlety and wits to take control in their own way. Cecelia, her mother-in-law Gundberga and the Countess of Pembroke all show skill in using intelligence, modesty and calmness as the weapons of choice for Continuing the tales of the family of Lord Graistan, this novel follows Cecilia, daughter of Geoffrey, Lord Coudray. Set in the reign of King John, this novel drives home how little control women had over their own lives during this period of history. And yet the women we see show how they use subtlety and wits to take control in their own way. Cecelia, her mother-in-law Gundberga and the Countess of Pembroke all show skill in using intelligence, modesty and calmness as the weapons of choice for women. This tale is far more political than any of the other books in this series. Towards the end of the book, the characters compare the game they are forced to play with their conniving monarch to a chess game and they're not far wrong. It's a game of strategy, with each side plotting ahead to make sure they stay several steps ahead of their opponent. I enjoyed this a lot and although the hero and heroine predictably fall in love with each other, the romance doesn't overpower the peril and intrigue they face as they try to get their happy ending. It was also lovely to encounter old friends in this book with many of Cecelia's kin putting in an appearance in this novel. I'm leaving Graistan behind now, but I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this family and their trials, tribulations and triumphs.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Echols

    Romance and Intrigue Not only was this a great romance story, but it was one of the best crafted intrigue novels I have read. In an era where women were supposedly helpless pawns of the men in their family, the author brought out how this heroin had learned to use manipulation and a form of subterfuge to get what she wanted from powerful men. Excellent characterization. A novel that leaves you with the sense of the political games played between the nobility and the monarchy . I definitely recomm Romance and Intrigue Not only was this a great romance story, but it was one of the best crafted intrigue novels I have read. In an era where women were supposedly helpless pawns of the men in their family, the author brought out how this heroin had learned to use manipulation and a form of subterfuge to get what she wanted from powerful men. Excellent characterization. A novel that leaves you with the sense of the political games played between the nobility and the monarchy . I definitely recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    It's Not A Bodice Ripper It's not bad, but every truly good opportunity for real tension isn't exploited, leaving it a bit like oatmeal without any toppings. It will do it you're really hungry.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Johnston

    It seems everything set in this era has a heroine who's some ridiculously modern woman who's not believable or helpless chattel with little brain power. I don't know which infuriates me more, but this was blessedly neither. This was a woman who knew how to work with what she had--well, despite being chattel--and even taught her man a few things in the process. Helped that he wasn’t the usual brutish clod and we didn't have to suffer through stupid assumptions and that tired shtick of pretending It seems everything set in this era has a heroine who's some ridiculously modern woman who's not believable or helpless chattel with little brain power. I don't know which infuriates me more, but this was blessedly neither. This was a woman who knew how to work with what she had--well, despite being chattel--and even taught her man a few things in the process. Helped that he wasn’t the usual brutish clod and we didn't have to suffer through stupid assumptions and that tired shtick of pretending they couldn't connect for 90% of the story. Lots of intrigue, nice details, characters that were capable of thinking and changing their minds, and a good dose of how court intrigue worked. Pleasantly surprised by this freebie.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nanci

    Couldn't put it down, read it in one sitting! I enjoy reading Domnings books. I find myself in the place and time - in this case during the reign of King John oh England - that she uses for her stories. The characters are well-drawn and interesting. The plot moves well. Over time I have read books that I was able to get free on my Kindle by Donning that were apparently written some time ago. This book, Awaken the Sleeping Heart, is new. The characters are complex and subtle which is necessary for Couldn't put it down, read it in one sitting! I enjoy reading Domnings books. I find myself in the place and time - in this case during the reign of King John oh England - that she uses for her stories. The characters are well-drawn and interesting. The plot moves well. Over time I have read books that I was able to get free on my Kindle by Donning that were apparently written some time ago. This book, Awaken the Sleeping Heart, is new. The characters are complex and subtle which is necessary for nobles playing in the court of King John, a master gamesman playing with the lives and fortunes of his nobility.I

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A fun read with good character development. I particularly liked both the hero and heroine, they are both reasonable and not ridiculously stubborn which some lesser authors use as a plot device, and which has increasingly begun to get on my nerves. (Seriously, I'm so tired of "this heroine is supposed to be strong, so let's make her stubborn to the point of stupidity, unreasonableness, and self-detriment.") The hero also doesn't treat her like garbage trying to be all alpha male; he actually lis A fun read with good character development. I particularly liked both the hero and heroine, they are both reasonable and not ridiculously stubborn which some lesser authors use as a plot device, and which has increasingly begun to get on my nerves. (Seriously, I'm so tired of "this heroine is supposed to be strong, so let's make her stubborn to the point of stupidity, unreasonableness, and self-detriment.") The hero also doesn't treat her like garbage trying to be all alpha male; he actually listens to her, takes her good advice, and admires her intelligence. Then again, I would expect no less from Denise Domning.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jill M

    Man, this book was too much faux chess game and not enough romance for me. While I appreciate the author's seemingly vast knowledge of the Middle Ages, I found this book to be a trial to get through. The premise of the story was good, but there was not enough backstory in the beginning, and the ending devolved into a corny chess game scenario. I actually felt stupid reading this because the characters seemed so intelligent that they needed to be in a James Bond movie. There were too many descriptio Man, this book was too much faux chess game and not enough romance for me. While I appreciate the author's seemingly vast knowledge of the Middle Ages, I found this book to be a trial to get through. The premise of the story was good, but there was not enough backstory in the beginning, and the ending devolved into a corny chess game scenario. I actually felt stupid reading this because the characters seemed so intelligent that they needed to be in a James Bond movie. There were too many descriptions of attire, which I felt distracted from the tale. There were appearances from characters in her former Seasons series, and while it was nice to re-visit them, they did not seem as cool as in their initial stories.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I enjoyed every moment of this adventure. Cecilia's strength and courage show though in this story. I liked the romance. Denise Domning has a flair for writing this type of story. Very well done, Denise. If you like romance and adventure, this is the dead for you. I end eve moment of this adventure. Devil's strength and courage show though in this story. I liked the romance. Denise Domning has a flair for writing this type of story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda Rea

    From long ago days of knights and kings this story focuses on Cecilia and Steven. Cecilia was promised to Steven but was gifted to another when he died and the king decided to keep her for his own, but Steven intercepted and kidnapped Cecilia. Now word has gotten to the king and even though Steven has a paper claiming so the king is out for blood. I loved Cecilia’s whimsical side and Steven’s steadfastness to keep her grounded.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Awaken the Sleeping Heart Stephen fought and never gave up for his bride that was promised to him as a young child. Cecelia having had a mad woman for a mother locked herself in her home not even knowing of the promise from their king for her to be Steven’s bride, and being given to another until his passing. Through fighting, hardships, wars and even coming head to head with their new king they find a way to wed To beat their king and to live happily ever after

  12. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    A broken promise Politics is the basis of a deadly game for a young man to claim the woman who has been promised as his wife. Now he must have the backing of two families and the church to thwart King John and win the woman he loves. Lots of background on the politics of the time and an inevitable love story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    TJW

    Love, Love, Love These Books I cannot say enough good stuff about Domning's books. She researches the time period well and her characters are so realistic that you feel like they must have truly lived. I keep getting an urge to look them up in a history book. Set in medieval Britain, the plots seem not only possible, but probable. Plus, you get a lovely romance on top of it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Royal Deceit, Intrigue and Happily Ever After Loved Stephen and Cecilia of Coudray's story of kidnapping, stealthy intrigue and Royal jealousy and deceit which leads them to their victory and their HEA. Denise Domning is an incomparable talent! Strongly recommend all her books!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

    Exceptional!! Here it is, after midnight. I just had to finish this wonderful story that I started reading this afternoon. I loved the characters and the medieval history of the time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janet Griffith

    Great read Looking for a twist and turn story set in a stormy time in history this will keep you interested. Hard to put down

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tonie Stephens

    A Book to get!! This love story is so different from the norm Exceptional vision! I couldn't put it down! I fell in love with it

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I was so happy to realize that this was a Graistan book -- I have loved getting to know this family and I would read any related books! Cute, engaging, interesting, and yes, historical, too!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hammar

    Great dead The book was a page turner. I couldn't put it down. It was full of suspense. You never knew what was going to happen next.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Holly J. Handy

    Great book. I liked the location and the historical references. I liked the drama and the romance. I would recommend this book and author to my friends and family.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    It is a great book to read

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary L McGurk

  23. 5 out of 5

    Voirrey

    Denise Domning has managed to move the Graistan chronicles forward into the next generation smoothly; Cecelia, a young child in the first generation stories, is now a young widow. She is a very believable character,especially considering her childhood history, and I found the lessons on 'court as a game of strategy' and 'how to use modesty effectively' an especially interesting look at the women of the period. I hope we may see more of the Graistans, yet.

  24. 5 out of 5

    martha Garton

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Schmidt

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jillana

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cate

  28. 5 out of 5

    vanessa edwards

  29. 4 out of 5

    Keata

  30. 5 out of 5

    eva mcgann

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