Baron Royce and Nicholaa's book
By Julie Garwood
In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.
In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love ... a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!
Another amazing novel by Julie Garwood. I have no idea what I am going to do when I run out of Julie Garwood's historical novels to read. She compares to no one for me. I wanted to savour The Prize because I know I'm getting low on Garwood historical reads. Unfortunately I fell so hopelessly in love with the characters, I couldn't put the book down.
Nicholaa was adorably delightful, cunning and the poor girl was years ahead of her time in respect to women's rights for that time period. (England 1066) She was a beautiful woman who had no idea just how beautiful she was. Nicholaa was as smart as a whip and made no apologies for it.
Baron Royce was older than Nicholaa. It isn't quite mentioned how much older but you get the impression it has to be 15 yrs or so. He is a well respected warrior with a fair and gentle heart who had never been married and he was pretty much lost in his own world on what marriage was supposed to be. He even referred to "marriage is like a map".
These two were perfect for each other. Nicholaa would make me laugh with all her little prep talks with herself. "I'm going to be a good wife", "I'm going to give him a peaceful life", "I'm going to start obeying him now" and then two seconds later she loses her temper. I loved her contradictions but not as much as I loved Royce's "You are not allowed to weep" or "you are my wife and you will do as I say with no questions", and then he takes the time to explain to her his reason for doing something. Put the two of them together and I was smiling constantly.
The book is called The Prize because it takes the king to battle with 4 different groups of soldiers to finally take over her homeland because Nicholaa is brave, cunning and is a great shot with arrows and slingshots. Royce is the successful warrior of course. The king offers the ledgendary Nicholaa as a prize to any of the warriors who will battle for her. While Royce rides with Nicholaa to London, they become attracted and a bit attached to each other.
When Nicholaa bravely saves the king and queen's niece from a fire the tables get turned and now Nicholaa is now given the prize to marry any of the unmarried warriors of her choice. Nicholaa chooses Royce and then next day they are married.
What I love is that all happens at the beginning of the book and then the rest of the book is their life together and the conflicts they endure and how they fall in love with each other.
My favourite scene was when Nicholaa had planned to get Royce drunk with ale and them promptly ended up drunk herself. There are so many more great scenes in the book but my review would go on forever. Basically, I loved the book.