Tuesday, April 3, 2012

[NOR Review]: "My True Love"

My True Love by Karen Ranney
Publisher: Avon (February 28, 2012) [reprint]
Genre: Historical Romance
Who is this magnificent stranger who comes to her in the night?

Anne Sinclair has been haunted by visions of a handsome black-haired warrior all her life. His face invades her dreams and fills her nights with passionate longing. So the beautiful laird’s daughter leaves her remote Scottish castle, telling no one, to search for the man called Stephen—a man she does not know but who fights in war-torn England, a place she has never seen.

Stephen Harrington, Earl of Langlinais, never expected to rescue this unexplained beauty from the hands of his enemy. And yet, when their eyes first meet, he feels from the depths of his soul that he should know her . . . that he needs to touch her, and keep her by his side forever. For unknown to both of them, they are in the center of a centuries-old love, a love that is about to surpass their wildest dreams.

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Previous Book Related to My True Love:
Click on the cover to buy from BN.com; the title links to the book's page on the author's website.
Book 1: My Beloved

My Review:

When love spans hundreds of miles, across two countries, and connects two lost souls long before they will ever physically meet, you know that something special is in the works. My True Love is truly something special!

The daughter of the laird of Dunniwerth, Anne Sinclair's childhood was a bit hard, though to an outsider they would think she had it all. And in many ways she did—but she wasn't spoiled by it, and her parents taught her to be giving, to be kind, and to be a hard worker. But at times having parents that expected so much from her was hard. It was during times like these that Anne wished for someone to talk to.

One night, when Anne was only 8, she had a vision, and in this vision she clearly saw a young boy, sitting in a castle, hearing the cries of his mother laboring in another room. Soon a woman comes in and tells the boy that his mother has passed on, as well as the babe. Anne watches as this strong boy, so young and yet already so old, breaks down and cries. Touched by the emotions and the connection she feels with this unknown boy, Anne begins to cry ,too. For the rest of her life, she continues to see visions of the boy—always random, always one sided. But as she grows, the boy does too, and by the time she is in her early 20's, she's watched Stephen grow up to become a man. She loves him, yet she's never really met him, and he has no idea she even exists.

When her father begins pushing for her to marry, she decides it is time to take her life into her own hands, and off she goes to find Stephen. Even if a relationship doesn't come out of it, she has to see him, touch him, at least once before she returns home and settles into a life that her parents want her to have.

Stephen, now the earl of his family's castle is intrigued by the stubborn lass that shows up on his grounds. What is it about her that has captured his attention so? She seems to know him, recognized him first thing and knew of his childhood hiding place—is she a witch, to know so such things? He doesn't believe so, but that still doesn't explain the way she acts, nor the words he has caught her saying (such as “I've seen you my whole life”, though they've never met). Regardless, he finds himself starting to care for her, and he wants to protect her, to get out of the trouble he is in with the crown so that he might have a chance at a life with her. But will her secret tear them apart—or will it be her father who keeps them apart?

I can't say enough great things about this book! It simply blew me away. Within the first few pages, I was hooked, and for the first time in a long time, I entered into a story where I didn't want to put it down. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough (cliché, but so very true!), and I was even teary eyed during a few of the more emotional scenes. I could feel the love between Anne and Stephen, first as she was growing up (and loved the image of the boy), then later as she finally realized that regardless of the visions she had of him, she loved the man he had become, not just the child she wanted to comfort.

The writing was excellent; Karen has a talent for words and the characters were very nicely done. I loved many of the quotes and passages from this book, and while most of them are more meaningful when reading the entire story, they are also very potent on their own. A rare treat, and something that not many authors can do.

As to the characters, I enjoyed Anne, she was strong, but not too pushy, and she thought of others, not just her self. Stephen was much the same way, very responsible and caring to the people around him, loyal to the very end. But I also enjoyed many of the secondary characters as well, such as Richard and Hannah (who have a very nice budding romance during this book, though they bicker so much it's sometimes hard to tell). Hannah was great, and I loved her dry wit and her jibes at Richard (though we know that she really likes him deep down—and since he knows it too, he takes what she says in stride). I think some of my favorite quotes/passages from the story come just as often from Hannah and Richard as they do from Anne and Stephen. That's always a sign of a good book, when even the sideline characters can produce as much interest and love from the reader as the hero and heroine.

5 STARS! Sweeping romance combines with passion and desire to create a love story that practically leaps off the pages! My True Love delivers on all accounts, and reminded me again of why I fell in love with historical romances all those years ago. I've read a few of Ranney's books before, and while I liked them, this one is, by far, my favorite to date. I will be grabbing her next book when it hits shelves, and I highly suggest that you put her on your list as well. A lushly written historical with great characters, deep romance, true love and a great deal of passion thrown in, My True Love is the perfect book to curl up with!

Thanks to Night Owl Reviews, where I received this book for free in exchange for reviewing the book. (Free book does not equal biased review, however!) This review is the property of NOR.


Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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