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Smashwords book reviews by Laura Kent
- The Loyal Heart
on Oct. 07, 2011
First, I wish to qualify my review. I hear many e-books are subject to "friend review" suspicion when 5 stars are involved. I only met Miss Farmer online in recent months, and while we've had friendly exchanges, I am not in the circle of friends and contacts involved in the making of this book. We met and talked primarily because I found her website and loved the posts she put up. I gave her a few blog awards and though this book, as "historical romance," was out of my preferred genre, my enjoyment of her posts led me to sample it on Smashwords.
I had an easy excuse to pass on reviewing and rating this if I didn't like it (not my genre) and I wasn't obligated to either. Am I biased? Possibly, but only because I loved Merry's blog before picking up her book. I'm a fan first.
I hit the end of 20% and thought, what, already?! I dished out the $3 that same day to read the rest. I spent all day reading (not all that unusual for me with a good book) and finished it up the same day I got it. That is unusual for me. I usually take my time with books (sometimes reading more than one at a time). There are only two reasons I read a book all in one day. It is either a fairly easy read (ie fluff) or I just can't put it down.
I couldn't put The Loyal Heart down for long. Merry taps into my childhood love for swashbuckling adventure but inserts a character I always wanted in the fray. A swashbuckling woman without a crutch. She's not Robin Hood's girl, or his daughter, or "The love interest." She's not defined by a better/more well-known man. She's Aubrey and her story may share common threads with the Robin Hood legend, but it stands on its own and turns it on its head.
What Maguire did for Oz, Merry does for the Robin Hood story. The only difference is that Merry draws on research and real places during the times surrounding the legend and turns Loyal Heart into its own story with hints of the legend. This is not a rehash of an old story, it stands on its own.
Only one part of the text gave me pause, but I don't want to give it away. I'll only say I found it odd for the character near the end and wasn't sure I "bought" that they'd make a certain assumption about a certain death without making sure. I also only found about 10 typos max and they were easily read over with the intended words. This is the only reason I wavered between 4 and 5 stars. It was really only enough to make a 1/4 of a star difference, so I rounded up.
I can't wait for book 2, it moves on to the not a nun, nun as the main character and her comic relief (in book 1) love interest. Yes, non-nun nuns have love interests. And no, it's not something out of Sister Act!