I had to share this review comment because I totally, totally agree. If you haven’t read the de Montforte Series from Danelle Harmon you are in for a treat when you pick it up! I’m swept off my feet!!
Comment taken from Amazon reviews:
A DESERT ISLAND KEEPER! GRADE A! Practically perfect from start to finish, [it] keeps you on the edge of your seat as the plot twists and turns, and leaves you with a tear in your eye. A wounded hero to die for, a heroine to admire, and a wonderful cast of secondary characters. Who could ask for anything more? Harmon is a master at creating heroes that are handsome, brave, and loyal, but also flawed… You might as well buy them both [The Wild One and The Beloved One], barricade yourself into your home, and order a pizza. A book to treasure. If you love it as much as I did, you’ll be glad that there are still two more de Montforte brothers. FIVE STARS!!” — Blythe Barnhill, All About Romance
Title: The Beloved One
Author: Danelle Harmon
Genre: Historical Romance
Published By: Danelle Harmon, 2012
Story Setting: 1775-1776, Newbury Port, Massachusetts, Berkshire, England, Blackheath Castle
About the Story: Official Blurb In this second installment of her breathtaking De Montforte Brothers series, critically acclaimed author Danelle Harmon introduces us to Englishman Lord Charles de Montforte, who awakens in the tender care of an American beauty after being wounded in battle. Amy Leighton has long wished for someone special to enter her life and take her away from a cruel, unloving step-family, but the handsome stranger is from an enemy land … and he’s sworn to love another. A 1775-era Cinderella story sure to enthrall!
Review: This, my friends, has it all and bound up so splendidly. Danelle Harmon tells a great story and I’m so pleased that I picked this series to read.
In her second book we learn what happened to Lord Charles as he goes off to Concord to crush the rebellion against England. Lord Charles de Montforte was everything a good office of the King’s Own should be. His family was proud of him, but were devastated when they heard of this death. Except Lord Charles hadn’t died, but was taken off the battle field by a young boy whom he had a chance to kill, but didn’t. The boy, Will is his name, saw in Lord Charles the enemy yes, but he saw courage and loyalty when he saw him run after one of his soldiers to try to protect him. He saw strength, honor, valor and compassion. He just couldn’t leave him on the field to die. After all Lord Charles didn’t shoot him, he saved his life.
Amy Leighton, half-sister to Mildred, Ophelia and Will Leighton, was treated very poorly by her two sisters and neglected by her step-father. She waited on her sisters, cleaned the house, did their mending and washing and was verbally abused all the time. Her mother had had an affair with an Indian and she was the result. Luckily, after her mother died, her step-father let her continue to live in his house. Will was the only person in the house who was kind to her. He was her younger brother. Amy felt that she should be treated this way. Who was she?
When Will came back to the house after running off to do battle with the English, with a man he said was his friend and was injured in the battle, they took him in and called for the doctor. Amy had never seen such a gorgeous man. Lord Charles was close to dying. The doctor immediately saw the problem. He had a concussion and blood was pooling under the skull. The only way to relieve it was to drill a small hole in his skull to drain the blood. She didn’t want to see the man die either and stoically helped him with the operation. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so suffice it to say you will so enjoy this part of the story.
I enjoyed how the author put the story together; how she made me feel Lord Charles’s pain with his imperfections. She made me feel the emotion of his utter hopelessness when all his family seemingly had turned him away when he needed them most. He had totally lost his self-esteem and belief in himself. He was no longer The Beloved One.
The story begins with a letter and ends with another. I value the thought the author put into the crafting of such a wonderfully potent emotional story. I also relished being in on the secret that was kept from both Amy and Lord Charles—a plan that Lucien, the duke, cooked up to free his brother of the fear of no longer able to act and make proper decisions—no longer perfect.
I can’t begin to say how absorbing this story was. From beginning to end it kept me riveted to its pages. It was one of those books that if you have to stop to do something else, you get annoyed, because you positively have to get back to the story to find out what happens. I give it 10 thumbs up!
As much as I was eager to read book 2 of this series, I can’t wait to read book 3. Book 3 tells the story of Andrew, the youngest brother, otherwise known as The Defiant One. The Duke of Blackheath the elder brother to all the de Montforte brothers is a character who is more and more interesting as we watch him manipulate people’s lives without them even realizing it until it is too late. He’s devilish and quite brilliant at the same time. I know his story is coming. It’ll be a whopper. The greatest shall fall the hardest! That will be book 4.
Discharging his musket and retreating behind a massive oak, Will reloaded, his hands shaking so badly that he spilled half his black powder down his leg. He rammed the ball and wadding home, his nerves shot as all around him yelling minutemen rap past, diving behind rocks and trees to aim and fire and reload once more. He brought his musket up again, just in time to see a wild-eyed young ensign break rank and sprint toward them from out of the drifting smoke, leaping a stone wall and yelling at the top of his lungs, “Come out and fight fairly you cowards, you damned rebel wretches! Show yourselves and do battle like brave men, not skulking Indians!”
“Gillard, get back!” shouted a redcoat captain, splendid in scarlet and white, the blue facings of his uniform proclaiming him to be one of the King’s Own – and sent his horse charging down on the runaway ensign at a full gallop.
Tom narrowed his eyes and raised his musket. “He’s mine, the son of a batch.”
Will would remember it for the rest of his life: the deafening roar of Tom’s musket. Half the young ensign’s face going up in a fountain of blood. His body seeming to trip and somersault, rolling over and over in the just-greening grass before it slammed up against the granite wall that Will had just vacated.
“Got ‘im!” crowed Tom, thrusting his musket skyward a second before a ball sliced through his neck, instantly killing him.
Will had no time to react, for at that very moment the captain’s horse exploded out of the smoke, sailing over the stone wall like an apparition. Five feet from where the ensign lay screaming in agony, the captain pulled the animal up and leaped from the saddle. Ignoring the lead whining about him, he ran to the young soldier, lifted him in his arms and carried him back toward the fretting, wild-eyed horse.
Will stood transfixed. Never had he see such steely courage, such selfless devotion to a subordinate. The captain’s hawkish face was hard, his eyes the December-ice clarity of aquamarine, and as he turned his back on Will and gently hoisted the soldier up into the saddle, Will knew he was going to have to kill him.
He leaped out of hiding.
And oh my God missed.
The captain turned his cool, level stare on will, one pale, arched brow lifting with the sort of surprised annoyance that any well-seasoned warrior might show a colonial bumpkin trying to irritate the finest army in the world. Will’s stomach flipped over. Nausea strangled his throat. Too terrified even to reload, he froze as the captain picked up his ensign’s musket and trained it dead-center on Will’s chest. The blue eyes, so competent, so self-assured, so very, very dangerous, narrowed a second before the redcoat would have blown him into eternity.
“Don’t shoot!” Will squeaked, and his voice cracked, revealing his age – or rather lack of it.
The captain realized Will’s youth at the same moment the weapon discharged and jerked the musket skyward, trying to deflect his fire. Flames roared from that long and terrible muzzle, shooting straight over Will’s head. The gun’s fierce kick, combined with the unnatural angle at which it had been fired, threw the officer off balance. As he stepped backward to regain it, his heel sank into a hollow in the soft April earth and he fell straight into the wall of granite, the musket flying from his hand and the back of his skull striking one sharp, lichen-caked boulder with an awful, thudding crack. For a moment, he seemed to gaze up at Will in astonishment as he lay there spread-eagled against the rocks; then the pale blue eyes lost focus and clouded over, their thick lashes coming down like a curtain on the last act as his head slid sideways, leaving a smear of blood on the boulder behind him.
Her gaze lifted to Will’s—but he and Papa were already hoisting the fellow up onto the table. As they set him down, the lolling head fell back over will’s arm and revealed a face that took Amy’s breath away. Her hands flew over her mouth.
He was breathtakingly handsome.
Absolutely, positively, indisputably, beautiful.
Dr. Plummer, however, took no notice of the fact. “What happened to him?” he asked, bending over the man’s face, lifting one eyelid and peering into the sightless, rolled-back eyes.
Blue. Amy though, noting their extraordinarily clear color before Plummer let the eyelid slide shut once more Oh, God, don’t let him die—with those looks, he’ll make all the beautiful angels in heaven envious and there’ll be war up there all over again.
“He—he f-fell during the fighting and hit his head,” Will stammered.
The boy shrugged, his gaze darting away. “Don’t know.”
“How long has he been out?”
“Since yesterday, when it happened.”
Will reddened. “Y-yes sir.”
“This man should’ve been seen to immediately! Why the devil didn’t you get him to a local doctor instead of lugging him all the way up here?”
For answer, the boy only swallowed and hung his head. He looked absolutely miserable.
Ophelia, however, had no pity for either her brother or his injured friend. “Really, Will, I don’t know what’s got into you, bringing him here when you should’ve just let him there to die. After all, American needs good, competent men defending her, not clumsy oafs who injure themselves at first opportunity.”
“Maybe he injured himself so he wouldn’t have to fight,” scoffed Mildred. “The coward.”
“He wasn’t a coward!” Will exploded “He was a fine man, with more courage than a dozen lions!”
Dr. Plummer impatiently motioned for them to be quiet, then laid his finger on the injured man’s wrist, feeling his pulse. He straightened up, frowning. “Well, he’s alive all right, but if I can save him I doubt he’ll be a-thankin’ me for it. Come, come, let’s turn him over so I can have a better look at the back of his head. What’s your friend’s name, anyhow?”
“Er, Adam. Adam Smith.”