Title:The Crusaders Heart The Champions of Saint Euphemia, Book 2
Author: Claire DelaCroix
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: EverAfter Romance
Published Date: October 20, 2015
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynold
Length: 12 hours, 21 minutes
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Published by: Deborah A. Cooke
A company of knights chosen to deliver a sealed trunk from the Templar treasury in Jerusalem to safekeeping in Paris. A group of pilgrims seeking the protection of the Templars to return home as the Saracens prepare to besiege the city. A mysterious treasure that someone will even kill to possess…”
A valiant warrior sworn to the order of the Knights Templar for life, Wulfe resents being dispatched on a quest to Paris just when the Latin Kingdoms are at their most vulnerable. He is determined to fulfill his duty as quickly as possible and return to fight for justice–but the courtesan he defends in Venice is resolved to remain at his side. The alluring and perceptive Christina will not be left behind, and soon Wulfe finds himself forced to choose between his vows and his heart…
©2015 Deborah A. Cooke (P)2016 Deborah A. Cooke
My Thoughts: I enjoy the way the author continues this series, The Champions Saint Euphemia, with a bit of overlap from book 1. She’s providing us the most exciting part of book 1, however, not in the perspective of Ysmaine, the heroine of book 1, but in Christina’s perspective. Christina is a courtesan, words used by more considerate of men with some understanding that most women would not choose this station; others call her whore who perhaps are the basest of men – their intent to demean women. In Christina’s point of view we discover many hidden parts of the story, and her sharp perception, which hadn’t been discovered earlier and really make the story more complete.
I also enjoyed the narration of Mr. Reynolds. His voice is rich and bold, very much like the time period, personifying strength of will to survive.
Christina lost her husband, Gunther, being slain while they journeyed to Jerusalem. They pilgrimaged to Jerusalem to ask the saints for forgiveness and bless them with child. She left Jerusalem, not being with child, and now without husband. She, again, with her wits was able to journey safe enough to Vienna. Christina, true, had become a courtesan, but not from her choosing. Not many women would care to live such a life. When Christina sees the opportunity to change her station, she uses her quick wit and her instincts to follow Wulfe from the brothel.
Wulf, a complex man, with a back history of hurt, a character met in book 1, is even more interesting in this book. His character is fully fledged out. We see the man. We see the knight and we see how he has arrived in life to serve the Knights Templar. He’s just as much an honorable knight as Gaston.
Both knights and both ladies are determined to finish the sworn quest of the Knight’s Templar — imperative to get to Paris. They are protecting something beyond value to Christianity and there are those who would sabotage their success. The story is suspenseful, fast-paced and gives the reader a chance to experience the life and danger of being snared by a brothel in Vienna, knowing evil lurks, but not knowing who it is, and sharing sisterhood and brotherhood with those of pure heart.
It is about the baser emotions of man – greed. Honor, faith, purity of soul and love fight the evil willing to do harm to anyone who crosses its path.
I’m planning on listening to book three of the series, and highly recommend this read to those who love this period in history and love a dangerous challenge to a happy ever after ending.
About the Author: (courtesy Amazon.com biography) NYT bestselling author Claire Delacroix always loved stories, both telling them and hearing them. She sold her first romance novel – THE ROMANCE OF THE ROSE – in 1992 and has published over fifty romance novels since. She writes in a variety of subgenres, including time travel romance, historical romance, medieval romance, fantasy romance and fantasy with romantic elements. She has also written under the names Claire Cross and Deborah Cooke. She makes her home with her family, a number of incomplete knitting projects and a lot of overgrown houseplants. Claire loves to travel, to cook, to ride her bike and to read.
Claire is currently writing The Champions of Saint Euphemia series of medieval romances. She also writes paranormal and contemporary romance as Deborah Cooke.
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