Merrimon Book Reviews

From Medieval Book Reviews
Ransom My Heart
Ransom My Heart by Princess of Genovia Mia Thermopolis
by Princess of Genovia Mia Thermopolis
with help from Meg Cabot

When Mellana needs money for her dowry so that she can marry Jack Mallory, a troubadour with a rebec but little money, she turns to her youngest sister with a plan. After all, Finnula is a skilled archer, a woman who wears leather braies and goes about the countryside tapping deer and foxes. With Finnula's huntress skills in mind, Mellana sways her sister to capture the richest man and ransom him to pay for her dowry. Finnula herself is not intent on marriage for herself, having been married for a day and then accused of her husband's murder but how can she not help her sister, especially knowing their brother Robert is likely to kill Jack if he discovers Mellana's condition before a marriage can be arranged. Hugo Fitzstephen, accompanied by his squire Peter, returns battle weary from the Crusades. With the strange death of his father, the Earl of Stephensgate, he can now enjoy his new title. He catches a glimpse of a modest naked bathing beauty but when he confronts her, she slaps him in the face. To his later surprise, he finds himself captured by this maiden! Despite Finnula's odd ways, Hugo can't help but feel a growing attraction for her. Can he tame the one woman not intent on marriage? As Finnula's ransom plan unravels, can their love survive? Can Hugo survive period?

In her debut medieval romance, Mia Thermopolis, the Princess of Genovia, straight from the fame of THE PRINCESS DIARIES, has achieved her secret dream of becoming a published author. With the chronicle help of Meg Cabot, Princess Mia's romance is finally here for both PRINCESS DIARY and romance readers! RANSOM MY HEART has all the classic components historical romance lovers cherish --- and then some. Some characters and events are wonderfully reminiscent of details of Mia's own life while others add a new twist to Mia's imagination and romance itself. Romance readers will enjoy this tongue-in-cheek romance both for its close attention to the genre and period as well as for the humorous, exaggerated look into the genre's most classic scenes.

Finnula is a delightful heroine from her obsession with her leather braies to her determination to preserve her independence, from her care for the peasants and her poaching skills to her ability to love her sister despite Mellana's quirks. Despite her oddities and miller father, she is a princess at heart, a woman whose innocence and natural empathy for others ennobles all around her. Her captive Hugo Fitzstephen is one of a kind ---- the one man who can inspire and challenge Finnula. He is the one man who sees the woman in her. As romance draws Finnula and Hugo closer and closer together, unexpected dangers pull them apart. Light fairy tale suspense abounds as plots against the two emerge and their pasts come back to haunt them. Only together can Finnula and Hugo save each other and the Stephansgate from the cast of evil villains and their devious plans. One new plot wrinkle after another leads the reader down an exciting path until the author reveals the last shocking clue.

Hugo's practicality and common sense provides the reader with a hilarious running commentary on the world of medieval romance. Having been away from the estate for 10 years, this medieval man finds his world upturned, a world where women hunt ribbons and men. Part classic medieval romance hero and part outsider to this strange new world, Hugo leads the reader on a journey of laughter from start to finish as he both conforms to and unveils the romance tradition. Hugo is both very medieval and modern in his vision of the new romance world around him. Even in the midst of the gentle satire, by the end of romance, the reader cannot help but be moved by these delightful characters and their romance. RANSOM MY HEART incorporates classic scenarios of the traditional medieval romance from the classic captive/captor theme to the issues of marriage and land inheritance. Combining historical detail authenticity with humorous look into the medieval romance genre conventions, RANSOM MY HEART provides one insider's laugh after another. Above all, RANSOM MY HEART is just a great story full or romance, adventure and characters whose antics, values and personalities will steal your heart and make you laugh. However, for romance readers in particular, RANSOM MY HEART will make you fall in love with the genre all over again. Meg Cabot's RANSOM MY HEART is a romance that will make you smile at the characters, the genre and mostly at yourself.

Publisher: Avon A (January 2009)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Medieval Book Reviews
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