is a romance community member review
for Conqueror, The
Date of Review: 05/31/06
I've read THE CONQUEROR recently, also, and I have to add my two cents. If you like a thoroughly alpha-male hero who basically obsesses over a heroine from the first instant he meets her, you'll like Rolfe. He certainly lives up to his name, Rolfe the Relentless, in that respect --he's quite a relentless stalker of Ceidre, the heroine.
Ceidre never really has a chance to escape his clutches -- not that she REALLY wants to in any case. Oh yes, verbally she protests his overbearing behavior, but in her heart and other bodily parts, it's another story! She's not super bright, that Ceidre. I couldn't figure out why she kept feeling loyalty to her Saxon half-brothers, when all they could do for her was to keep telling her to play the whore for Rolfe, to save their own skins.
This is an old-fashioned "romance" novel in the sense that there are distasteful elements that for the most part have been purged from romances being written today (rape, beatings, imprisonment, infidelity committed by the hero). Yet oddly enough, for all that, it is quite a page turner. (If historically lightweight -- talk of kilometers, in the 11th century? And weren't knights of the realm supposed to protect and defend women, not stalk and beat them?) The sexual tension between Rolfe and Ceidre is very apparent from the first chapter, and I gotta admit, it kept me reading.
Still, I found myself laughing out loud at various dialogue between, and/or expressions used by, certain characters. For example, when Rolfe is chided by his wife Alice for his infidelity, his response is: "I f--- where I will!" Or, the description of the end of a lovemaking session between Rolfe and Ceidre : "Like a ripe plum, he burst within her."
It's a wild, melodramatic, rollercoaster ride of a story, and I just couldn't put the darn thing down. It's certainly not boring, at least. As I've said before, sometimes a good ol' trashy read is just the ticket to take you out of yourself for a few hours.
It's especially hard to give a numerical rating to an older book like this; the kind where most readers will feel strongly that they either loved it!/hated it!, based on its exceptional content. As for me, although this type of book is not my preferred choice in romance novels, I found THE CONQUEROR readable and entertaining in a non-serious way, and a 5 out of 10 for sheer readability is a fair rating in that respect.
This is an Official Review by an Eye On Romance Official Reviewer
for Conqueror, The
Date of Review: 05/30/06
Brenda Joyce shakes the foundations with this stunning and wonderfully entertaining story.
The Conqueror by Brenda Joyce is an amazing, wild ride that will leave some readers gasping at it's boldness and subject matter. Written in a style you do not see much these days in a historical romance, our hero is one that might confuse you. You may hate him, you may love him, but there is no doubt you will be captivated by him. He is indeed a conqueror, often times cruel, ruthless and without mercy. As a reader it is a delight to watch him unfold as our heroine peels away the layers to find the man he truly is.
Rolfe the Relentless, a Norman knight, takes Castle Aelgfar as his own as a reward for good deeds. The saxon beauty Ceidre, mistakenly taken for his betrothed, her half-sister Alice finds herself travelling with this harsh invader of her home and village.
Soon finding out that the woman who has bewitched him is not his intended he is livid and deeply disappointed. Lady Alice, Ceidre's half sister, is her polar opposite but Rolfe marries her anyway, in order to secure his land and position Lady Alice is consumed with jealousy towards her sister, as Rolfe obsesses over her for all to see. She plots against Ceidre. Ceidre, meanwhile, is conspiring with her Saxon brothers to take CAstle Aelgfar back. This is a dangerous mission and she finds herself entangled between two loyalties.
With taboo topics of rape, cruelty, and even a whipping of our heroine, author Brenda Joyce will take readers down a road that many of us took when we first fell in love with the genre of historical romance. Our hero and heroine even are married to other people, and if you think the hero does not sleep with his wife, Lady Alice, think again, as he does.
For readers that are bored with light fair, be sure to pick up this novel in order to remember why we love the genre of romance so dearly.