Blossom on the Thorn (Out of Time Book 3) by Loretta Livingstone
“I should have had nothing to do with those accursed Angevins. I should have run like hell in the opposite direction.”
Giles de Soutenay can scarcely be blamed for his disappointment. Promised an heiress by Queen Eleanor, he is dismayed to discover that, although young and attractive, his bride has all the warmth of a stone effigy.
For the newly widowed Isabella, the reality of a new husband is no cause for celebration. She will do her duty but no more. She will give de Soutenay no reason to complain but he will not have her heart, for any belief in love and tenderness died during those brief years of her first marriage. However, she has reckoned without Giles’ perseverance.
After the snows of winter, spring brings hope, until the arrival of a stranger threatens Giles and Isabella’s blossoming happiness. A stranger who might tear them apart before they have truly found each other. Only if Giles can learn patience and Isabella can learn trust can they hope to find lasting love?
This is book 3 in the Out of Time series although chronologically it is set earlier than book 2 and can be read as a standalone novel.
Diane Andersen’s Review: 5-Stars
Blossom on the Thorn by Loretta Livingstone is book 3 in a series. This usually poses a problem for readers if the other two aren’t read first in order. I usually try to avoid reading books in a series out of order for this very reason. However, when it came to Blossom on the Thorn, I began reading under the impression it was either a stand-alone or the first in a series. By the end of the prologue, I had easily fallen into the rhythm of the words and felt completely pulled into the story. That is something that rarely happens so soon in a modern story these days. Usually, I’ll give books a good fifty to one-hundred pages before I decide if it is worth continuing.
Here before me, was a delightful and very serious historical fiction set in Medieval England. I felt completely swept away and ready to live in this enchanting, if often brutal, world of the past. I even seemed to be so engrossed in this era that it somehow was lost on me that this is, in fact, part of a time travel series. When I learned this, I felt a bit betrayed after thinking I was totally immersed in the past. But nevertheless, I was hooked and continued to read on. It was a bare mention of one minor character having lived in the twentieth century, that clued me into the possible time travel element, a seemingly insignificant detail that felt more like a cameo appearance as an Easter egg for prior readers than it was a continuation of a time travel saga.
In spite of this slightly jarring detail, I continued to enjoy the novel and recommend it as either a stand-alone or to be read in series order. Perhaps I will have to add the other two novels to my ever-growing reading list to find out if they are as well written and evocative as this one. 5-Stars for a thoroughly enjoyable historical fiction, one I was long overdue to read.
Terence Vickers’ (AKA Tinker Publishing) Review: 4.9-Stars
As a stand-alone historical romance, this is a very good book. There are no active time travel elements involved though. Set in 1194–1195 and written true to the times, it shows the author has done a great deal of research. Right down to eating utensils. Forks were not yet used for eating in those days.
The death of Isabella’s abusive husband comes as a relief to her but Queen Eleanor has soon arranged a new husband for her. Sir Giles de Soutenay is a young knight of modest means who must overcome her justifiable fear of intimate relations before they can find happiness.
A realistic glimpse into the past, of life and society in medieval times, the historical accuracy makes this tale much more than a simple romance. Overall, an excellent book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Sadly I have to deduct a point for editing errors, or this would be a five-star book.