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Lord of Vengeance (English Edition) par [Adrian, Lara]
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Lord of Vengeance (English Edition) Format Kindle

4.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client

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Longueur : 356 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Description du produit



England, 1140

The ground no longer rumbled with the thunder of horses' hooves and the clash of weapons. The air, still acrid with smoke from the smoldering ruins of the castle perched high on the motte and the sacked village at its base, was quiet. The damage was done; the enemy hadn't lingered. After all, it wasn't the castle he'd come to claim.

From across the trampled, body-littered field, a gentle breeze began to stir, drifting like a ghostly tendril over the carnage to where a boy lay, facedown and wounded. It ruffled his dark hair, coaxing him back to consciousness as it caressed his bruised and bloodied cheek.

"Mother?" he murmured, though he knew she was gone, slain before his very eyes just hours ago by Baron Luther d'Bussy, one of King Stephen's more ruthless warlords, when she refused to become his whore. Refused to share her bed with the man who had killed her husband three days past in a tournament gone awry.

Ten-year-old Gunnar Rutledge sobbed at the memory, gasping in a ragged breath and choking on the sweet, pungent scent of Wynbrooke's soil and the metallic taste of his own blood.

Just out of his grasp lay his father's signet ring, the token his mother had tearfully removed from her husband's stiff, dead finger as he'd lain in state. Despite the tremors of siege that had set the tiny chapel's stone walls quaking that morning, her voice had remained strong.

"Keep this always," she had said as she pressed the ring into his palm, "and remember your father's courage ... his honor. When you are grown, wear it and make me proud."

But he hadn't made her proud. Instead, to his shame, he'd watched her die. Helpless and afraid, his arms twisted behind him by a large guard, he had pleaded with the baron to spare her. Withstood the man's drunken, taunting laughter. Weathered the physical blows.

And screamed in terror an instant later when d'Bussy's blade ended her life.

How he had managed to break free of his captor's iron grasp, Gunnar could not recall. His last memory had been of running. Running out of the castle, down the motte, and through the field as fast as he could with a knight on horseback close behind him. Legs pumping, lungs near to bursting, he headed for the stream, thinking he might be able to hide in the bramble that flanked it. The thought had scarcely formed when, over the pounding hoofbeats, he'd heard a sword rasp from its scabbard. Then, in an instant, his world, his life, had gone black.

Now, through the haze of pain enveloping his senses, Gunnar heard the squeak of a cart wheel and the murmur of voices. Men's voices. Two of them: one close, the other several paces behind. Footsteps halted near his head.

"Merrick, come!"

Gunnar knew the name of the man summoned, recognized the old healer's limp in the crunch of twigs and pine needles beneath his heavy gait as he approached, the familiar smell of herbs clinging to his clothes.

"Look ye what I found near this unfortunate thief."

Merrick clucked, his voice somber. "'Tis the Rutledge signet ruby."

"Are ye certain?"

"Aye. Yestereve it rested on milord's lifeless hand in chapel. And lest you mean to keep it for yourself, my friend, think first on the price this lad paid for stealing--" Merrick suddenly sucked in his breath. "Jesu!" he exclaimed, falling to his knees. "This is no thief bleeding at our feet, man. Look closer! 'Tis young lord Gunnar!"

Heavy fingers inspected Gunnar's ravaged back, tore the sticky linen of his rent tunic away from his wounds. The old man swore an oath. "'Tis by far the worst damage I've ever seen suffered on a child."

"Is he dead?"

"Nay, but soon enough, I reckon." Gunnar heard a rustle of fabric, then felt the rough wool of the old man's cloak cover him. "Half-dead or nay, I'll not leave him to rot out here like some hapless beast. If I cannot heal him, I can at least provide him comfort in his final hours. Come, help me lift him."

Limbs numb from loss of blood, Gunnar felt himself rise from the ground, heard the men's scuffling footsteps in the grass as they hefted him several paces from where he had lain. The sweet tang of moldy hay assailed his nostrils before he felt the crush of his own weight, and he was placed on his stomach atop a straw-lined litter. His rescuers hurriedly dragged him across the field toward the village.

Each rut they hit, every furrow, nearly jolted him senseless with pain, but his broken heart continued to beat. God help him, but he did not want to live. He had proven a coward; he deserved to die. Living would mean every day facing his guilt, his dishonor. He was too weak; he could not bear it. He prayed for deliverance from his suffering, from the anguish of his shame. His family was gone, his home destroyed. What reason had he to live? What purpose?

The answer came swiftly, softly at first, a dark whisper that curled around him, anchoring his soul to the earth with shadowy tethers. It called to him, beckoning him to hold on, entreating him to fight.

And as the healer carried him into his hut and went to work on his wounds, the whisper grew in strength and meaning until it filled his mind, his heart, his soul. It was a single word. A mantra. A vow.


Chapter One

England, 1153

Baron d'Bussy's name was on the lips of well nigh everyone in England. For weeks past, criers had spread news of his grand tournament to the far reaches of the land, the scores of tents and pavilions now pitched on the wide plain outside Norworth Castle a testament to both his vanity and his thoroughness. Everywhere, pennons and colors flew, marking the independent warriors and those representing neighboring baronies and lords.

In the gathering twilight, men, women, and children--perhaps a hundred in all--wandered the wide avenue that ran through the center of the makeshift village. At the far end of the lane, two men, stripped down to their braies, fought bare-fisted to the gasps and cheers of a small circle of enthralled spectators. Boasting, swaggering knights were everywhere, many stumbling drunkenly toward their tents with a wench--some with two--under their arms. The more serious-minded competitors and dutiful squires tended destriers; others sat outside their tents polishing armor and inspecting weapons that would be well used on the morrow.

Amid this festival atmosphere, a distant flash of lightning went unnoticed.

It ripped across the darkening sky and reflected in a pair of eyes staring not at the bustling valley but at the castle looming over it. Those emotionless eyes, deep and cool as the forest that obscured them, blinked once, then looked up to the dismal clouds.


It began to fall almost immediately, pattering softly onto the canopy of leaves above, then swelling into a hard summer downpour that swept quickly toward the encampment. A grimace twisted the full lips that had until then been set in a determined line. Heavy rain meant a certain postponement of the morrow's tournament and worse, a delay of his promise.

Gunnar Rutledge cursed, his muttered oath swallowed up by a loud roll of thunder. Beneath him, his black destrier stirred in alarm, eyes wide and anxious. With a low murmur that sounded more like a warning than comfort, Gunnar quieted the beast, stroking its neck with a rough, unpracticed hand.

He had no use for fear, nor the experience to soothe it. Long ago he'd dispensed with his own fear, expelling it and any other emotion that might one day prove a weakness. He knew naught of celebration, did not indulge in dreams. His mind was fed on logic, his twenty-three-year-old body honed with hard work and countless battles until it now seemed more an extension of his armor and weaponry than it did flesh and bone. He had banished his feelings and exorcised his demons.

Save one.

And now that demon had invited him into his lair, offering an opportunity more perfect than Gunnar could possibly have conspired to arrange on his own. He wondered if the baron ever thought about the possibility that he had survived. Did he sit up there in that massive stone fortress and consider--even for a moment--that a reckoning was imminent? Had he ever tasted fear? Did he feel as damned as the boy he had left on that field thirteen years past?

Soon he would.

For according to the Holy Church, to slay a man in tourney was to condemn him to eternal damnation. Hence, melees were fought with ceremonial blades--dulled, though nonetheless dangerous--and blunted lances.

Yet accidents happened.

Private scores were settled.

To avenge his mother, Gunnar would confront Luther d'Bussy. To avenge his father, he would triumph in the lists. The plan was simple enough. Best the baron, put the fear of God in his eyes. Make him plead for mercy.

And show him none.

The idea that he himself might not survive the day hadn't given Gunnar a moment's pause. He would keep his promise, no matter the price.

As the rain slanted down from heavy clouds, driving everyone to the shelter of their tents and turning the lists to mud, Gunnar wheeled his mount about and headed into the forest to make camp in solitude and search for patience enough to wait out the storm.

Bright morning sunlight filled the sky as Raina d'Bussy burst from Norworth's open gate astride a dappled gray mare and sped down the side of the motte. The fresh scent of the previous night's rains still clung to the air, but she scarcely noticed it. She rode at breakneck speed, the skirts of her bliaut rucked up over her knees and her unbound hair billowing in a wild, sable curtain behind her. With a gleeful laugh she leaned forward over her mount's neck, urging it on faster and faster past the empty, bemired lists and across the marshy ground. Warm, muddy water splashed around her and kicked off the horse's hoove...

Literary Times

Medieval England sets the stage for Tina St. John's debut novel Gunnar Rutledge is hell-bent on seeking vengeance against the man who destroyed his family. He has spent years plotting his revenge. He takes Raina d'Bussy, his enemy's daughter, as a hostage. Filled with images of the past, Gunnar fights his feelings toward the lovely beauty and instead focuses on the horrors her father caused. But Gunnar has met a powerful foe in Raina, a young woman truly devoted to her father. She denies Gunnar's claims and defends her father's honor. As the two spend more time together, Gunnar begins to soften toward Raina. As the details unfold regarding the past, Raina gets a glimpse of the pain that has driven Gunnar for so long. When it is time for Raina to return home, she is full of hope that the two men can meet and resolve their differences. It never happens. Instead, an evil plot is revealed, pitting Gunnar and Raina in a fight for their lives -- and their love. Ms. St. John has done a remarkable job with her debut novel, giving us characters with real fire and passion! They easily leap off the pages as first they fight one another and then they fall in love. Readers will be torn between rooting for Gunnar's vengeance and his budding love for Raina. A remarkable debut novel! Amy Wilson -- Copyright © 1999 Literary Times, Inc. All rights reserved

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2668 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 356 pages
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Editeur : Lara Adrian, LLC (11 avril 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007TL11B0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client
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Format: Format Kindle
This is the first book written by Lara Adrian, known for her midnight breed series, written under the pseudonym Tina St John. It is a historical love story, showing what a great writer she will become, but not a very exiting book otherwise at least for me.

Gunnar Rutledge father and mother were slaughtered when he was only 10 years old. He himself nearly died as well. 13 years later he has become a ruthless warrior, having only one goal in life: to seek revenge. This is when he meets Raina, who captures him. When he however finds out that she is the daughter of Baron d'Bussy, the man who killed his parents he tries to forget her. When he does not manage otherwise to lure the baron to a direct confrontation, he kidnaps his daughter... not so sure that this is such a good idea especially for his own mental balance. And how can he still kill her father once she has captured his heart?

As always the male character of the author's book is a real alpha, strong and handsome, dark and lovely. One really comes to like him and Raina a lot.
But the story is nothing really extraordinary, the writing is nice, the bad guy is a really bad guy and it is not very clear who the good guy is. What really annoyed me is the unreasoned attraction, the intensity of the touches which is much easier than the really make them fall in love which each other due to their characters and not only because this is the way it has to be. Raina does uncover more of Gunnar's great character, but only once she already fell for him.

Otherwise it is a nice, not great historical romance for a nice not exceptional afternoon.

Enjoy the read MBTM
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.3 étoiles sur 5 188 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Sweetly predictable..... 27 octobre 2012
Par Tbascoebuzz - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Even though this book is obviously one of Ms. Adrians earliest's still a fun read if you're in the mood for something verrrrry sweet with little romance. It's just so gosh darn fun to read a story where this macho Alpha Male is all twisted up and driven to distraction over some petite female.

The story begins with a five star bang that continually holds the reader captive. The thing is, it doesn't progress! The first half of this book is all about Lord Gunnar Rutledge's desire for Lady Raina d''s fun to read about his dilemma, but it grows tedious and becomes mundane. For that reason I give it a four star even though I prefer something a bit more racy. This story is "sweet", unoriginal and predictable.

As a 10 year old boy, Gunnar Rutledge watches as his mother and father are slain and he himself is cut down and left for dead. But he survives and swears vengeance upon the man who murdered his parents, Baron Luther d'Bussy...yep, it's Lady Raina's dad. (dum dum duuuuum) Lord Gunnar matures into a mighty warlord and after waiting thirteen years, takes his vengeance out on Baron d'Bussy (now an old, crippled man), by destroying his lands and taking his daughter (Lady Raina) hostage to trade for d'Bussy himself.

Lord Gunnar Rutledge is the usual warlord; hawt and yummy, arrogant and extremely proud. I loved him! He's stubborn and serious and because of his violent past, he's built a protective wall around himself. He's emotionless. He's unaccustomed to showing or feeling emotion...he's trained himself to feel nothing but hate and bitterness. He lives for vengeance. So when he unexpectedly begins to feel and care for Raina, the emotions make him fearful. He's fearful that those new feelings will weaken him towards his lifelong ultimate goal of vengeance.

I had mixed feelings about Lady Raina d'Bussy. There's very little description about her. We only read that her hair is "dark" and toward the end of the book we find out her eye color is green/brown. Raina is virtuous and naive, but strong and courageous. I loved how "proper" she was. For Gunnar, she's a fascinating abundance of temptations.

The villians basically disappear after the first few chapters and we don't read anymore about them until the very end; still, all in all..the story is fairly well told in a cutsey sweet fashion.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice! 23 août 2012
Par Book Lover - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
When Gunnar Rutledge was very young his parents were killed by Baron d'Bussy and Gunnar himself only scarcely escaped with his life. However, after healing from his terrible injuries there was nothing to live for, neither family nor legacy. The only thing that kept the young boy going and turned him into a ferocious warrior was his wish for vengeance. Gunnar has been preparing for years to get even with the Baron and thinks that he will get the opportunity to do so at a tournament that is organized by the Baron. However, things don't work out as planned and Gunnar is forced to take Lady Raina, the Baron's daughter as a hostage.

Gunnar was a fantastic main character. I loved that he tried to pretend to be a hard, relentless and ruthless warrior, whereas in reality he was a very decent and soft person, who struggled very hard to come to terms with what happened to him in the past. Raina was very likeable but less persuasive as a lead character, maybe because of her young age in combination with the limited life experience due to the way of living women had at that time. In any case, she just didn't live up to my expectations.

The story plot was nothing outstanding or unusual for the genre. There were some twists, which were well elaborated but somehow didn't really persuade me. I also would've appreciated if Gunnar and Raina would've acted earlier on their feelings and not around 60 % of the book.

All in all a nice and entertaining book.
50 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Will love conquer the quest for vengeance? 18 avril 2012
Par MsRomanticReads - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Edit: Please be aware that this isn't a new story from the popular Ms Adrian. This story was first published back in 1995! So keep that in mind before comparing the writing to that of the Midnight Breed series which is more recent.

4.5 stars

First of all the new cover is HOT! This was a wonderful historical romance and first novel by Lara Adrian (author of the immensely popular Midnight Breed series). I know her only through that modern paranormal series, so I wasn't sure what to expect of this historical piece. I wasn't disappointed.

As a young boy, Gunnar Rutledge has never forgotten his father's murder, nor the slaying of his mother at the hands of Baron d'Bussy. Now fully grown and a ruthless warrior, he vows to seek vengeance on his enemy. When he meets the lovely Raina, he's shocked to learn that she is his enemy's daughter. When none of his taunts work to lure the Baron into a confrontation, he kidnaps Raina to use her as bait. During her ten day captivity, Raina never imagined she'd learn the truth about her family and come to love the brutish warrior, who not only captured her, but her heart as well. But how can she love Gunnar when he seeks to kill her only family? Is he willing to sacrifice his quest for retribution in favor of gaining so much more?

You can't help but love Gunnar, despite his stubbornness to stay the course he has set for himself. The tough exterior he presented hid the man he truly was at his core. His endless needling of Raina brought out his cheeky side and she showed him how feisty she could really be. The build up to their HEA was nicely paced and the true story between their two families unfolded in a steady flow. The only thing I had an issue with was the Baron's confession at the end. He was definitely certifiable, and I thought Raina let him off the hook too easily in the face of all her father had done. And don't even get me started on Nigel (that was a surprise).

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed their story, and for $0.99 this book is a steal!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Glad I downloaded this book 11 août 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I guess I really do need to heed that advice about judging a book by its cover. I almost passed this one by due to the cheesy cover art. However, I'm glad I downloaded this book. It turned out to be one of those rare 5 star keepers in my opinion.

The story is about Gunnar Rutlege and his need to exact revenge on Baron d'Bussy for murdering both Gunnar's father and mother. The gruesome prologue describing the death of Gunnar's mother and his own near death gives the reader an understanding of why Gunnar's entire life was a quest to seek revenge. He had spent the next 13 years honing himself into an unfeeling warrior. Emotions got in the way and gave room for error. Gunnar couldn't afford to be distracted from his single vision of honor in retribution.

Gunnar's revenge plot get thwarted somewhat when he met and developed feelings for his enemy's daughter, the lovely Raina. When he first met her she was dressed as a peasant girl while out racing her lifelong friend Nigel. Both Raina and Nigel had grown into young adults, and Raina wasn't quite prepared for Nigel's developing feelings towards her. Luckily for Raina, Gunnar happened to be near to resuce her from an unwanted advance. Later in the story, when Gunnar discovers Raina is the daughter of his nemesis, he kidnaps her in hopes of getting to her father.

The relationship between Gunnar and Raina was enjoyable to watch. The author built the story with enough tension and contact between the two that kept me hooked. Gunnar had wonderful growth as a character throughout the story. Raina did as well. The story had a few tension filled moments of suspense. I truly was not expecting the outcome of Nigel's part in this story. Well done. I will be a repeat reader of this author.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful Debut Medieval Romance 28 août 2011
Par Regan - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This was Tina St. John's debut novel, written in 1995 (Yes, I know it's 2011, but I'm just discovering her...). As debut novels go, it's very good. Set in England in 1140, it tells the story of a knight, Gunnar Rutledge, whose parents were murdered and his home destroyed by the evil Baron d'Bussy when Gunnar was a 10-year-old boy. Years later, Gunnar has been living for vengeance when he enters a tourney held by d'Bussy in the hope he will be able to kill the man. But the Baron is now older and doesn't enter. Instead, Gunnar meets the Baron's only child, a cherished daughter, Raina. Denied his revenge at the tourney, Gunnar and his men harass d'Bussy's holdings, but that isn't enough. Gunnar decides to abduct Raina hoping to draw her father into a fight of honor.

First, let me say that St. John writes very well and the story moves along carrying you with it. Her dialog is quite good and the language used understandable while conveying a clear medieval feeling. That requires a delicate balance between modern and ancient that is not often achieved. Clearly this is her genre and her time period.

I only have a few negative comments. Half way through, the story seemed to slow with the continued conflict between Gunnar and Raina. I thought it went on a bit too long and made Raina come across as a shrew, particularly when Gunnar continued to act honorably. I also agree with the other reviewer who said it seems unlikely Raina could live all those years with her father and have no inkling of his cruel nature. At the very least, it made her look naïve. In those days an 18-year-old female was an adult, many married with children. Even when told the truth, she continues to deny it. So the heroine became problematic for me. Then, too, I wondered if she and Gunnar would ever get together. We're talking slow romance here, folks. Eventually, they come together and all's right in the end, so I can recommend it.

Notwithstanding my comments above, I enjoyed this story enough to want to read more of hers. I've listed her later works below should you want to start with them.

Warrior Series:


Dragon Chalice Series:

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