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A Constant Heart (Against All Expectations Collection) [Kindle Edition]

Siri Mitchell

Kindle-Preis: EUR 4,62 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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    Born with the face of an angel, Marget Barnardsen is blessed. Her father is a knight, and now she is to be married to the Earl of Lytham. her destiny is least, it would seem so. But when her introduction to court goes awry and Queen Elizabeth despises her, Marget fears she's lost her husband forever. Desperate to win him back, she'll do whatever it takes to discover how she failed and capture again the love of a man bound to the queen.


    Born with the face of an angel, Marget Barnardsen is blessed. Her father is a knight, and now she is to be married to the Earl of Lytham. Her destiny is least, it would seem so. But when her introduction to court goes awry and Queen Elizabeth despises her, Marget fears she's lost her husband forever. Desperate to win him back, she'll do whatever it takes to discover how she failed and capture again the love of a man bound to the queen.


    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • Dateigröße: 1818 KB
    • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 388 Seiten
    • Verlag: Bethany House Publishers (1. Oktober 2008)
    • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Sprache: Englisch
    • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
    • Erweiterte Schriftfunktion: Nicht aktiviert
    • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #565.325 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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    Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.6 von 5 Sternen  188 Rezensionen
    66 von 67 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    3.0 von 5 Sternen Great on history, not so much on the plot 8. März 2009
    Von Debbie - Veröffentlicht auf
    I think this is supposed to be a Christian historical fiction with a strong romance theme, but all it really shines at is giving a comprehensive historical look at court life under Queen Elizabeth I.

    The main characters occasionally make a vague reference to God, but that's about it. God certainly doesn't impact their lives at all.

    As for the romance, the 'hero' is self-centered, childish, ambitious, cruel, emotionally abusive of his wife, and a few other unflattering things. I was rooting for him to die, not for him to win the heroine's heart. His wife, the heroine, does act consistent to her age and upbringing, but eventually her gullibility and willingness to destroy herself for her husband was too much for me to stay sympathetic to her.

    Also, there wasn't much depth to their relationship. One moment, husband and wife were hating and/or fearing the other. In the next, they were madly "in love" (though the hero was mainly falling in lust with her in the "but I just can't resist her even though reason says I shouldn't" fashion). Despite being madly "in love," they'd have a simple misunderstanding and immediately be back to square one. They fluctuated back and forth like this for years without building any trust or belief in the other.

    An additional problem was that both character viewpoints were written in first person. There was very little indication when the viewpoint had switched, so I was often confused by the switch.

    The book gives an excellent look at what life was like at the time, but this focus on the historical detail slows the pace of the story. There were many scenes that seemed to have been put in solely to illustrate something the author learned about the time period. These scenes didn't move the story forward and could have been cut without harming our understanding of what was going on in the story.

    If you'd like to see what life was like at the time without reading a textbook, this book is a very good way to do that. However, while the writing itself was fine, I felt the book's characters, pacing, and plot could have been much stronger.

    There is no explicit sex, and I don't recall any cussing. Overall, this book was "clean reading."

    Genre Reviews
    42 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    3.0 von 5 Sternen Both Dissappointing and Recommended 28. September 2008
    Von Margaret C. - Veröffentlicht auf
    I give this book three out of five stars, but in a split manner. If I were to rate the book solely upon my enjoyment and escape into it's historical aspects, it would be two stars; yet if I were to rate this book on the detail and descriptions of this historical journey at hand it would four stars. Thus, I settle at three. Starting out reading this book, I was quite distraught and not at all drawn in. The cover is gorgeous and the summary sounds interesting, but in the reading I was just not there. I searched the internet for some reviews to find what others might have thought and was shocked to find all but poor reviews, minus one that only praised the author and said nothing about the book.

    It is my understanding that this is the first historical from this author and although I hear her chick-lit is to die for her historical is lacking. That is not all together necessarily a full fact. The entire novel is full to the brim of historical details and facts that are painted in an array of images that could show any reader what the years of the mid-sixteenth century would appear to be. The descriptions of the clothes, the places, the people all are fascinating and plenty enough true to fact. I would highly suggest this book as a supplemental reading to be added to someone studying the Elizabethan age and wanting to find a further glance in the era.

    Where I do not find my joy is in the personalities and partially the writing. The story is two from two different characters' POV and switches back and forth quite drastically without any warning and sometimes it is difficult to interpret who speaks. Other than that it is the personalities of the characters that are quite drab. I kept thinking to myself of the grey skies of London, and that is quite how I felt about this story. The idea is good and could be a fabulous book if made longer with more depth to the persons involved. But reading this story was quite painful. There was no joy only sadness and I felt it with every turn of the page. I could not interpret or assume how things would turn out and in that way they were quite a mystery. Yet in the context of day by day happens I felt quite like screaming at the insolence and blindness by how these characters lived.

    Some have said that this was a very thinly veiled attempt at criticizing and lecturing people of today's society with beauty attempts, and although I can see that opinion in a manner, I would not call this a poor attempt. The story can relate and does bring to light some great value on the harsh truths that are known of women living in such a stage devoted to such a cause that is beyond their owns well-being. Yet it does it in an elegant and educational manner.

    With all that said. I would not suggest this book as a light heart-ed Christian Historical Fiction to escape into the lives of those in a courtier of Elizabeth I. It is just not quite in that category. By most standards it is not a Christian Fiction as God is not mentioned in much reverence or detail nor is his role at all hinted to more than any secular novel. However, as a book for historical and educational value, I could easily suggest and see this being read and used for vast discussions and open minds and curiosity to know more about British history. So as confusing as this must sound, it solely depends upon why you wish to read this story as to whether or not you would enjoy it. That is up to you.
    26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    5.0 von 5 Sternen Pulls you right in and keeps you there. 10. Oktober 2008
    Von Michelle Sutton - Veröffentlicht auf
    First, let me say that the cover is the most beautiful historical fiction cover I have ever seen. Second, I don't recommend reading this book if there are a lot of distractions. To get the full effect of the author's voice and the setting you need to be in a place where your concentration is not easily broken. Do this and you'll get sucked right in. I had to set aside blocks of time read to this book because it's not the kind where you can just read a page here and there. Once I got a chance to really read it, I became distressed that I had to wait to finish it. But life gets busy. At any rate, this book kept calling me to read it and that rarely happens to me with books, which is why I gave it five + stars.

    Siri writes real thoughts and real life. The ugliness of that plague, people being quartered and beheaded, etc. was not glossed over, nor was it written for shock value. It was simply told truthfully and that made the setting feel more real to me. Someone mentioned there being less content about God and faith than in secular novels. I disagree. I saw more content with a spiritual thread than is even found in some CBA fiction. However, the content was limited to the era and thus constrained by the culture. To write a viewpoint much different from how Siri wrote it, well, that would not have worked and would have blow the author's credibility. She had to show the way it really was.

    I found this story very romantic as well. At first I wanted to smack Lytham around, but Siri redeemed him well. He became quite the hero, but was still flawed. Some of the marital conflict was hilarious and overall quite entertaining. I could feel their emotion and it was fabulously written. The love scenes were realistic, too, but tastefully done.

    I despised the older woman who was continually advising Marget. And what happened with Lytham's former wife was simply tragic. Marget was innocent and the advice given nearly ruined her. The grieving she experienced was so real to me that I cried for Marget several times. It wasn't a heavy, lingering feeling from her pain, though, because I had not experienced the same thing. But I could identify with her. And like in the story about the Titanic, where you know the ship will sink, I kept reading with the anxious feeling of knowing that the cosmetics were poisoning her and I couldn't stop her from returning to court. I totally bought into the tension in this story.

    Siri always makes me think about our culture and other cultures when she writes. I could see how women over the centuries have done just about anything to look beautiful. I found that concept fascinating and told many people about this story because of it. What a great premise! I'd always wondered why courtiers had such a high rate of infertility. If you wanted to be a mother, chances were better if you stayed far away from the queen and her court.

    I also found the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth to be very well done. There was so much richness and depth to this story, I could go on for hours. But in short, the definition of love and faithfulness is explored in detail in A Constant Heart, and the way the author showed the many different perspectives was nothing short of brilliant. If you love realistic historical fiction that is honest and contains some edgy content, you'll want to devour this book!
    9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    4.0 von 5 Sternen Riveting and Informative 8. Oktober 2008
    Von A. Riley - Veröffentlicht auf
    So the truth is, I love a good romance. Epic romances are maybe my favorite of all books, there's nothing like a huge sweeping romance to engage your mind and heart. This book is very much the kind of romance I enjoy...there's enough other story to keep it from being a straight romance, but the romance is very present and very enjoyable.

    I'm also learning that I have a fascination with this sort of historical. The glimpse into court life in this book is far from favorable, yet very informative. Marget is a very likeable character, a woman who wishes only to be in a marriage of love--completely devoted to her husband-- at a time when marriages of love were not acceptable. In fact, the level of devotion the queen sought from her subjects seems so ridiculous to me. I don't think I'd really be all that interested in people fawning all over me only because of what I could do for them. The cost to the courtiers and the common people was very high.

    Although it took me a few pages to get into the story, once I got into it I was sold. I devoured each page, following Marget and Lytham's love story and their struggles, the harmful fashions of the time, their desperate attempts to gain the Queen's favor, and their daily joys and sorrows. Highly recommended for fans of romance or historical fiction. (I'd like to mention that even though this book is published by a Christian publisher, it has broad appeal and there is no didactic writing in the story)
    4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    5.0 von 5 Sternen Raises romance to a new standard . . . 13. März 2010
    Von Mac - Veröffentlicht auf
    I am not a romance fan. Not at all. I find them superficial, formulaic (admittedly by the publishers who publish them) and generally poorly written. I stumbled upon Siri Mitchell's "Love's Pursuit" because I was doing some research on novels written in a specific historical period. I was so moved by it, so impressed by its quality, that I ran out and got "A Constant Heart". I was not disappointed, and am now an official fan of Siri Mitchell's historical fiction. Once again, I was sorry to see a Mitchell novel end.

    "A Constant Heart" shows mixed reviews here, and I am not surprised. For those who are fed a constant diet of formula romances, this will be a surprise. It starts out feeling like a formula romance - save the quality of the writing, specifically the author's ability to paint a time period and show three-dimensional characters up front - but early in the book it takes a turn and we stop with the high school he-loves-me he-loves-me-not why-does-he-hate-me silliness and find a grown-up love story, about two people already committed to one another and struggling to remain faithful to one another and to their morals when the world around them is wallowing in decadence.

    The hero and heroine are thoroughly developed, multi-layered and sympathetic. Their relationship travels through better and worse, sickness and health, and richer and poorer, with many surprises and a lot of heartbreak. Mitchell doesn't shy away from the horrors of real life - something so impressive in "Love's Pursuit" (where an unpredictably dark turn left my mouth hanging open)- and she does the same in this book, diving fearlessly into the uglier side of Elizabethan court life, and some consequences which have rarely been examined.

    I would say that Mitchell has taken the old romance formula, and raised it to an entirely new standard - one in which characters are thoroughly and deeply drawn, and history springs to life, for better or worse. These are books to be inspired by and learn from. WOW.
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