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Once Upon a Hero: Tales of Love Throughout History (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

C.N. Bird , Samantha Holt , Lily Magee , Em Taylor

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Pompeii by C.N. Bird

69 A.D.
Following the loss of her father and her mother years later, Hadriana is saved from a life of prostitution by her closest friend Victus. Through rebuilding and many loves, one night finds them unable to resist their feelings for one another any longer. With their new found affection and moving forward in their lives, the city of Pompeii seemingly doesn't have a happy ending in store.

Hunting His Highland Lass by Samantha Holt

Scotland, 1292
Rory MacPherson has returned home to find his castle overrun by the English and his timid wife missing. So when he hears of her tales of bravery, he's just a little surprised. But his main concern is whether she is still alive or has been captured. Upon discovering her intention to run to her father's and to leave their affectionless marriage for good, Rory realises just how much sweet Isla means to him. Can the warrior get past his fears of being too rough for her?

Though fear of capture drove Isla out, it's the fear of returning to her marriage that keeps her travelling across the unforgiving Highlands. Not that she doesn't care for her husband, but she can no longer bear desiring a man who clearly doesn't want her. Believing that he must be sharing his bed with another lass, Isla plans to beg her father for refuge from the English...and her husband. But the journey is dangerous and Rory is a determined man. Will he even let her go?

A Love Remembered by Em Taylor

England, 1811
When Lord Benedict Mallory is lost at sea while fighting in His Majesty's Navy, Lady Cassandra Strong knows her happy ever after with the handsome duke's son will never be. That is until she spots her friend's footman. He bears a striking resemblance to the Lord who was presumed drowned.

A chance encounter with the newly restored Earl leaves Cassy with no option but to marry Lord Benedict. Can they overcome his loss of memory and forge a marriage for themselves?

An Honourable Enemy by Lily Magee

Russia, 1812
War has been kind to Capitaine Amaury de Poitiers. With every victory over the Russians, Napoleon's Grande Army brings ever greater glory to France. Highly regarded by both his superiors and his men, his career looks set to soar. 

When he is tasked with guarding a prisoner of war critical to the war effort, an archduchess no less, Amaury finds himself enchanted by her. The only surviving member of her family, the proud Katinka of Viasma is overwhelmed by grief and the desire for revenge upon the French for her family's death. Despite her initial hostility, Amaury finds himself becoming ever more drawn to this feisty, angry yet fragile young woman and is overcome by the need to protect her.

Katinka in turn finds herself confused by her increasing attraction to the witty, chivalrous capitaine who refuses to give up on her despite her temper.

Their longing for each other is undeniable but both of them know that the barriers between them are great. Amaury finds himself torn between his mission, his love and his honour. Katinka is a noblewoman and he is but a common soldier. To be together could cost Katinka everything.

Can Amaury and Katinka ever overcome the barriers of war and class that separate them?

Once Upon a Hero is a 50,000 word collection of four short stories with some sensual content.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1469 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 149 Seiten
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #173.693 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen  9 Rezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Timeless Love Stories 14. Februar 2014
Von Rosemary - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
This anthology is filled with sensual romance and thrilling adventure. I love that the authors each use a unique historical period for their story. They each pick a significant time which range from Pompeii, to Scotland, England and Russia. These tales of passion and love shouldn't be missed. The characters in each are well written. These headstrong and passionate ladies and their honorable and determined lovers will keep you reading. The storylines are interesting and filled with drama. The backdrops add so much to the story. I've never read a story set in Pompeii. I love all four. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite. That said, I am partial to Scotland which is where Hunting His Highland Lass by Samantha Holt takes place. Once Upon a Hero features four very talented authors who work together to write an enjoyable and satisfying trip through history. A perfect romantic escape!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Four star heroes. 8. März 2014
Von Chris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Four novellas of love throughout history beginning in the final days of Pompeii until the days of Napoleon.
Pompeii by C N Bird is an interesting romance set in the final days of Pompeii, for anybody who has been to Pompeii there are more than enough stories to tell, this is just one of those that has been written down. It doesn't move as quickly as the others and seems a bit slow in places but it is still a well written and enjoyable tale.
Hunting His Highland Lass by Samantha Holt was probably my favourite of the stories, set in 1297 in Scotland a place of romance, and this tale lives up to that, it is a descriptive a moving story that will invite you in from the first page and keep you interested until the last.
A Love Remembered by Em Taylor in England in the early 1800's is a story of love lost and found, and promises kept, an interesting tale that holds your interest as you wonder is he or isn't he.
An Honourable Enemy by Lily Magee finishes off this quartet and is based at the time of a Napoleons attempted invasion of Russia. It is interesting have an officer in Napoleons army as the hero as very often they seem to be the villains, whilst the heroine is a Russian Aristocrat. An interesting mixture that works well and keeps your attention from beginning to end.
Overall a good mixture of times and styles that work well together to provide an interesting spectrum of love that you can enjoy in small bites.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great Novellas by 4 Great Authors 17. März 2014
Von Victoria - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This was a wonderful collection of novellas by four very talented authors! I adore Samantha Holt's work but the other three authors, C.N. Bird, Lily Magee and Em Taylor, are all new to me. I was drawn into this anthology from page one and was unable to put this book down. All four authors do a great job at describing their characters, their settings and emotions. I felt as if I was a part of each novella. I am excited to read more work from all of these authors! Thank you for putting together an awesome collection for your readers!
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Nice Variation of Historical Romance Stories *3 3/4 Stars* *SPOILER ALERT* 1. April 2014
Von Reading Fanatic (CMP) - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This is a nice set of four historical romance novellas, each set in a different time period. I've enjoyed all the stories, although the Samantha Holt novella is easily my favorite. Based on my individual ratings, I'd give this collection an overall rating of 3 3/4 average of the four ratings. FYI all of these stories can be purchased individually on Amazon (they're each priced at .99 cents.)


I really enjoyed this little story, although it's a most unusual format--at least in my experience. When the story begins in the Roman city of Neopolis in the year 100 A.D. The heroine, Hadrina, is telling her grandchildren the story of how she survived the destruction of her home city of Pompei, not once but twice, and how their family came to live in Neopolis.

She begins by taking the children by to the 62 A.D., when she was just a child of eight and lived through an earthquake that all but destroyed Pompei. The story is told in the first person and once Hadriana takes the children back to 62 A.D. we are not taken back to present day until the very end of the story. I have to be honest though and admit that at first I wondered what the heck I was reading, and whether or not I was wasting my precious little quiet time (this was at 6 a.m. when my two little ones were blessedly still asleep) reading something that I would not ultimately enjoy. Fortunately, while the story gets off to a questionable start, it very quickly gets better as Hadriana tells about the progression of her life through the years following the earthquake. There is even a very sweet romance that occurs between Hadriana and her childhood friend, Victus.

The description of the story is spot on--it is very much a story of love and loss, as Hadrina suffers the loss of her parents, her childhood, and her innocence before she finally achieves her HEA. I very much like the way in the which the story ended, as the story left me feeling satisfied by the way Hadrina life turned out.

While the story is not told in the usual manner, it was still very good. It left me feeling as though I had just listened to a grandparent tell me about his/her life experiences during a significant period of was fascinating! I really enjoyed it, although I do not think it would be for everyone. FYI, this is not a clean romance as there is a love scene that is quite graphic, although it is rather short and, IMO, easily skipped. For me, this was a 4 star read.


I've read a number of Samantha Holt's novella's and have thoroughly enjoyed them all; "Hunting His Highland Lass" was no exception. The story is well written, with an interesting plot, and three dimensional characters...something Holt manages to do despite the story's short length.

Rory returns home to find the English have taken possession of his castle. After fighting to reclaim his home, Rory discovers his wife, Isla, is missing. He's not sure if she managed to escape, or if she's been captured by the English, but he's determined to find her. The accounts he hears of Isla's participation in the battle against the English, does not jive with the quiet, timid woman he knows to be his wife. When he's told that Isla intended to seek refuge with her father, Rory goes after her...despite the fact that it seems she'd rather he didn't.

Poor Rory thinks he's too big and rough for his tiny, delicate wife. He suffers from the belief that he hurt Isla on their wedding night, and since then has withdrawn-emotionally and physically--from the relationship. As for Isla, she is a wonderful character. Far from being timid, as her husband assumes, Isla is a brave, feisty, determined woman, who is more than capable of holding her own. She suffers from a lack of confidence where her marriage is concerned, as she is convinced that Rory does not want her.

Both Rory and Isla's characters are fully developed--so often not the case with a story so short--as the reader is given a lot of insight into each of their thoughts. IMO, they were both very sympathetic, and it broke my heart at the emotional suffering each had endured, due to the lack of communication between them. The story that unfolds is extremely poignant, as these two star-crossed lovers must work to overcome their insecurities and fear of rejection, to claim the love they each hold in their heart for the other.

The story was a joy to read. I loved it and highly recommend it. FYI, this is not a clean romance...I'm not sure, but I don't think Ms. Holt writes "clean" books (at least I've not read any.) LOL I rate this story 4 1/2 stars.


This story is very well written, and has a thoroughly unique plot. Unfortunately, the story that unfolds is too superficial; it lacks depth. Furthermore, character development is sadly lacking. Cassy and Ben first meet when she is 16 and he 20; her family spent a week at his family's country estate. During that time the two established a rapport. Ben is due to leave for the Navy, he asks for permission to write to Cassy. For the next 3 1/2 years the two exchange letters, until Ben is lost at sea, believed to be dead.

A year and a half later, Cassy espies her friend's new footman, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Ben. From there the story quickly develops. One of the biggest problems with the book is that too much of the story is glossed over; it lacks details...the story jumps a lot; whole days are bypassed wherein events occur, to which the reader is not privy (for example the story jumps from the scene where Cassy and Ben's conduct results in Cassy's being compromised to some days later--how much actual time has passed is anybody's guess--to the couple's betrothal ball.)

Considering the plot, this story could easily have been an extremely emotive one. Cassy was purportedly heartbroken when she believed Ben dead. As for Ben, he has no memory of his past life and has to relearn everything. Unfortunately, the story is portrayed in such a way that parts of it--especially the beginning--almost seem like a regency spoof; although it's not funny so to speak, but rather silly. Furthermore, I felt like the story was told to me, rather than experiencing it for myself.

So, bottom line, this is not a book that would come to mind when recommending a book to a friend. FYI, this is absolutely not a clean romance. Approximately 20% of the story encompasses two loves scenes--which IMO, is a bit much, considering how short the story is--which are quite graphic. To be fair, I feel I must tell you that based on the reviews for this individual book, most readers loved it. For me it was a 3 star read.


Overall I enjoyed this novella; there's so much about it that's good...the writing, the hero, the plot. Unfortunately, I couldn't stop thinking that the heroine very probably had a case of Stockholm syndrome, thus I wasn't too convinced of her love for the hero. The events occur during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Amaury is a Captain in the French Army. When the French invade her family's lands, Katinka's father and brother are killed, and she is taken prisoner--the French refer to her as a "guest", and she's treated with respect, but in reality she's a hostage. As an Archduchess, Katinka is a very valuable hostage, and the French intend to use her as leverage during negotiations with the Russian tsar. Amaury is assigned the duty of ensuring Katinka's safety.

When they first meet, Amaury is captivated, Katinka is furious! When next they meet, Katinka gets to see Amaury's kind, caring nature, and realizes he's a man of honor. By the third day, they are having scorching hot sex! Although I enjoyed the story, IMO, the relationship between the couple progressed way too quickly--especially when you factor in the circumstances of their relationship, and the recent deaths of Katinka's brother and father. Considering her emotional state, I wasn't quite convinced that the feelings she had for Amaury were long-lasting.

Nonetheless, if you can overlook this one weakness, the rest of the story is actually pretty good. Amaury and Katinka are very sweet together. Amaury is a worthy hero, he's protective, loving, and kind. The story has a certain poignancy about it; because of the circumstances under which Amaury and Katinka meet, a future for them is virtually impossible. Amaury suffers real angst because of that reality. Although I liked Katinka, I didn't like her as much as I did Amaury. She actually got on my nerves at one point in the story.


Katinka is pretty much the instigator of the couple's sexual relationship (now don't get me wrong, she didn't attack the man, but she was very encouraging.) After they have sex, however, she gets angry with Amaury because he cannot promise they will have a future together. He tells her she must "trust me that I will find a way." But instead she gets angry. Considering the reality of their situation I could not understand her reaction...I thought she was being idiotic.


My only other complaint is that the ending seemed a bit to convenient; and an epilogue would have been nice--one set a few years in the future (that would have served to clear up any doubts about Katinka's feelings for Amaury.) In any event, this is an entertaining read. I rate this story 3 1/2 stars.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Pretty weak 4. März 2014
Von Sandy Milan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I really don't even want to do a summary of each very short story. I bought this book because I wanted to read the second story by Samantha Holt but it was really weak. I've loved most of her books but this one wasn't good. The first about Pompeii was a little strange and the last was a bit tacky. The third was probably the best but it doesn't make this collection worth buying.
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