Cover Image: The Splendid Hour

The Splendid Hour

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This author appears to be a one hit wonder for me as I keep trying to find their next #1 hit but keep falling way short. This is a DNF for me. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Love and Treachery

Peter and Liora lived in turbulent times. They lived in a Christian England, where love between a Catholic and a Jew were forbidden. Could they find a way? Religion was not the only obstacle for the two star-crossed lovers. There were those that would separate them at any cost. There will be treachery, intrigue, suspense, and romance that will keep you turning the pages. If you like highly detailed, medieval romance, where the hero and heroine must face seemingly unbeatable odds, you might enjoy this story.
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Love, politics, religion, intrigue, and jealousy… what more do you need? A handsome medieval warrior, a witty damsel, and true love burdened by some laws, some rules that do not allow the young lovers to fulfill their dreams… Longing for a kiss, longing for a gentle touch .... the desire is too great, and the battle uncertain .... Can love win when odds are against?
Another emotional story from the pen of this talented author, who manages to intrigue me with the unique mixture of true historical facts and incredible imagination. A book that offers pages full of spoken and unspoken truths and desires that offer an overview of a society where attraction and love were only a sporadic factor in people's lives, and political aspirations and social status - the most important criteria. And what especially impresses me is the way this author manages to capture every scene, with incredibly fitted details and so much emotion, that it seems for a moment you move into that skillfully created world of knights and ladies, experiencing every conflict of interests and painful truths and prejudices…. Some of them that are still present around the world today. A story about forbidden love, the same god, the same principles but different religions ... something not allowed at that time ... The love of Peter and Liora - convicted before it began  ...
The author, as in the previous works, manages to build characters that are simply memorable and captivating, with enough emotional depth and perfect balance. Peter is a character who, with all his skillfully depicted features, from the powerful physical appearance to the nobility, is the complete embodiment of that romantic brave prince of fairy tales. A character because of whom we all enjoy historical love romances, a character who is brave and strong enough, yet gentle enough to make every reader swoon. Liora with her kindness and intelligence is a real partner for this brave knight. Their instant love is something that bothers me a little, I would like a little more depth and complexity, but it must be admitted that it offers hope for a better future.
If you are looking for an amazing  Medieval Love story with a solid plot, enough twists and turns, then Kathryn Le Veque's novel The Splendid Hour is a must-read.
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The Splendid Hour is the seventh title in the Executioner Knights series, and features Peter de Lohr the son of Christopher de Lohr who featured as the hero of Rise of the Defender. 
I read Christopher’s story several years ago and became enamored with Kathryn Le Veque’s medieval romances.  Her characters cross over in titles, and as a fan of the de Lohr Dynasty I was eager to dive into Peter’s story and it didn’t disappoint.  
Peter is a strong, gallant, honorable, protective, and loyal knight, but also has a playful side to him that makes him all the more endearing. 
The lady who holds his attention, is Liora a Jewess who is sweet, kind and compassionate, yet practical and the perfect woman for Peter, despite the differences in their religion. 
This title is a dramatic, medieval romance with strong themes of family, friendship, jealousy, revenge, religion, identity, and love. 
I was captivated and intrigued by this well written and romance, and need to catch up on the backlist of Kathryn’s books that I’ve yet to read, including several from the Executioner Knights series.
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An enjoyable read bringing two different religions together during a time when it would result in one or both being "exiled" from their families. Peter has always felt different being born a bastard, even though his family loves him and accepts him. It resulted him making something more of himself and having a greater understanding of life. When he unexpectedly meets Liora, everything changes for him. She is the one for him and he will not consider anyone else. Liora is kind, educated, and intelligent, but she is a Jewess and it is considered forbidden for a Jew and a Christian to marry. Both experience much turmoil, among themselves, families, others who have have ulterior motives, and with the King of England. Both must overcome those troubles to have a life together, even if means banishment from both families. 
I received this novel from net galley and the publisher. Thank you! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I'm enjoying the Executioner Knights series, The Splendid Hour being book 7.  Peter de Lohr is the illegitimate son of Christopher de Lohr.  In attempting to escape the attentions of Agnes de Quincy, Peter finds himself in the gardens of Liora, the daughter of a Jewish jewelry maker.  In order to marry, they need to resolve the issue of their different religions as well as deal with the meddling of the de Quincys.  An entertaining read from Ms Le Veque as always.  I'm looking forward to the next in this series.
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Prepare to be brought again, into the amazing imagination of Kathryn Le Veque, as she takes us on a different journey through history, with religion being part of the story.

A strong, brave,Executioner Knight, who was enormous, powerful and skilled beyond measure, was hiding. There was a woman determined to have him as husband and he wanted none of it! Having hidden in the Jewish section of town, he then met her.  Yes, beautiful beyond measure, with a sense of humor and intelligence. He had to see her again.

Simply a story of the heart as these two come together. So different in so many ways but it seems their hearts know each other and have to find a way.

Strong characters, a storyline not soon forgotten, and all in a era where a terrible King tries to rule and dominate.  These stories need to be a tv series, yes, seriously! Loved every word.
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The Splendid Hour is not my first Kathryn LeVeque novel, but it's my first of her lengthy Executioner Knights series. As a Jew, I was drawn to the premise of a love story about Christian knight and a Jewish woman as much as I was dreading it. On one hand, I was excited to have a Jewish main character--they are few and far between even in contemporary romantic fiction. On the other hand, I knew going in that a true interfaith marriage in 13th century England was not possible. I also knew that there would be an HEA of some kind. I was worried, though, that an HEA for these two would mean the heroine would have to give up her faith. I crossed my fingers that LeVeque wouldn't strip Liona of her cultural and religious identity in order to achieve that HEA.

Without going onto spoiler territory, I'll just say that LeVeque did a really good job finding balance by the end. I don't know what I really wanted the outcome to be (aside from happy), but I do know that I was more or less satisfied. It helps that LeVeque's portrayal of herJewish characters--mostly Liona, her father Haim, and her little brother--goes against harmful stereotypes from that era. They are warm, intelligent, and generous. Even the young rabbi who appears briefly is remarkably open minded.

The character of the hero Peter, too, helped ease my underrepresented mind. He displays a respectful curiosity about Judaism and a sincere desire to learn. He's also entirely willing to make the sacrifices that would be necessary to keep Liona in his life.

Where the story falls short for me is the whirlwind nature of their courtship. While there's always a bit of suspension of disbelief with romance, I think this particular pair needed more time. I would have enjoyed watching Peter interacting with Jewish traditions. However, because of the historical timing (both real and fictional), I suppose the author was a bit limited. The other area that I struggled with was the sheer number of secondary characters, most of them protagonists from LeVeque's other books in this series.

Overall, this is a solid story and I commend the author for taking this giant risk. I also appreciate her thoughtful author's notes and afterword.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!
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What an amazing love story!  Peter de Lohr hides in the kitchen yard of Liora ben Thad to escape from Lady Agnes de Quincy's pursuit of him.  Liora is the most beautiful woman Peter has ever seen.  As a Jewess, Liora has never seen a fully armored knight before.  Peter is the illegitimate son of Christopher de Lohr and recognized as such with many privileges and connections.  He is also an Executioner Knight, all of which is totally outside of Liora's understanding at first.
We see so many familiar names in this story, famous knights that we have come to know and love over the years.  King John plays a prominent role, and Kathryn has done her research about the Magna Carta and this time period.
You won't see as many bloody battles in this story, but danger abounds, as does the political stratagem of the day, and religion of Christianity and Jews.  Kathryn has done a magnificent job in giving us Peter and Liora's love story.  The story will grab you on the first page and hold you until the very end.  You will find yourself thinking about the story once you have finished.  I wish I could give it more than 5 stars!
I received an ARC from Dragonblade Publishing and NetGalley and elected to submit a review.
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Sir Peter de Lohr is the illegitimate son of one of the greatest Knights England has ever known.  He is also an Executioner Knight and powerful in his own right.  That has made him the target of a marriage minded woman and her father.  They will do anything to get what they want.  While Peter will do all he can to avoid them. 

Liora ben Thad is the daughter of Haim,  the Jewish Goldsmith who makes jewelry for the King and many other nobles.  She is a good and dutiful daughter who has never even dreamed of a different type of life,  until she meets a big fully armoured Knight hiding in her garden. 

The noble warlords of England are still having trouble with King John, even after they forced him to sign the Magna Carta.  Extra measures might just be necessary.  

This book covers a difficult relationship between two people who have absolutely nothing in common,  and according to their faiths should never be together.  

As usual from this author, we get caught up in our characters lives from the first to last page.  Because of our hero's bloodlines and connections you will have met many of the secondary characters in other books.  This story may have less warfare than some others, but is just as high in danger and political intrigue.  

A fabulous tale with great characters.  

I loved every page.
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Peter de Lohr premiere knight, an Executioner Knight is the following his father’s legacy and he’s to be one of the greatest knights the realm has seen. Loyal to his family, king and country until the warlords have spilt William Marshall’s Executioner Knight in half with their beliefs. 
He knows there’s lady out to marry into the great de Lohr name, but has caught his interest until he stumbles upon raven-haired and blue-eyed, Liora, while he hides in her father’s garden to escape the notice of  such lady, the daughter of a warlord, who keeps stalking him. Liora is the daughter of Jewish jeweler for the King John. This is a captivating story when Peter is quite intrigued by the beautiful and intelligent Liora. He finds himself drawn to her over and over as Peter and Liora against all odds fall in love against their different faiths where Jews and Christian do not marry and causing families tensions to rise. I have voluntarily read and reviewed the great book that has a story so intricately woven with history and romance as Kathryn le Veque takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.
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I liked this book a LOT. 
Action-packed, intense, intricate character development and storyline. Woven easily through historical details. Unafraid to dive headlong into complex religious issues, attitudes, controversies, all while treating each as even-handedly, nonjudgmentally as possible. (I have my own doubts on how realistic that attitude would be in 13th century England...but, I digress.)
While the star event of the book was the almost accidental meeting of two souls who would almost certainly have never even met during  the course of normal life, the meeting quickly evolved into an intensely romantic, sexually charged relationship. The treatment of the sexual aspects was intense, yet never devolved into the 'just-short-of-graphic-porn that passes as "normal" in most historical romance novels.
I would very much recommend this book.
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley. No strings attached. Honest review.
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This is such a wonderful story-from the first page through the last page!
Peter de Lohr is hiding from a woman, a position he has never experienced in the past. But Agnes de Quincy is on a mission to become his wife. And that, for him, is a fate worse than death. When he ducks into an enclosed space, he hoped to lose Agnes, but he never expected to lose his heart.
Liora is surprised to find a knight hiding in her yard. When given his reason, she is amused that this handsome, strong knight is running from a mere female. She is attracted and her pesky brother is just that. She is unsure as to his statements to her, but his actions began to show her that he is a man of his word, with a good heart.
But love is never easy and there is are huge issues: of their cultures and commitment to the King of England.
This is such a beautiful, classic story of love.
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The Splendid Hour by Kathryn Le Veque is another entry into her breath-taking saga of the Middle Ages and English knights. The De Lohr family is second only to William de Wolfe in its production of stalwart, courageous knights. Despite the fact that he was not born to a legitimate union, Peter De Lohr has been recognized as Christopher De Lohr's eldest son and been accepted into the family as one of their own. Despite all of this, he has always felt a little left out, as if he is on the edge of things. Then came the day, while trying to escape Agnes de Quincy's overbearing attempts to secure a betrothal, he happens on the kitchen courtyard of the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. She is called Liora. Not only is she beautiful, but she seems kind and is definitely witty. He spends an enchanted time with her and vows to return. Meanwhile, the de Quincys are still up to their tricks. Liora doesn't meet him the next day as she has promised but sends her little brother to tell him she will be late. This message comes just as he is ready to give up. It only takes a couple of days, but he is smitten. And the de Quincys are motivated to secure a betrothal, Liora notwithstanding. 

This is an enticing book, rife with issues appropriate to the era. King John was a horrible king and his nobles rebelled. One of his few redeeming features was his positive relationship with the Jewish population. Despite that, marriage between a Jew and a Christian was nearly impossible and that impossibility is portrayed with sympathy and kindness as Le Veque explores the relationship between Peter and Liora. She writes Christopher as a supremely fair man, who while he is not happy about the relationship, supports his son. It is a beautifully written story, faithful to history and at the same time exploring several really sensitive subjects with a finesse that only Le Veque could evoke. It was a lovely read, consistent with history and yet revealing of personal feelings. I suggest you give it a try. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Splendid Hour by Dragonblade, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #thesplendidhour.
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I found this novel had an interesting viewpoint of both the historical events that took place during the reign of King John as well as the cultural differences between Christians and Jews. I loved Peter from the outset as he attempts to escape the attentions of Lady Agnes de Quincy. His boyish humor and panic at being trapped into a marriage that he has no stomach for, made me smile. Liora's gentle humor as well as her practical view on life make her the perfect foil for Peter, and certainly, her little brother keeps him on his toes as well. The historical events that unfold reveal a tragic period of time, and the part played by men who had the good of the country at heart makes one realize that despite circumstances there is always a way to solve the ills of this world. Unfortunately, jealousy and revenge get in the way, making this a novel that kept my interest throughout. As a result of this book, I found myself reading up on King Henry III, coming to the realization that the sacrifices made were all worthwhile. I received a copy of this romance from Dragonblade Publishing and NetGalley and this is my honest and voluntary review.
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I love this authors books and this one was no exception.  She always has a way with words and trys to stay with timelines and the history of the book.  There is always plenty of danger and a son or knight finds his lady love.  King John is the way he always is, self centered, jealous, conniving and a hateful and arrogant person.  I loved reading Peter and Liora's story and had tears in one part of the book towards the end.  I'm familiar with the old war lords, so when one is taken it breaks my heart.  Loved the book and characters in it.  HEA for Peter.
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Politics and religion both come into play as King John uses the threat  of excommunication to control the warlords. His plan backfires, nevertheless a bargain is struck. Peter de Lohr is the eldest son of Christopher de Lohr, but not his heir. He's always felt he never fit into his family. Little does Peter know how his life will change. A young lady who is Jewish will be his first test, the king will be his second. Peter walks a fine line for a life of love and peace. As always another great read from Le Veque. 
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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Kathryn’s writing is always mesmerising, I can totally immerse myself in her books and I’m lost to reality for hours, just as it should be. 

Peter de Lohr’s book is a perfect example of me reading and forgetting the world.
I found him sweet and protective, honourable and a delight to meet, 
Liora was the same, I was stunned to learn of the differences and challenges that were put upon them because they were from different faiths but wanted to be together, things I never knew, but I had my eyes opened for me, Thankyou Kathryn.

One thing I did notice, although I believe Kathryn loves all her characters in one way or another,  I feel when she writes a scene with Christopher de Lohr in it her writing almost takes on a life all its own, you can feel the love for him through the way she writes, similar with a few others. I wonder if there’s anything to my feelings. 

A brilliant story and satisfying read, one I will always adore, especially for the father son melding and heart to heart chats between Peter and Christopher. 
They made the book for me. 

I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review
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Peter and Liora are so sweet together!

This is the kind of story I read historicals for.  Such exquisite attention to detail, such amazing heart-filled emotional writing, every bit of it was enthralling and insightful.  

Peter is not just a typical Christian of the time; as an Executioner Knight his allegiance to the Church is as ingrained in him as his allegiance to his family.  LIora is a Jewess, a woman whose life and family is so wrapped up in her religious traditions that it's the foundation of her ethnic identity.  But the heart wants what the heart wants, despite how treacherous the path to their HEA is.

The outside forces working against them range from the truly villainous to the merely power-grabbing, but through it all Peter walks a fine diplomatic line between keeping his word and keeping his life.  I really appreciated the attention to detail shown by the author, making this a solid history lesson as well as a thrilling romance.  

As someone with more than a passing familiarity with both Jewish and Christian beliefs and traditions, I commend the author for her accuracy and fairness in presenting the common ground where most people only see conflict.  The religious aspects are true to their historical setting, especially as they differ from their contemporary counterparts.  The solution they found was respectful, realistic, and stayed true to what both Peter and Liora needed in order to find happiness and peace in their growing family.  

Read it for the history, read it for the romance, read it for the religious conflict - regardless of which part pulls you in, you won't be disappointed.  It's a fantastic story, and exactly what I've come to expect from this author.  I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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How I love losing myself into the world of the Executioner Knights, the names alone make my heart beat that much faster! I know they are all from Kathryn Le Veque's imagination but one can't help but wonder what IF there had been such knights!!! I thoroughly enjoyed Peter and Liora's story, so much heart and honour in it. 

Religion plays a large part in their story and I thought the author handled it really well. Back in the medieval era, Christians and Jews were not allowed to marry each other unless one or the other converted and even then, their problems were not over.  Peter and Liora have a lot of decisions and sacrifices ​to make but their love for each other is so intense, you can't help but cheer them on.  Amidst all of this, the battle continues with King John, who I think was the most hated king in history. 

One of my favourite lines in the book...."We cannot control what the heart demands"!!

I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
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