Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot

GENRE: historical romance

When beautiful, spirited Finnula Crais kidnaps the dashing knight Hugh Fitzstephen, she has no idea that she's ensnared the new Earl of Stephensgate on his way home from the Crusades. Nor does she realise that Hugh is quite happy to be kidnapped by an enchanting tomboy, and will do anything it takes to avoid being rescued. With Finnula determined to hold Hugh to ransom, and Hugh equally determined to steal Finnula's heart, it isn't long before the fireworks start! And just when it looks as if there might be a happy ending, disaster strikes. When an attempt is made on the new Earl's life, there is only one suspect - and even if he loves her dearly, Hugh can't let her get away with it . . .

This book was given to me for my birthday, so it was my priority to read it as soon as possible. I have to say, this was quite an enjoyable read.

Ransom my Heart is a historical romance with an interesting twist: a woman kidnaps a man. As the novel is set in medieval times, this twist surely is something out of the ordinary. Finnula Crais, the youngest of the six daughters of the Crais family, who are the milliners of Stephensgate, is a very passionate and unusual young woman. She prefers braies to kirtles and bliauts, is the best shot with a bow in Shropshire and does not at all behave like a young, delicate maiden, but rather like a boy. When her beautiful sister Mellana gets into trouble and needs money, without their brother knowing the truth about Mellana’s predicament, Finnula sets out to kidnap a man – and hold him for ransom. In the novel, it is said that the habit of kidnapping men for money is quite common in Shropshire. Now, I don’t know if that’s an actual fact or just a figment of Cabot’s fiction, but it surely is quite intriguing and definitely not lady-like.

Hugo Fitzstephen, the new Earl of Stephensgate, is returning home from the Crusades and encounters Finnula, who is actually his vassal. Finnula, not knowing who the man really is, kidnaps him and he lets her do it because, frankly, he finds her attractive. What ensues is a battle of wits and confusion of identity.

This is an enjoyable, entertaining read, but it is quite predictable. There was one thing that quite surprised me regarding Finnula and her first marriage, but otherwise I pretty much knew how the story was going to unfold and end. This did not deter me, however, from enjoying the novel. Finnula is a fun character. She is not exactly an epitome of a medieval lady, far from it, but I’m used to reading about modern heroines in historical novels. Finnula does stand out of the crowd a little and I have to say that I grew to like her. She could be both tomboyish and feminine, depending on a situation. I appreciate the fact that she is not a flimsy girl. Hugo is a kind of typical hero, but not too typical. He is not almighty and he has quite a few flaws, but they make him human and more approachable. I don’t like almighty heroes, so Hugo was a nice character to read about.

The author did some research on Medieval England in the time of King John, but the focus is not on history, but on the relationship between the feisty Finnula and Hugo. There are some steamy scenes present in the novel, but they are not an anatomy lesson and don’t disturb the story, so I didn’t mind them at all. Perhaps they spiced things up a little. For a feisty maiden, Finnula forgave Hugo some things too fast. He practically seduced her into taking his side, and I did not particularly support the idea of a pliable Finnula, but then again, love is blind, apparently.

There was some slight suspense present, regarding the part of the novel in which someone tries to murder Hugo, but it was obvious who the assassin was and I also knew it was going to end well for Finnula and Hugo.

A predictable, but an enjoyable read, nonetheless. If you like historical romances, then Ransom My Heart just might be to your liking.

THIS MISS RATES: / (3.5 stars)


Blodeuedd said...

Cabot as in the Meg Cabot?
I'd read it for sure, I like history, and lol girls who kidnap men

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Yes, Meg Cabot, the author of The Princess Diaries, the very same.;)

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

Great review! I do love me some Meg Cabot, and this sounds awesome!

I'm a new follower...your blog is lovely :)

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I bought this back when it first came out with the last Princess Diaries and then left it on my shelf after being disappointed by PD10-I was on a bit of a Meg Cabot burnout to be honest. But I've been thinking about going back to it, so thanks for the review!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

@Melissa: Thank you on both accounts!

@Bookworm: I actually haven't read Princess Diaries, but Ransom My Heart is a fun read.

Unknown said...

Meg Cabot does historical? How have I missed this? I want to give it a try for sure. I don't mind the predictability of the plot that you mentioned, sometimes that is just what you want (like when you watch a romantic comedy). I am sooo putting this one on my wish list. Thanks for the review!

Unknown said...

Meg Cabot is amazing. My favourite is the Princess Diaries.