The Prize Info

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In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the
lovely Saxon captive, Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the
assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce
demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. Resourceful,
rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will,
despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in
battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his
emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.
In a climate of
utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman
invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love...a
fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and
country!

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The Prize:

5

Feb 03, 2009

"He never knew what hit him." The first line in this book was enough to hook me. How could I not love a heroine who was smart and resourceful enough to drop the hero to the ground in the middle of a battle?

Baron Royce is Norman and Lady Nicholaa is Saxon, and that makes them enemies in 1066. The Prize starts with Nicholaa trying to defend her home against Royce and his "barbaric" soldiers. She's successfully defeated the three previous knights sent by "the bastard" William of Normandy, soon to "He never knew what hit him." The first line in this book was enough to hook me. How could I not love a heroine who was smart and resourceful enough to drop the hero to the ground in the middle of a battle?

Baron Royce is Norman and Lady Nicholaa is Saxon, and that makes them enemies in 1066. The Prize starts with Nicholaa trying to defend her home against Royce and his "barbaric" soldiers. She's successfully defeated the three previous knights sent by "the bastard" William of Normandy, soon to be the new King of England, but she realizes Royce is on a league of his own and the chances of her winning against him are nonexistent. So she tricks him into thinking she's her twin sister Danielle - a nun! - and manages to escape and find sanctuary in the nearest convent. When Royce finds out that there's no sister Danielle and that he's been had by the cunning Nicholaa, he can't help but appreciate how clever she is and surprises his men by laughing instead of getting furious with her deception.

Arrogant that he is, Royce doesn't see Nicholaa's escape as a defeat, as he's sure he'll be able to leave her sanctuary and go with him to meet his King William in London. As the Saxon woman who's so valiantly defended her family's holding, she's a legend among the Normans, the bride the King is going to give to his most worthy knight as "the prize" in a contest for her hand - and her family's holding and lands, of course. As it happens, Royce does get Nicholaa to leave her sanctuary and go with him to London, even though she keeps trying to escape every chance she gets along the way. During this journey, they start seeing each other with new eyes, and Royce grows more and more attracted to Nicholaa while she realizes how honorable, caring and protective he is. And that's how they start to fall in love with each other, against their better judgment. Naturally, they still have a long way to understand and accept their feelings, and that's where the fun lies. :)

I liked Royce from the start, and he won me when he laughed - instead of going ballistic - at being bested by Nicholaa with her "nun act". He was arrogant, hard and a bit gruff on the outside, but soft and oh-so-sweet on the inside. He was like a delicious petit gâteau, my favorite dessert, and all I can say is, Yummy, may I have some more, please? ;) He was smart and brave, but didn't think he was worthy of Nicholaa because she was a beautiful and gentle lady while he was just an "ugly" - his face was marred by a horrible scar - and hardened warrior. But she never saw him that way and, incredibly, she even thought his "handsomeness" was disturbing. Ah, love is blind, indeed!

Nicholaa was a strong and cunning heroine. She was a bit ditzy and naive sometimes - her convoluted plan to get Royce drunk with ale backfired big time, LOL - but that came across as charming and not annoying. She also seemed unable to stop herself from telling lies - all for the greater good, of course - but she couldn't keep them straight to save her life and Royce had no problem seeing through them. The way he kept cornering and trapping her inside her lies had me laughing out loud every single time.

And Royce's lectures... I loved those scenes. The man loved to lecture Nicholaa, even though he was aware she didn't pay any attention to it. I had a smile on my face every time he clasped his hands behind his back, started lecturing her and she just sat there with her hands folded on her lap, daydreaming the whole time. That was just one example of the many interactions between Royce and Nicholaa that were just a joy to read, and I couldn't get enough of them.

The only thing that I found a bit "jarring" was the lack of closure in regards to Nicholaa's older brother Thurston. That wasn't "bad" enough to make me enjoy this book any less, it's just that I wanted to know what happened to him.

All in all, what's left for me to say? Another Garwood, another winner! At this point, I'm a truly devoted fan of Ms. Garwood. I haven't gone through all her backlist yet, but I really loved everything I've read so far. Having read her books almost back to back, it was easy for me to notice that her stories have some kind of a "formula", but it's one I love so I'm all for it. Very well done, Ms. Garwood!
...more
5

Mar 01, 2017

I kind of love that a romance set so far back in history, still manages to have a heroine that shows strength, courage and perseverance. This mixed with a slight vulnerability, made Nicholaa one of my very favourite heroines. Royce, well he's exactly my kind of man. Strong, determined and fierce, he finds it hard to accept the sweetness Nicholaa gives him. They are so perfect together, that each re-read leaves me a very happy and content romance reader.

Julie Garwood, you are a bloody legend.

I'm I kind of love that a romance set so far back in history, still manages to have a heroine that shows strength, courage and perseverance. This mixed with a slight vulnerability, made Nicholaa one of my very favourite heroines. Royce, well he's exactly my kind of man. Strong, determined and fierce, he finds it hard to accept the sweetness Nicholaa gives him. They are so perfect together, that each re-read leaves me a very happy and content romance reader.

Julie Garwood, you are a bloody legend.

I'm on a roll...maybe Honor's Splendour up next...or maybe I'll see if another favourite has been released and I haven't listened to it yet.

**********

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Another awesome Julie Garwood historical romance done and dusted. I'm loving re-reading/listening to these classics.

In The Prize, we meet the beautiful and feisty Nicholaa and the scarred warrior Royce. Their love story was full of humour, sizzling chemistry, intrigue and treachery.

While at first, it seems they are destined for a marriage filled with battles. As they go on, their attraction to each other intensifies and feelings develop. Nicholaa loves her family and will do anything to protect them. Royce is determined to have a peaceful life...if only Nicholaa would obey his rules.

The Prize captivated my attention so much I was in danger of heading out to Woop Woop instead of work. It's too easy to relax on the train listening to my audio and forget that I actually have a set destination to reach.

Again, I loved the narrator and had no problems telling when the characters changed. I will definitely be listening to more Julie Garwood in the future. ...more
4

Sep 07, 2011

This classic Julie Garwood medieval romance is set in the time of the Saxon and Norman skirmishes. One thing that slays me is the mindset of the invaders...they'd come to a castle keep, lay it under siege, kill as many men as possible, and basically just overtake the place...and then they would graciously allow the 'former' lord to remain alive if he would only swear fealty to their leader and become part of their army. WHAT THE....what? That's crazy to me...it's basically forcing them to live a This classic Julie Garwood medieval romance is set in the time of the Saxon and Norman skirmishes. One thing that slays me is the mindset of the invaders...they'd come to a castle keep, lay it under siege, kill as many men as possible, and basically just overtake the place...and then they would graciously allow the 'former' lord to remain alive if he would only swear fealty to their leader and become part of their army. WHAT THE....what? That's crazy to me...it's basically forcing them to live a life of shame, now basically peasants within their own home. Mind boggling.

My synopsis:
Lady Nicolaa is a clever young Saxon woman who tricks Royce into believing that she is at first a nun, then a married woman with a baby. Not only is she clever, but she has become a renowned battle leader when she leads her brother's army in his absence. Of course, Royce and his men are a cut above what the Norman usurper sent before, and they quickly overtake Nicolaa's home and men. Now Royce is charged with bringing the infamous woman to his king to be auctioned of as a prize wife to the man who wants her most. And Nicolaa is furious...

My thoughts:
Julie Garwood excels at writing tough as nails alpha warrior men and naive, brainless...but never helpless...heroines. I imagine that her characters would have truly fit into the time period for which they were created. Royce is super authoritative, to the point of chauvinism. Me man, you woman...ugh, ugh!!

Nicola is air headed and ridiculously naive, though she doesn't let her apparent lack of brains keep her from making demands. This is my Nicolaa...more in actions than in looks...If you've seen the movie Enchanted, you'll know what I mean...

One problem that I had with the way her character is portrayed is that while Nicolaa sure does like to put her foot down and take a hard stance about certain issues, she always seems to cave in and bow to Royce. What's the point of making her this strong willed female if she ends up sounding like a vapid woman? There was almost no instance in which she executes a plan that she is so determined to execute, other than that first charade with the nun's clothing.

But the story was captivating, the scenery and the court intrigue very well done. JG's historicals are so hugely different from what is written today, it's almost laughable. I don't suggest reading them if you have hard core feministic tendencies...these women are mostly doormats. But then, their men always come around and pretty much love their women to distraction, forsaking kings and friends and family just to make their lovers happy. So there you go...it's a special kind of romance, and I very much enjoyed it. ...more
4

Jun 10, 2011

Once again, Julie Garwood delivers a heartwarming, humorous, and delightfully romantic tale.

What I liked most about this book was Royce's character (he's not one Garwood's prototypical hero) and the relationship between him and the heroine, Nicholla.

Royce is a hero to adore. He may not be extremely good-looking, with a badly scarred face, but he has the perfect combination of alpha and beta characteristics. He's powerful, driven, and a true leader; but he also possess a strong benevolent side Once again, Julie Garwood delivers a heartwarming, humorous, and delightfully romantic tale.  

What I liked most about this book was Royce's character (he's not one Garwood's prototypical hero) and the relationship between him and the heroine, Nicholla. 

Royce is a hero to adore. He may not be extremely good-looking, with a badly scarred face, but he has the perfect combination of alpha and beta characteristics. He's powerful, driven, and a true leader; but he also possess a strong benevolent side that makes him one of the most charming, endearing, and truly swoon worthy heroes Julie Garwood has created.

Royce's and Nicholla's relationship is fabulous. Both characters are open, honest, and even blunt about their feelings (once they recognized them, of course). It was refreshing not to have all the added drama and misunderstandings that comes from a lack of communication.            

I also enjoyed the subplot involving Nicholla's brother Justin. His story enriched the plot and brought to the book some of it more endearing moments. 

The Prize is a wonderful, feel-good romance you'll be happy to have read. You can't beat Julie Garwood. She's one of the best! ...more
2

Dec 30, 2011

I wasn't going to review this one because I don't usually write reviews when I read a well-known and traditionally published author. However, I felt it deserved a review to explain the low rating.

I hated the heroine, Nicholaa. There was no happy medium for this character. She was either acting like an insecure adolescent, seeking approval and attention, or she was raising hell. The only time I found the strong woman characterized at the beginning of the book believable was - yes, at the I wasn't going to review this one because I don't usually write reviews when I read a well-known and traditionally published author. However, I felt it deserved a review to explain the low rating.

I hated the heroine, Nicholaa. There was no happy medium for this character. She was either acting like an insecure adolescent, seeking approval and attention, or she was raising hell. The only time I found the strong woman characterized at the beginning of the book believable was - yes, at the beginning of the book. Once Baron Royce has her in his presence, it was difficult to even imagine her as a strong woman. She pouts. She whines. She snivels. She looks for approval. She seeks attention. What the author seems to think is the behavior of a strong woman, I saw as temper tantrums.

And can I say I'm sick of heroines who are so stunningly beautiful that all men stop in their tracks and gape, unable to speak past the tongue hanging out of their mouth? Read enough historical romance novels and you'll begin to wonder if there were any ugly or even just passably good-looking noblewomen in all of medieval England. This was my fourth historical romance in as many days and without fail, the heroine in each of them could have been sisters, or even identical quadruplets. Oh sure - the hair color or the eye color changes, but the description otherwise isn't original or different.

In short, the characters and the plot were shallow and formulaic. If you plow your way through romance novels and love them all, you'll probably like this one. If you demand a little more depth for your reading experience, this isn't the book that's going to deliver it for you. ...more
4

Oct 08, 2014

Written October 13, 2014

3.8 Stars - Safely, securely and precisely what expected. - Sweet charming, well written 'oldish' HR

A Ms Garwood historical read (or listening) can not be but heartwaring and enjoying. The Prize a historical from 1991, here narrated by a very professional Anne Flosnik in a 12 hrs audiobook, is no exception.

Perhaps you don't hear or see me sing and dance with joy after this novel, but at least I warm up for some very happy cheer jump step.

A sweetie one!

Written October 13, 2014

3.8 Stars - Safely, securely and precisely what expected. - Sweet charming, well written 'oldish' HR

A Ms Garwood historical read (or listening) can not be but heartwaring and enjoying. The Prize a historical from 1991, here narrated by a very professional Anne Flosnik in a 12 hrs audiobook, is no exception.

Perhaps you don't hear or see me sing and dance with joy after this novel, but at least I warm up for some very happy cheer jump step.

A sweetie one!

***********************************************************
England 1066 in William the Conqueror's court..

The lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles.
She chose Royce, a baron warrior.
"In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders..."


Nicholaa is young, cute and charming. The baron is tired, torn by war and with an ugly scar on his face. - You see, no surprises, it can't be but pretty delightful. - Of course, this becomes incredibly (super über) cute with an grand end.

I'll admit that I sometimes rolled my eyes, but I also giggled and had so much fun. Here isn't it any anxiety or tough scenes. This is simply the most romantic HR to find.

Easily digestible, well-written and very nicely narrated in this audio edition. Just to enjoy.


“A woman can't do anything about her appearance. Either she's pretty or she isn't. But her character is quite another matter.”
***********************************************************

Nothing new under the sun for sure, but entertaining old-fashioned Medieval HR to enjoy.

Ms. Garwood's stories have a certain irresistible and innocent style that I like. It will most certainly be more delightful medieval romances written by her in the future.


I LIKE - it's good to be there in the romantic 1060:s

...more
5

Aug 21, 2010

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(This is a review of the audiobook.) Anne Flosnik reads this classic medieval Julie Garwood tale rather nicely. If she is somewhat “stilted” in areas, she makes up for it in others. By “stilted” I mean where the story is pure narrative she sounds stiff. I also wasn’t crazy over our Norman hero, Baron Royce’s voice; by trying to lower him to a baritone, he comes across sounding “stuffy” and that isn’t the way I heard him in my head (always a difficult – if not impossible – job!).

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★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Anne Flosnik reads this classic medieval Julie Garwood tale rather nicely. If she is somewhat “stilted” in areas, she makes up for it in others. By “stilted” I mean where the story is pure narrative she sounds stiff. I also wasn’t crazy over our Norman hero, Baron Royce’s voice; by trying to lower him to a baritone, he comes across sounding “stuffy” and that isn’t the way I heard him in my head (always a difficult – if not impossible – job!).

Call to Arms, by Edmund Blair Leighton


Nevertheless, Ms. Flosnik does a wonderful job with our Saxon heroine, Lady Nicholaa, and handles the humor and action with the right tone and animation. She has various voices for multiple castle and court members (I only caught once where she didn’t slip completely into the assigned accent). Otherwise, her narration has too much monotonicity for my taste. My attention was held, but I think that was by the story and not necessarily the delivery. Ms. Flosnik sounds better when she appears interested in the storyline. I’ll definitely listen to more of her readings.

I’m hoping to get permission to add this beautiful picture. Until then, here is the hyperlink: Portchester Castle .

The medieval romance itself holds up quite well after twenty-one years. I love that Royce and Nicholaa are dealing with the everyday drudgery and disagreements over castle remodeling. I can’t help thinking this is a novel that would certainly be edited down if it were written today, much to my consternation – and everyone’s loss. ...more
5

Jan 22, 2010

MY FAVOURITE HISTORICAL!!!!! CHECKMATE
Nicolaa (a saxon)has defended her home against the normans and the king is not happy.
The king has ordered Baron Royce to bring the woman that had defended her home so well against his vassals. She was going to be The Prize for the lucky knight who won the battle for her. The King was allowing his knights to compete for her hand in marriage. But, Nicholaa saved the Queens niece. So the king changed his mind and allowed Nicholaa to choose from any of the MY FAVOURITE HISTORICAL!!!!! CHECKMATE
Nicolaa (a saxon)has defended her home against the normans and the king is not happy.
The king has ordered Baron Royce to bring the woman that had defended her home so well against his vassals. She was going to be The Prize for the lucky knight who won the battle for her. The King was allowing his knights to compete for her hand in marriage. But, Nicholaa saved the Queens niece. So the king changed his mind and allowed Nicholaa to choose from any of the single knights. Of course since she had already spent a week or so with Royce she choose's him because she knew he would not hurt her. They get married and sparks fly.
Omg, where to begin with Royce!!! Iloved him, he is everything a hero should be big, brave,sexy,handsome (even with a scar)and has a wicked sense of humour.
Both Nicolaa and Royce are believable ,lovable characters.
If you love a great story with a great H/H then Please please read, you won't be disappointed. JG at her very best. ...more
3

Nov 17, 2008

Before starting this book you may want to mentally prepare yourself for a kowtowing heroine because if that kind of trait bugs you (like it does me to no end) this book has the potential to get on your nerves –fast. There’s that and the fact that the hero is painfully overbearing and you think he’s going to get the oh so deserved whack upside the head eventually but he never does unfortunately which is a shame because it could have done him a world of good :)

Briefly, the story is about Nicolaa Before starting this book you may want to mentally prepare yourself for a kowtowing heroine because if that kind of trait bugs you (like it does me to no end) this book has the potential to get on your nerves –fast. There’s that and the fact that the hero is painfully overbearing and you think he’s going to get the oh so deserved whack upside the head eventually but he never does unfortunately which is a shame because it could have done him a world of good :)

Briefly, the story is about Nicolaa (no that’s not a typo there really are two “a”s in her name), a Saxon, who ends up being taken as chattel by Royce, the Norman, in the name of William the Conqueror. She’s forced to marry a Norman (she hates them all of course) and live happily ever after. She decides to hitch her wagon with Royce –a kind of better the devil you know and all that. Up to there the story is pretty good. Got the ol’ love/hate thing going, some decent tension building, story is moving along nicely, basically all the things you need to keep you interested and reading. Once the two tie the knot and go about the business of living together however it’s downhill to the end and I was tired of them. I love a good medieval but this wasn’t one of them.

Now the novel starts out well enough with a strong heroine who’ll give you the what for but she quickly spirals into the nauseatingly acquiescing “I have to please my husband at all cost even if he’s an idiot and what he says makes no sense” kind of heroine :-/ You might think it’s all part of her plan to get him later, but it’s not, and there’s no plan and she’s just another one of “those” heroines that make your skin crawl with their suddenly submissive character that has the reader shaking her head thinking “what the **bleep bleep** happened here?!”. Who likes this kind of woman anyway? I hate when the author sets up a heroine to be strong and independent and then does this 180 on you making her nearly spineless. What a rip off. She doesn’t have to be an uncompromising harpy but she doesn’t have to be an accommodating doormat 24/7 either. Thankfully Garwood didn’t make Nicolaa TSTL, but she's waaay too nice and that kind of heroine is just plain boring and one dimensional.

As for the hero, if you liked the overbearing moron in Garwood’s The Bride (I hated him) then this is a moderately toned down version of Mr I Need a Punch in My Smug Face. Our man Royce here isn’t that much different. He’s such a jerk sometimes. He could be really nice and protective but then he goes into I Know Everything Always mode and it just grates on the nerves. He’s overly bossy and condescending like the annoying dad in the father knows best role instead of being the sexy lover that he should be. I don’t know why authors write these guys like that but this book was written in the early ‘90s and maybe that was the trend for hero writing. Mind you, if an author can make you dislike a character it’s better than being ambivalent so somewhere they must have written something well to get at least a reaction out of you, good or bad. I’d prefer the good though… anyway, moving on…

In terms of writing there’s a problem with paragraphing. When an author changes a scene but not a chapter, normally there are a few blank lines between paragraphs to indicate this change to the reader, this wasn’t the case here and it makes it hard to follow the story because you feel like you misread something. The writing is also more of a telling than a showing kind of style which I don’t particularly enjoy. It tends to make for a flat story that never really comes alive. Better be a fan of heavy narration seeing as there's enough of it.

This is no Ransom that’s for sure but it’s not as irritating as Honor's Splendour either, I guess it’s sort of in between the two. It’s not that there’s anything really wrong with the novel it’s more that I don’t like these kinds of characters or this kind of writing. Here’s hoping that the next Garwood book I pick up leans more towards the "Ransom" side because that book was exceptional, nothing like this borderline nails on the chalkboard one.
...more
5

Nov 14, 2017

4.75 ‘Captured Legend’ Stars

Arghhhh, how have I not read this HR brilliancy until now?! *slaps herself in the forehead*
What an amazing story! I couldn’t have loved Royce and Nicholaa any more than I did! Had we all the loose ends like Thurston and Clarisse and Hugh tied up better, and of course the ever required Epilogue, it would have been 5+++ Stars. But it was still a SPECTACULAR read that I will no doubt add to my all time fav HR, and forever remember.
Julie Garwood did it again. She truly is 4.75 ‘Captured Legend’ Stars

Arghhhh, how have I not read this HR brilliancy until now?! *slaps herself in the forehead*
What an amazing story! I couldn’t have loved Royce and Nicholaa any more than I did! Had we all the loose ends like Thurston and Clarisse and Hugh tied up better, and of course the ever required Epilogue, it would have been 5+++ Stars. But it was still a SPECTACULAR read that I will no doubt add to my all time fav HR, and forever remember.
Julie Garwood did it again. She truly is a Historical Romance genius! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 ...more
4

Oct 28, 2019

This book really drove home for me why Julie Garwood is one of the only "old skool" historical authors who is still regularly recommended to today's romance readers. These books are a fascinating hinge point between the older tropes in the genre and sensibilities that you see in historicals published today. I could not help but stan the heroine in this one, and it was kind of amusing to see the author vacillating between paying lip service to the conventions of the genre at the time of writing This book really drove home for me why Julie Garwood is one of the only "old skool" historical authors who is still regularly recommended to today's romance readers. These books are a fascinating hinge point between the older tropes in the genre and sensibilities that you see in historicals published today. I could not help but stan the heroine in this one, and it was kind of amusing to see the author vacillating between paying lip service to the conventions of the genre at the time of writing (that the hero ALWAYS is right, etc.) and the new direction she clearly wanted to take the characterization. Anyways, all in all, a very fun & enjoyable book that makes me want to dive further into her Scottish historical backlist ...more
5

May 07, 2012

Reread. And very deserving of a 5 star rating, again.

Wonderful couple.
Wonderful romance.
Wonderful characters.
And wonderful HEA.
Checkmate, loved that little statement between the two main characters. Especially when Nicholaa said it to Royce when she chose him.

This review is short, simple and true. Reread. And very deserving of a 5 star rating, again.

Wonderful couple.
Wonderful romance.
Wonderful characters.
And wonderful HEA.
Checkmate, loved that little statement between the two main characters. Especially when Nicholaa said it to Royce when she chose him. 😊

This review is short, simple and true. ...more
5

May 26, 2014


It does not matter how many times I read it, it always brings me to laughter and good mood.
3

Aug 29, 2013

3 to 3.5 stars. I liked it, but nowhere near as much as her Highlander romances. I do think that the sense of any conflict or real excitement was lacking. It's sweet with very low angst if that's what you're in the mood for. Garwood can definitely be good for that. I like to read her when I'm in a negative mood, she can usually make me smile.
3

May 07, 2016

This review is the story from from the pov of the female lead, Nicholaa. She was spunky, brave and deserves something different.

Nicholaa -
The Normans and Saxtons are at war, the Normans are winning. I easily defeated two Norman invaders but the third is difficult to get rid off. There are rumours that I will be captured and given to some Knight as a Prize, I plan to escape before that. Royce is cunning and will hand me over to the King soon. I keep trying to escape but he finds it amusing and This review is the story from from the pov of the female lead, Nicholaa. She was spunky, brave and deserves something different.

Nicholaa -
The Normans and Saxtons are at war, the Normans are winning. I easily defeated two Norman invaders but the third is difficult to get rid off. There are rumours that I will be captured and given to some Knight as a Prize, I plan to escape before that. Royce is cunning and will hand me over to the King soon. I keep trying to escape but he finds it amusing and is in control, patient at all times. Damn the man for being so cheerful as I worry about my destiny. When we reach the palace, the tables are turned and I am free to choose my suitor.
Royce is doomed, our lives are changed forever.
   My parents loved each other and I always wished for a similar marriage. I keep planning for the same with Royce but all my plans are for nought. I try to get him drunk but that backfired on me... Marriage is like a map, Royce says. He commands his army, his household & our marriage with ease. Maybe its time to give Royce the obedient wife he believes he wants... ...more
5

Jul 24, 2009

Fourth re-read. A classic! One of my very favorites! Checkmate!
5

Dec 28, 2017

Yes, Royce would train his men.
And she would train him.

My 5-star rating is very much informed by nostalgia. Sorry not sorry. Look, I was 16 when I first read this, and 16 year-old me thought that it was the bee's knees. 33 year-old me acknowledges that it is not actually the bee's knees, but it remains divine in its own way.

Of all the historical romance authors who rose to prominence in the 1980s, I most prefer Julie Garwood. I'd describe her as having a “soft” bodice-ripper style. Her novels Yes, Royce would train his men.
And she would train him.

My 5-star rating is very much informed by nostalgia. Sorry not sorry. Look, I was 16 when I first read this, and 16 year-old me thought that it was the bee's knees. 33 year-old me acknowledges that it is not actually the bee's knees, but it remains divine in its own way.

Of all the historical romance authors who rose to prominence in the 1980s, I most prefer Julie Garwood. I'd describe her as having a “soft” bodice-ripper style. Her novels were gentler, lighter, more accessible (and they sure as heck have aged better than most of their counterparts). While the plot and character development aren't overly, well, developed, resulting in stories that border on simple and saccharine, Garwood injected plenty of humor and adventure and heartfelt emotion to make for a truly enjoyable reading experience.

Set during the Norman conquest, this novel charts the love story between Saxon noble Nicholaa and Norman commander Royce. Nicholaa is a typical Garwood heroine: beautiful, smart and snappy, capable but also flawed. Royce is a typical Garwood hero: strong and formidable, dependable and devoted to the heroine. They must navigate a treacherous political landscape as they settle into a not-really-arranged-but-kind-of-arranged marriage. A stubborn attraction takes root, and genuine affection and respect bloom. Unlike many bodice-ripper counterparts, they do not spend 95% of the novel either fighting or having hate-sex. They do fight, but they also work together, play together, laugh together.

If you’re a reader who wants to try more "classic" romance novels but is wary of the problematic aspects, try Julie Garwood. Her stories may not be very deep, but they are very charming and very fun. ...more
4

Feb 11, 2015

Romantic story that's filled with lots of tender moment. Royce and Nicholaa were a lovely couple. Entertaining, endearing and passionate.

In The Prize, Nicholaa’s home is invaded by the Normans and she’s captured as a prize to be delivered to King William. Royce is the king’s loyal subject that is tasked with bringing this headstrong Saxon to the king, which proves to be a series of small battles the entire journey. When Nicholaa gains favor with the king for a courageous act, he allows her to Romantic story that's filled with lots of tender moment. Royce and Nicholaa were a lovely couple. Entertaining, endearing and passionate.

In The Prize, Nicholaa’s home is invaded by the Normans and she’s captured as a prize to be delivered to King William. Royce is the king’s loyal subject that is tasked with bringing this headstrong Saxon to the king, which proves to be a series of small battles the entire journey. When Nicholaa gains favor with the king for a courageous act, he allows her to pick who she’d like to marry rather than the original plan of her being awarded to a worthy knight. No surprise, she picks Royce. Check mate…

I loved Royce and Nicholaa’s story! They were a beautiful couple that had many tender moments, fun dialog and a few small battle of wills that kept things fun and interesting. Royce’s lectures and patient ways were absolutely endearing. Nicholaa’s stuborn and gentle responses were perfect every time.

Great historical romance that had the right ingredients for a heartfelt adventure. Love…

Waves of Fiction 2015 Reading Challenge
- A book set in another country. ...more
4

Sep 21, 2015

This is my first Julie Garwood and if this is how she writes her stories, then I think I would be reading some of her books in the future.

The Prize is fluffy book, one that I didn't expect from a medieval novel. I've always thought that books that are set during the time of William the Conqueror is kinda boorish or stuffy. Which is wrong because if Julie Garwood'S novel is to be set as an example, then this era is more "loose" than the Victorian era.

Women here are "encouraged" to maim This is my first Julie Garwood and if this is how she writes her stories, then I think I would be reading some of her books in the future.

The Prize is fluffy book, one that I didn't expect from a medieval novel. I've always thought that books that are set during the time of William the Conqueror is kinda boorish or stuffy. Which is wrong because if Julie Garwood'S novel is to be set as an example, then this era is more "loose" than the Victorian era.

Women here are "encouraged" to maim warriors,yippee.

Royce and Nicholaa are one of the funniest couple I've ever read and I would totally recommend this book to those who love medieval/historical books.

Full review with GIFs to come. ...more
5

Jan 02, 2018

"The Prize" takes place during William the Conqueror's time. We have the Saxon and Normans at each others throats. When Lady Nicholaa is captured by Royce Melborn, she finally is forced to pick a husband out of the Normans. She ends up choosing Royce and from there, these two have what I consider one of my favorite romances.

Seriously you guys, when Nicholaa comes across Royce, she ends up taking his ass out during a battle with a slingshot. I kind of fell in love. Nicholaa does what she can to "The Prize" takes place during William the Conqueror's time. We have the Saxon and Normans at each others throats. When Lady Nicholaa is captured by Royce Melborn, she finally is forced to pick a husband out of the Normans. She ends up choosing Royce and from there, these two have what I consider one of my favorite romances.

Seriously you guys, when Nicholaa comes across Royce, she ends up taking his ass out during a battle with a slingshot. I kind of fell in love. Nicholaa does what she can to protect her home and family, and tricks Royce (dude I laughed through most of this book) but eventually is outmaneuvered by Royce.

Nicholaa is everything you want in a heroine. Smart, loyal, and when she realizes she loves Royce, decides she will be the kind of wife he keeps lecturing her she should be. Royce's constant lectures pop up throughout this book and will make you laugh. I loved Royce cause he treats Nicholaa with respect throughout the book and realizes how smart his wife is. When one of Nicholaa's brothers (Justin) is found, missing a hand, Royce trains him along with the rest of his men and won't let Justin go off and die somewhere.

I have to say that I loved Royce, no more than when he realizes that when Nicholaa decides to be the kind of wife he says he wants, he realizes he was an idiot, and wants his bossy wife back again.

There are wonderful love scenes in this one and some great palace intrigue as well.

I found myself loving Justin as much as Nicholaa and wished that Garwoord had written a sequel telling his story, since there is still the loose end of one of Nicholaa's brothers who is hell-bent on killing William the Conqueror and the rest of the Normans. ...more
1

Dec 28, 2012

Well I'm 80 pages in and so far, I'm not impressed. At all. The heroine Nicholaa is just...annoying. The author says time and time again that she's just so sweet that she can't hold a grudge against anyone. Really? No one at all? Not the people who are invading your country, slaughtering your people, and hacking off your younger brother's right hand? You can't be mad at those people? Why not? Because you have no spine? Because you have no honor? Weakest. heroine. ever.

Garwood seems to think that Well I'm 80 pages in and so far, I'm not impressed. At all. The heroine Nicholaa is just...annoying. The author says time and time again that she's just so sweet that she can't hold a grudge against anyone. Really? No one at all? Not the people who are invading your country, slaughtering your people, and hacking off your younger brother's right hand? You can't be mad at those people? Why not? Because you have no spine? Because you have no honor? Weakest. heroine. ever.

Garwood seems to think that because she's writing a romance, she can't write realistic characters. Look, if you are a young woman being captured and dragged to London TO BE RAPED (Let's be clear here-she doesn't want this) you would be mad. You would be terrified. You would feel SOMETHING. But on the week long journey, Nicolaa barely thinks about the fact that she's going to be turned over to a stranger who will have the power of LIFE AND DEATH over her.

For a more realistic portrayal of what that would be like, read "Maid of Lorne" by Terri Brisbin. The heroine in that one is also forced to marry the leader of an army conquering her keep. And she's PISSED about it. And SCARED. Because that's what you would feel like if you were ABOUT TO BE RAPED.

I'm not saying, "Stop putting rape in historical novels." It's realistic, it's accurate, it has its place no matter how much you, as a reader, rail against it. But that is what we're talking about here. Not a traditional arranged marriage, but a woman being dragged, literally, kicking and screaming to London so the king can hand her off as a prize but she's not angry about it. She's just inconvenienced by the whole thing.

That really, REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. Rape was a sad fact of life back then, I understand that. But the author just writes it off like every woman in that time period wouldn't care one way or the other. And I just don't see that as being realistic. You would care, trust me.


And Royce? Well she keeps asking him if she's really going to be given to a stranger and he says yes. And he laughs about it. Because rape is hysterical. And here's where I get irritated. Because even though as a Norman warrior its realistic that Royce would not care about a woman's impending rape, he is also the LOVE INTEREST, so, you know, really he should be a little more scowly about some other man raping the girl he has a crush on. But he's not. He really just doesn't care.

So you really don't get the feeling that these two care at all about each other BECAUSE THEY DON'T. When they arrive in London, and the realization sets in that she will never truly escape her fate, she FINALLY starts to panic and cry. And Royce teases her. Yep, he makes fun of her for being scared. Seriously, there is just nothing even resembling compassion from this man and I don't see how this relationship makes sense.

Writing Nicholaa this way really does the character a disservice. It not only makes her seem incredibly weak, but it also, frankly, makes her seem stupid. Like she's not smart enough to realize her whole life is ruined. Like she's not intelligent enough to realize her brother has been permanently maimed, her home is gone, and she'll never see her family again. Because if you had two brain cells in your head, you would be mad about that stuff. You would be upset. And writing Nicholaa as this weak little ninny who is so stupid she can't grasp the enormity of what's happening to her just makes me not interested in how its going to play out.

I have a feeling this is going to end up on my Did-Not-Finish shelf.








...more
1

Nov 17, 2012

I love love LOVE all the Julie Garwood books i have read, except this. I liked Nicholaa at first - she was interesting, smart and drew your in - Royce seemed sweet with not too much of a temper, only then they got married. It seemed like as soon they got hitched, he became a pig and she became plain annoying. What happened to the woman who shot an arrow in a mans arse when he tried to take her home from her? It seemed like every time she got annoyed at Royce he'd pet her a little and all would I love love LOVE all the Julie Garwood books i have read, except this. I liked Nicholaa at first - she was interesting, smart and drew your in - Royce seemed sweet with not too much of a temper, only then they got married. It seemed like as soon they got hitched, he became a pig and she became plain annoying. What happened to the woman who shot an arrow in a mans arse when he tried to take her home from her? It seemed like every time she got annoyed at Royce he'd pet her a little and all would be well. Well I'm sorry Nicholaa, but your big bro's right. You are a traitor. And as for Royce, he didn't want a wife and a home, he wanted a soldier he could sleep with! He manipulated her as much as she did him and isolated her. He took her country, her home and her hand in marriage, but he still wasn't happy, he had to take her servants loyalty to her and even made her brother, who should have been treated firmly but fairly within her own home, sleep as a soldier alienated from his own sister. And she just rolled over and took it. I'm not sorry to say that this is only the second book I have ever not finished, because sue me, but I'm just not a fan of controlling relationships and fickle people who choose their partners over their own blood ...more
3

Feb 25, 2017

3.5 stars.

The writing is good, but the plot, not so much...also, the whole -let me bend you to my will-while- I only bend a little- because I am a man and you are subservient to me- gets a little annoying after a while. I really wanted to love this author, because I love reading historical genres, but every book I read by her is basically the same underlying theme and the heroes are not desirable, at all.

I know the times were different and the gender roles were different in those centuries, but 3.5 stars.

The writing is good, but the plot, not so much...also, the whole -let me bend you to my will-while- I only bend a little- because I am a man and you are subservient to me- gets a little annoying after a while. I really wanted to love this author, because I love reading historical genres, but every book I read by her is basically the same underlying theme and the heroes are not desirable, at all.

I know the times were different and the gender roles were different in those centuries, but geeeez can't we challenge the hero just a little???

Judith McNaught basically does the same with her characters, the heroine ends up "bending" so to speak, but McNaught challenges her heroes with a rollercoaster of emotions along the way.

Just really wanted to like this author because of all the great reviews, but once again was disappointed...

On to the next. ...more
5

Nov 15, 2012

4.5 stars

Oh I want my own Royce!!!


This is the best Julie Garwood novel I've read so far. It was a sweet read. Nicholaa and Royce are so sweet and cute together, I was giddy most of the time reading it. However, it seems like the story finished too early that I thought there's a second book or something. I just wish there had been more. 4.5 stars

Oh I want my own Royce!!! ♥♥♥


This is the best Julie Garwood novel I've read so far. It was a sweet read. Nicholaa and Royce are so sweet and cute together, I was giddy most of the time reading it. However, it seems like the story finished too early that I thought there's a second book or something. I just wish there had been more. ...more
5

Aug 03, 2011

The best, delightful medieval romance. I really enjoyed it.
I love how the characters developed with so much love.
A must read if you want to get the best of Julie Garwood.

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