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Le royaume des rêves

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Pour avoir refusé d’épouser le vieux barbon que lui destinait son père, lady Jennifer a été envoyée au couvent de Belkirk. Un jour, le village est attaqué par l’armée de Royce Westmoreland, surnommé le Loup noir : un colosse aussi redouté que le diable, qui prend la jeune fille en otage. Une digne Écossaise ne saurait se soumettre à l’ennemi anglais! L’indocile Jenny ne pe Pour avoir refusé d’épouser le vieux barbon que lui destinait son père, lady Jennifer a été envoyée au couvent de Belkirk. Un jour, le village est attaqué par l’armée de Royce Westmoreland, surnommé le Loup noir : un colosse aussi redouté que le diable, qui prend la jeune fille en otage. Une digne Écossaise ne saurait se soumettre à l’ennemi anglais! L’indocile Jenny ne peut s’empêcher de défier son terrifiant ravisseur et, contre toute attente, de céder à ses baisers passionnés.


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Pour avoir refusé d’épouser le vieux barbon que lui destinait son père, lady Jennifer a été envoyée au couvent de Belkirk. Un jour, le village est attaqué par l’armée de Royce Westmoreland, surnommé le Loup noir : un colosse aussi redouté que le diable, qui prend la jeune fille en otage. Une digne Écossaise ne saurait se soumettre à l’ennemi anglais! L’indocile Jenny ne pe Pour avoir refusé d’épouser le vieux barbon que lui destinait son père, lady Jennifer a été envoyée au couvent de Belkirk. Un jour, le village est attaqué par l’armée de Royce Westmoreland, surnommé le Loup noir : un colosse aussi redouté que le diable, qui prend la jeune fille en otage. Une digne Écossaise ne saurait se soumettre à l’ennemi anglais! L’indocile Jenny ne peut s’empêcher de défier son terrifiant ravisseur et, contre toute attente, de céder à ses baisers passionnés.

30 review for Le royaume des rêves

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dina

    Judith McNaught has done it again! This book has two major "pet peeves" of mine (#1- at the beginning, the hero beats the heroine not only once, but twice; #2- somewhere down the road, the hero and the heroine are torn apart by a Big Misunderstanding), but who cares? I don't know why, I don't know how, but I ended up loving this book! :) Royce turned out to be a wonderful hero. After a less-than-thrilling introduction, he slowly (but steadily) started to grow on me, up to the point where I unders Judith McNaught has done it again! This book has two major "pet peeves" of mine (#1- at the beginning, the hero beats the heroine not only once, but twice; #2- somewhere down the road, the hero and the heroine are torn apart by a Big Misunderstanding), but who cares? I don't know why, I don't know how, but I ended up loving this book! :) Royce turned out to be a wonderful hero. After a less-than-thrilling introduction, he slowly (but steadily) started to grow on me, up to the point where I understood and forgave everything he'd done. That's not to be taken lightly, because I never - or should I say, almost never - forgive a hero who raises his hand against the heroine. As for Jennifer, I had mixed feelings about her throughout the book - sometimes I wanted to hug her, sometimes I wanted to scream at her - but I ended up understanding and loving her too. (BTW, I think "Jennifer" is an unusual name for a medieval heroine but I'm not an expert in History, so I'm not sure it isn't appropriate.) As for the story, what an emotional roller-coaster! When I become so involved in a book that I find myself laughing, crying and even "talking" to the characters, I know I have a winner in my hands. I didn't always agree with everything Royce and Jennifer did but, in a sense, their actions were consistent and "right". And what they did in the end... What a scene! I still feel a tug in my heart remembering it. *sighs*

  2. 4 out of 5

    UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

    I am at a loss for words – I seriously don’t know how to review this book – which words to use to do it justice. Kingdom of Dreams is my first read by this author and it will not be my last. I was instantly captivated by the characters who are deeply complex, wonderful people trying to make their way through a rough, and oft times unfair world – and do it while keeping their honor and integrity intact. The storyline with its twists and turns fascinated me from the first page and held my attentio I am at a loss for words – I seriously don’t know how to review this book – which words to use to do it justice. Kingdom of Dreams is my first read by this author and it will not be my last. I was instantly captivated by the characters who are deeply complex, wonderful people trying to make their way through a rough, and oft times unfair world – and do it while keeping their honor and integrity intact. The storyline with its twists and turns fascinated me from the first page and held my attention to the last. I was rendered speechless by the Merrick family/clan dynamic and while yes, I know it is just a story, thier motives and reasonings were written so well that there was no doubt in my mind all of those underhanded, deceitful things could really have taken place. Royce is an amazing man. He’s deadly on the battlefield, a warrior willing and able to do whatever he has to do to win, accepting nothing less than victory, no excuses for failure, but off the battlefield he is compassionate, fair and honorable. He admits his faults and is willing to do what he must to be a better man. In my eyes, he is the perfect hero. Jenny annoyed the hell out of me from the very beginning with her lack of loyalty to Royce, and her terribly misplaced devotion and trust in her clan and family. I couldn’t imagine that there was any way she could change my poor opinion of her, but there at the end she did just that in such a way that allowed me to look past all her faults, all of her poor choices – and I wept as I came to forgive her. What an emotional rollercoaster ride we take with Jenny and Royce who, though they don’t know it at the time, are perfectly matched. What one lacks in strength, the other makes up for. What one can’t grasp, the other understands with crystal clarity. While Royce and Jenny believe their lives full and complete, they discover that apart they can exist, but only together do they truly live. In all honesty, there are no words to describe how much I love Kingdom of Dreams. It’s been several days since I finished it and I’m still recalling events and conversations, still laughing out loud and still struggling to hold back the tears. My only regret is that we didn't learn more about Arik, that quiet, giant of a man. I am certain that his untold story is one of sadness, loss and the need of his own Happily Ever After. (Are you listening Ms. McNaught? It’s not too late…)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Huge 5+ stars Kingdom of Dreams is one of the best books I've read! The story is full of vibrant and richly developed characters, a plot that's riveting, emotional, provocative, and a prose that's exceptionally well written. To top it off, this book has one of the best ending I've read. It was amazing, extremely poignant, and very powerful. I'm still an emotional mess hours later. Judith McNaught is an exceptional storyteller and I'm embarrassed it's taken me so long to read one of her books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    5+++ STARS!!!!!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL [image error] I just have to start off by saying that this may be my all time favorite stand alone romance book… EVER.!!!!! No kidding. I wasn’t even planning to read it quite yet. But I had gotten the paperback a while ago and it’s been sitting on my nightstand ever since. So the other night, I was having a little trouble sleeping and my ipad was downstairs… so I picked up this book. And I said to myself.. “I’ll just read the first chapter and see what 5+++ STARS!!!!!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL [image error] I just have to start off by saying that this may be my all time favorite stand alone romance book… EVER.!!!!! No kidding. I wasn’t even planning to read it quite yet. But I had gotten the paperback a while ago and it’s been sitting on my nightstand ever since. So the other night, I was having a little trouble sleeping and my ipad was downstairs… so I picked up this book. And I said to myself.. “I’ll just read the first chapter and see what it’s all about.” And that’s the last thing I remember… I can’t remember when I’ve been so engrossed in a story. I didn’t eat, I hardly slept, and I ignored my entire family until I finished it… and then I grieved for more. I hardly even recall turning the pages. I couldn’t get this in ebook form so I set up a little reading lamp next to my bed and dove into it. [image error] Belkirk Abbey It is a historical romance that takes place in 1497, near the border of England and Scotland. Of course the two countries are at war… as they had been since their existence. [image error] There are Lords and Ladies, Earls and Dukes, Knights and squires; and there are arranged marriages for political alliance. Not a fun time to be a teenager… or a female. [image error] Our heroine is a young Scottish lass of 17, Jennifer Merrick, who has spent the last 2 years in a convent, sent there by her father because of her unruly behavior, and her refusal to marry the much older man he had chosen for her. But now, 2 years later, her father has some new plans for her. He has found her another suitor… the chieftain of an opposing clan, also more than twice her age. But this time, she is eager to gain his approval, so she reluctantly agrees. [image error] But soon after receiving the news of her impending betrothal, her and her step sister Brenna, are abducted from the Abbey by none other than the most notorious English invader in the land. Lord Royce Westmoreland, the earl of Claymore, also known as the Black Wolf, who is a legend in the land, know for his ruthlessness and his cruelty. [image error] To the Scots…the Black Wolf was more evil than the devil himself, and more dangerous, for the devil was spirit, while the Wolf was flesh and blood - the living Lord of Evil - a monstrous being who threatened their existence, right here on earth. He was the malevolent specter that the Scots used to terrify their offspring into behaving. "The Wolf will get you.” And now he was her captor… and let’s just say, he was definitely a force to be reckoned with. At least until he met his match in a little Scottish lass of 17. [image error] Royce was such a bastard at times… a complete dick. 100% Alpha. I mean he was the commander of his own army. And he almost never lost a battle. He was definitely not the type to bow down to anyone, especially not a woman. The thongs were tight, cutting into Royce's wrists, but Royce scarcely noticed: a white hot fury unlike anything he'd ever experienced had consumed him, turning his mind into a fiery volcano of boiling rage. Parading before his eyes were visions of a bewitching Scottish girl: Jennifer lying in his arms... Jennifer laughing up at him... Jennifer blowing him a kiss... But then he had this softer side, that showed his true feelings of remorse and tenderness. And if that wasn't enough, he was also a GOD in the art of carnal pleasure. So sweet and loving. A complete contradiction. [image error] “Some women need no jewels to make them sparkle. You are one of them.” And Jenny was as headstrong as they come. Intelligent and creative. Stubborn and courageous. Impulsive and reckless. But she also suffered a good deal of insecurity when it came to love. If fact it’s all she really craved, to be loved by her father, her kinsman, and her God. More than anything, she just wanted to be known for the good person she was. [image error] He sounded so disgruntled that amused satisfaction made her lips twitch. Royce saw it and could not believe his eyes. Grown men, warriors, quailed in his presence, but this young girl with the haughty stance and stubborn chin was actually enjoying defying him. And the hate/lust/love relationship going on between these two is like none other I have read about. The mistrust, and deceit, the arrogance and pride, the misunderstandings and just the utter hatred for each other, just incredible. The perfect storm of sexual tension!!! “You are mad!" she snapped, her chest heaving. "And you are a devil!” "And you, my dear," Royce imperturbably replied, "are a bitch." With that, he turned to the horrified friar and unhesitatingly announced, "The lady and I wish to be wed.” [image error] But just as strong as their ire, was an undeniable attraction. A sexual chemistry so intense that neither one could deny it. And when they got together… it was just MAGICAL!!!!! “Why is it when you yield, I feel like the one who has been conquered?” I don’t want to delve too much more into the story here, but let's just say that it's the crack cocaine of romance novels, utterly riveting!!!!!! [image error] I cannot stress enough, how much I loved this book. The writing was fantastic. The characters completely sucking you into the story. It was the epitome of what we look for in R O M A N C E. From the good and the evil, the weak and the strong, the love and the hate. It is utter PERFECTION!!! “It was a kingdom of dreams — a place where things would be just the way I wanted them to be.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    5 DREAMY STARS… Loved this one. This is the second book I have read by this author and it will not be the last. Royce Westmoreland . aptly named THE WOLF Scottish and English wars and hatred have abounded for years. THOR, his trusted stallion Can he tame the lovely Jennifer or will she be the one to tame the Wolf? (The artist who painted this one was actually from my home village in the West of Ireland) Loved Jennifer, she was so feisty, independent, loyal, beautiful … "My own kingdom … I used to plan 5 DREAMY STARS… Loved this one. This is the second book I have read by this author and it will not be the last. Royce Westmoreland . aptly named THE WOLF Scottish and English wars and hatred have abounded for years. THOR, his trusted stallion Can he tame the lovely Jennifer or will she be the one to tame the Wolf? (The artist who painted this one was actually from my home village in the West of Ireland) Loved Jennifer, she was so feisty, independent, loyal, beautiful … "My own kingdom … I used to plan my own kingdom." "Which kingdom did you mean to seize?" "It wasn't a real kingdom with land and castles, it was a kingdom of dreams - a place where things would be just the way I wanted them to be." “The amusement fled from Royce's face and with a groan he pulled her roughly against his chest, crushing her to him. "Jenny," he whispered hoarsely, burying his face in her fragrant hair. "Jenny, I love you." She melted against him, molding her body to the rigid contours of his, offering her lips up for his fierce, devouring kiss, then she took his face between both her hands. Leaning back slightly against his arm, her melting blue eyes gazing deeply into his, his wife replied in a shaky voice, "I think, my lord, I love you more.” "You are mad!" she snapped, her chest heaving. "And you are a devil." "And you, my dear, …are a bitch." "Behold your new mistress, my wife. And know that when she bids you, I have bidden you; what service you render her, you are rendering me; what loyalty you give or withhold from her, you give or withhold from me." "Jenny," he groaned … "Jenny," he whispered hoarsely… "Jenny," he murmured hotly … He could not stop saying her name. "I hate you." She said with deadly calm. "A perfect basis for the perfect marriage." In all his years of aimless sexual encounters and torrid dalliances, nothing had ever approached the shattering ecstacy he'd just experienced. The things they say about you, the things they say you've done - they aren't true. I don't believe it. Blind to the beauty of the place he'd been yearning to see for eight long years, Royce wondered grimly how it was possible that he could intimidate knights, nobles, squires and battle-hardened soldiers into doing his bidding with a single glance, and yet he could not seem to force on young, stubborn, defiant Scottish girl to behave. “What were you thinking about just now while you were looking out the window?" To his surprise, the question flustered her. "I—wasn't thinking." "Then what were you doing?" he asked, his curiosity aroused. A rueful smile touched her inviting lips, and she shot him a sideways look before turning back to the window. "I was… talking to God," she admitted. "'Tis a habit I have." Startled and slightly amused, Royce said, "Really? What did God have to say?" "I think," she softly replied, "He said, 'You're welcome.' " "For what?" Royce teased. Lifting her eyes to his, Jenny solemnly replied, "For you.”

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bgurl (don't h8 me cuz I'm honestful)

    A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught: 3 “More *Galavant Than *The Tudors” Stars. Hells yeah, I want to go there! I don’t really have a choice. Before cracking open, A Kingdom of Dreams, I read Teresa Denys’ masterpiece, *The Silver Devil, and in a Medieval romance face-off; McNaught’s version loses hands down. To be fair, the two authors have very different writing styles: The Silver Devil, is dark, gritty, and authentic to the time period; while, A Kingdom of Dreams, is modish, amusing, a A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught: 3 “More *Galavant Than *The Tudors” Stars. Hells yeah, I want to go there! I don’t really have a choice. Before cracking open, A Kingdom of Dreams, I read Teresa Denys’ masterpiece, *The Silver Devil, and in a Medieval romance face-off; McNaught’s version loses hands down. To be fair, the two authors have very different writing styles: The Silver Devil, is dark, gritty, and authentic to the time period; while, A Kingdom of Dreams, is modish, amusing, and fantastical. In television terms, The Silver Devil, is The Tudors; whereas, A Kingdom of Dreams, is Galavant. Though, both shows are, indeed, set in Medieval times, only one of them has knights that act like this: But, hey! What do I know? I’ve never met a Medieval knight. If they truly do dance like lunatics whilst pillaging and plundering, then I apologize. My bad! MOVING ON… In the midst of war torn Scotland, Jennifer Merrik – the 17 year old Countess of Rockburn - is kidnapped and forced to marry her mortal enemy: Royce Westmoreland, The Duke of Claymore, a.k.a: “The Wolf”. Upon joining together in unholy matrimony, Royce and Jenny view their alliance as more battle than bliss. Thus, the two headstrong individuals commence upon a long, hard journey toward happily ever after. Between you, me, and the jousting post, I could have done without the 10,000 times Royce admired Jenny’s “indomitable spirit” and “unbelievable courage”; referred to her as a “fiery temptress” and a “charming wood nymph”; and gushed over her “lyrical laughter” and “jaunty grin”. Had Royce suddenly waxed poetic about Jenny’s ability to converse with blue jays and befriend baby skunks, I wouldn’t have been surprised. As for Royce being “The Wolf”, well, that’s a misnomer. When he wasn’t dwelling on the “wet velvet” of Jenny’s eyes, or mentally referring to her as a “golden haired temptress”; he was getting his metaphorical panties in wad because she had the gall to escape him. Seriously? The guy kidnaps an innocent girl, holds her captive, deflowers her, and plans to dump her for a “biddable, blonde wife”; and she’s supposed to thank him for soiling her reputation and rendering her unmarriageable? With squishy thinking like that, he should be called, “The Marshmallow”. Girlish musings and childish snits aside, The Marshmallow still manages to be pretty swoon worthy. His lovemaking is worshipful, his groveling darn right legendary, and his wooing; well, judge for yourself: " 'You have the bluest eyes on earth,' he added with a low, appreciative chuckle. 'When you're angry, they're the color of wet blue velvet.' Jenny rolled her eyes in disgust. 'Wet velvet?' she repeated wryly, wrinkling her nose. 'Wet velvet.' His white teeth flashed in a devastating grin. 'No? What should I have said?' His smile was irresistible, and Jenny fell in with his teasing mood, 'Well, you might have said they're the color of—' she glanced at the large sapphire in the center of the crucifix '—of sapphires,' she provided. 'That has a nice ring to it.' 'Ah, but sapphires are cold, and your eyes are warm and expressive. Am I doing better?' he chuckled when she voiced no further argument to wet velvet. 'Much,' she agreed readily.” ~Royce & Jenny Like Galavant, A Kingdom of Dreams, is Medieval light: a place where indomitably spirited, unbelievably courageous maidens, get kidnapped by swoony (but marshmallowy) knights in shining armor; and they ride off into the sunset, and live happily ever after, in their Disneyesque castles; with their army of loyal protectors, 2.5 male heirs, 3 mythically named horses, a sky full of talking blue jays, and a BFF baby skunk. If that’s the type of Medieval romance you enjoy, then Judith McNaught’s, A Kingdom of Dreams, is the book for you. TO READ MY REVIEW OF BOOK 2, click link below: Whitney, My Love (Westmoreland #2): Click Me Baby! *Galavant, ABC. 2015-Present. Television. *The Tudors. Showtime. 2007-2010. Television. *Denys, Teresa. The Silver Devil. Ballantine Books. 1984. Print.

  7. 4 out of 5

    ♥ℳelody

    * 2.5 I'm-really-getting-tired-of-this stars * This really should have been titled Taming of the Shrew- Part II Or A Kingdom of Hell & Misery. No? Too harsh? How about this: Well this sucks. Another McNaught favorite among many that I did not love. I feel like I should put out a disclaimer or apologize to my GR friends for clogging up your feeds with my negative reviews & low ratings as of late. I promise you I'm NOT doing it on purpose. I’m not one of those reviewers. I’ve been in a seri * 2.5 I'm-really-getting-tired-of-this stars * This really should have been titled Taming of the Shrew- Part II Or A Kingdom of Hell & Misery. No? Too harsh? How about this: Well this sucks. Another McNaught favorite among many that I did not love. I feel like I should put out a disclaimer or apologize to my GR friends for clogging up your feeds with my negative reviews & low ratings as of late. I promise you I'm NOT doing it on purpose. I’m not one of those reviewers. I’ve been in a serious book funk that seems to have no end. Nothing is working for me. I pulled this out of my ‘emergency’ pile in hopes it would pull me out of it but no such luck. *sigh* Go figure. This started out promising. The hero Royce Westmoreland was everything fierce, aggressive, alpha and intimidating that I enjoy. I was not a fan of the slapping incident but he slowly redeemed himself. The whole "falling in love with my captured enemy" was right down my alley of fun. But the heroine Jennifer Merrick and staggered plot made the whole experience quite torturous. Oh Moses this girl holds a grudge like a dog with a bone. Jesus. I kept having to remind myself that Jenny is only a 17 year-old sheltered girl but still, with that age and her attitude...she took a lot of arrogant liberties and quick to believe misassumptions that made me wish someone would slap some sense and humility into her. And by the way, what woman in 1400s Scotland would have a modern English name like Jennifer? I mean..Jennifer? Come on. I googled it and it dates back only to the 20th Century. So uh...WTH? This was a huge gaffe and made me wish the author picked another more accurate name appropriate to the time period. Or one that isn't so ridiculously out of place. It stuck out like a sore thumb. Moving on... This was literally a Tudor version of Paradise, just switch out the names, setting and era. I've noticed that Judith McNaught likes to stick to a certain formula and plug it into every story no matter the genre. That's fine since she exceeds at writing tortured conflicted multi-layered characters I can overlook it but I'd like a little more variety is all I'm saying. Do both leads HAVE to be strong willed and obsessively obstinate? The endless misunderstandings, arguing, vicious hate just piled on top of each other like an angry agitated ant hill. Here emotions and feelings swing like a pendulum and are so mercurial that you never know what you are going to get in the next 5 pages. You literally are holding your breath waiting for the next explosion and the small baby steps the couple have taken just disintegrate and we are back at square one. Where's the actual relationship development? The character growth? If you are constantly hurdling obstacles at the couple every few pages there is little room for actual growth and development. For me at least that's what it felt like here. Jenny's surprise revelation that she loves Royce came out of nowhere considering she tried everything to get away from him but the minute she finds out he did in fact want to marry her *gasp* She loves him!!!......Huh? The momentum and pacing is complete crap IMO. The couple do get a few moments of levity but it was all surface because both the reader and characters are fully aware that it will all fall apart very soon. The number of times and dramatic shifts from hate to love to hate again is just crazy. I just wished Judith would have let this couple be for a little while. Same grievances I had with Paradise I ran into in here, the amount of anxiety, anger, and frustration I experienced while reading this just colored my opinion of the whole story and unfortunately the characters too. When the couple finally reached their HEA I felt totally indifferent and not really caring. I mean it was nice and sure Jenny's gesture was sweet but it didn't wow me, I just felt numb. Like 100 pages too late honey... I kept questioning was the payoff worth it? Jury’s still out. I’m not sure if the heroine’s groveling and humbling herself in the VERY last chapter was worth the ridiculous amount of strife and misery the hero, the couple and the readers are put through. It wasn't worth it for me. I mean it wasn't enough for Royce and Jenny to endlessly run into problems and constant misunderstandings and manipulations by outside forces, but the needless death of Jenny's stepbrother William in the last 100 pages used as another source of contention between the two was just too much. Was this really necessary? The knife incident just threw me over the edge and I checked out mentally after that. Jenny crucifying Royce and refusing to believe his innocence was the final straw that broke the camel's back for me. This made my blood boil and stressed me the HELL out. I mean she pulled a damn knife on him. And this is just mere days after discovering she loves her husband and claiming to trust him. Yet she draws a knife on him in vengeance? Really?! That's not love. Not my definition of it at least. I can’t and won't overlook that. This had too many shades of an unhealthy, unstable, volatile relationship that won't last long. What got under my skin was that Jennifer didn’t even hesitate or bother to ask Royce what happened. Instead she’s quick to pounce on the man she supposedly "loves" and attacks him with a knife with zero hesitation. Bitch GOODBYE. I don’t care if it was a family member she was grieving over you don’t attack or try to kill a person you love without demanding an explanation first. It's disgusting, needless and not my cup of tea. And if that wasn't enough brutal misery, her choosing to publicly humiliate her husband and turn her back on her new countrymen to sit with her manipulative scheming family and clansmen made me seethe. The amount of prideful arrogance this girl has is enough to choke a horse. It wasn't enough to publicly scorn Royce as a murderer but you have to cut him at the knees too in front of 2 countries because you think it's your duty? The amount of times this girl continuously martyrs herself for her heartless vile selfish father and hateful clansmen was unbearable. I get why she was always looking for her father's love and approval but her blindness to his shortcomings and refusing to believe her people were capable of any wrong doing was so naive it just veered into TSTL in some instances. Especially when Royce gingerly brought up the truth about her father’s underhanded scheme to secretly take her away to an Abbey after the marriage without asking Jenny. She doesn’t think he’s capable of it, oh no her father would NEVER take her choices away from her. The same man who carted her butt off to an Abbey for 2 years straight to cure her ‘hellion’ ways and didn’t bother to visit her isn’t capable of this? Really? RME. Okie dokie. I tried to sympathize with her but there was little room for me to even do that because of her prideful attitude & stubborn idiotic ways. And the stunt her father and Malcolm pull at the tournament just made me wish they would all get trampled. This was the first book where I loathed the Scottish characters and was rooting for the English, pillaging and snobbery and all. Usually the roles of hero and villain are reverse when it comes to this historic rivalry. I appreciated that JM went a different route. There are villains on both sides and a lot of animonsity which I found accurate. I just was hoping to get something a little more along the lines of The Raider or Perfect same idea of captor falls in love with his captive and sworn enemies thing. But the balances in there were way better. I guess I am a little softhearted when it comes to angsty stories after all, and I love angst! But not this kind. I just can’t stand a book packed with vicious attacks, name calling and scathing retorts. That can only go so far. The thing about McNaught I’m coming to realize is that she likes to test emotional boundaries and put readers in an uneasy mindset with the constant ups and downs all the way to the very end. I can appreciate that..up to a certain point. I had a handful of her HR on my TR list but now...if it's the same dynamic & same outcome in every book I'm not sure it's for me. I need more satisfaction, conviction and payoff in my readings. And ones that don't make me feel like absolute shit while reading it. And most importantly characters I don't want to physically strangle. Life is stressful enough yo. My dear Goodreads friend who are avid JM fans: help me out! Is this pretty much what we get as far as characterizations in all her books? Please do share!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lana ❇✾Dirty Girl Romance❇✾

    5 MILLION BAZILLION TRILLION STARS!!!! “You are mad!” she snapped, her chest heaving. “And you are a devil!” “And you, my dear,” Royce imperturbably replied, “are a bitch.” With that, he turned to the horrified friar and unhesitatingly announced, “The lady and I wish to be wed.” I've been dreading this moment. This moment that I've been saving for last. The very last historical book of Judith's backlist that I knew I'd want to savor. I tried to pace myself. To truly get engrained and enjoy the 5 MILLION BAZILLION TRILLION STARS!!!! “You are mad!” she snapped, her chest heaving. “And you are a devil!” “And you, my dear,” Royce imperturbably replied, “are a bitch.” With that, he turned to the horrified friar and unhesitatingly announced, “The lady and I wish to be wed.” I've been dreading this moment. This moment that I've been saving for last. The very last historical book of Judith's backlist that I knew I'd want to savor. I tried to pace myself. To truly get engrained and enjoy the experience of this magical world, and yet I ended up binging late into the night, completely unable to set this book down for even a second. McNaught has given me some of my top favorite historical romances, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING compares to the experience that was this book. It was EVERYTHING. It was like someone took all of my favorite things and put them into one book full of emotion, swoony romance, and created one of the most unforgettable stories I have ever read. EVER. It's no secret that I love a good enemies to lovers trope, but every other book I've read in this trope pales in comparison to this book and Jennifer and Royce McNaught is a queen of creating these incredibly tortured and brooding heroes and throwing them into the path of even stronger heroines. Jennifer and Royce are easily my favorite characters I've read in my entire reading history. I'm not even kidding. Why is it when you yield, I feel like the one who has been conquered?” What happens when a strong beauty gets captured by her clan's sworn enemy, a man known as The Wolf? One of the most swoony romances I've ever read. The only thing I loved more than seeing their wills clash was seeing their walls crumble. I loved watching Royce fall for Jennifer, no matter how much he fights it. And boy did he fight it. Jennifer is not the striking beauty that her younger sister is. But there's something about her that calls to him. Her strong will, her strength, her bravery. All of it make up one incredibly striking woman that he finds himself falling for rather unwillingly. There's plenty of reviews that will give you more detail about this book and I don't want to rehash more than need be to take away from the experience of this story to those that haven't read it yet. What I will tell you is that I went through so many emotions reading it. I laughed, I cried, and I fell head over heels for the brooding and imperfect Royce. And if there's anything I love more than Judith's tortured heroes, it's watching them fall and fall hard. I love the perfect layer of angst that spans the entirety of the book. I simply loved everything about this book. One of my top favorite romances I've ever read. Bar none. Find me on:

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    I liked it. I just didn't love it. Sometimes I think that when I see all of my friends have given a book 5-stars, I go in with my expectations way too high. Or, it could be that I just like to be a jerk. The problem I had with this is book is that I didn't like the heroine, Jennifer. It started out well. I liked that she was figuring out ways to escape her kidnappers. I liked how hard she fought. But, after a while, she got real old real fast. I get that she didn't like her kidnapper, Royce. I mea I liked it. I just didn't love it. Sometimes I think that when I see all of my friends have given a book 5-stars, I go in with my expectations way too high. Or, it could be that I just like to be a jerk. The problem I had with this is book is that I didn't like the heroine, Jennifer. It started out well. I liked that she was figuring out ways to escape her kidnappers. I liked how hard she fought. But, after a while, she got real old real fast. I get that she didn't like her kidnapper, Royce. I mean who would like their kidnapper? And, I get that she ran away from him. Who wouldn't run away? But, let's be real for a minute. She was going to marry an old leach because her father wanted the alliance. A man that she said made her skin crawl. And, she was totally attracted to Royce, flirted with him, and then she slept with him. And Royce was like the sweetest thing ever to her. He was nicknamed "The Wolf", but as far as I could see, this guy was more like a wolf puppy who was eating out the palm of her hand. He treated her like his first crush, not a prisoner. I think she was actually better off with him than the old creeper she was going to be forced into marrying by her father. Considering how women were treated back then, it was like she won the lottery or something. So, she ends up having to marry Royce (not a spoiler, happens first page of the book) and she acts like it's a death sentence. Oh no, I have to marry the guy that is rich, adores me, has treated me like a princess, and is great in the sack! What torture! And then, when "stuff happens", she won't give him the benefit of the doubt at all. She automatically hates his guts and tells him so at every opportunity. She even goes out of her way to publicly humiliate him. By the end of the book, I really couldn't stand her.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞

    Jennifer and Royce are at war with each other, well, technically their countries are. She's a Scottish Countess and he's an English Duke. And when Royce's brother, Stefan, kidnaps Jennifer and her sister, Brenna, things become personal in more ways than one. Several people recommended this book to me (thank you!) and I can see why! Who doesn't love an enemies to lover story especially with someone as yummy as Royce. Royce is known as The Wolf and is the King of England's best warrior. He has a f Jennifer and Royce are at war with each other, well, technically their countries are. She's a Scottish Countess and he's an English Duke. And when Royce's brother, Stefan, kidnaps Jennifer and her sister, Brenna, things become personal in more ways than one. Several people recommended this book to me (thank you!) and I can see why! Who doesn't love an enemies to lover story especially with someone as yummy as Royce. Royce is known as The Wolf and is the King of England's best warrior. He has a ferocious reputation but I loved getting to know the real Royce...almost as much as Jennifer did. Jennifer is definitely a more modern woman. She doesn't take to being pushed in a corner and she freely speaks her mind. It's a good thing Royce likes this...in fact, he's really drawn to it. It was wonderful reading about Royce and Jennifer falling for each other and all the conflicting emotions going on definitely made things more interesting. My heart did go out to Jennifer as I felt she had the hardest time deciding between Royce and her family. It was even better reading their steamy scenes even if sometimes things were a bit too perfect. It always made me laugh how all Royce had to do was start kissing her and she melted especially considering some of the harsh things he said to her! I got a big kick out of all the escapes in the beginning and all the little pranks Jennifer did. The part about Thor was a killer. :( There are some great characters in the story. Jennifer's Aunt Elinor was hilarious and I loved how she was with Arik. Brenna and Stefan were great to read about, as well as several of Royce's knights. The one thing that sort of bothered me was what happened with William. It seemed a bit anti-climatic as to the "how" things happened. I did love the part where she ran out to the field...thank goodness for Stefan but it killed me that it took her so long! And the ending? Sooo perfect...her dream kingdom. (By the way, a little disappointed that there's not a Stefan and Brenna book!) Favorite quotes ♥ "It was a mistake," he said flatly, "for both of us. It won't happen again." ♥ "Some women need no jewels to make them sparkle. You are one of them." Jennifer's mouth dropped open in shock and she gaped at him. "Was that a compliment?" ♥ "Forty is this many—" ♥ "'Tis fortunate I've never met such a stubborn adversary as you on the battlefield, for I fear I'd have gone down to defeat." ♥ "I was… talking to God," she admitted. "'Tis a habit I have." Startled and slightly amused, Royce said, "Really? What did God have to say?" "I think," she softly replied, "He said, 'You're welcome.' " "For what?" Royce teased. Lifting her eyes to his, Jenny solemnly replied, "For you.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chantal ❤️

    5+ CAPTIVATING STARS "Jenny, I love you." "I think, my lord, I love you more." This book was an exhilarating start to the Westmoreland saga. Royce (the Black Wolf) Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore find his destiny when his brother Stefan, kidnaps Jenny and her sister from her convent school wearing a nun's outfit of all things. They both know of each by reputation only and each have already strong preconceived ideas of one another's character. And these ideas are not Favourable to say the least. J 5+ CAPTIVATING STARS "Jenny, I love you." "I think, my lord, I love you more." This book was an exhilarating start to the Westmoreland saga. Royce (the Black Wolf) Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore find his destiny when his brother Stefan, kidnaps Jenny and her sister from her convent school wearing a nun's outfit of all things. They both know of each by reputation only and each have already strong preconceived ideas of one another's character. And these ideas are not Favourable to say the least. Jenny is frighten but she is strong. Her family motto is: "If it's the Lords will that you die at the hand of your enemy, then do it bravely. Die fighting like a warrior. Like a Merrick!" She has embraced this and fights her invading enemy with everything she has. But will it be enough? Royce is captivated by the brave and proud Jenny. He knows that in order to gain favor in his new "Kingdom" he needs to find a middle ground with the neighboring clans. And Jenny is to be used as a pawn in this age old power struggle. They share a very volatile relationship. One that would set the foundation for many generations to come. This story was an riveting thrill ride of historical proportions. Every scene in this book was captivating and engaging. From fighting to making love, this book has a little of everything. The scene that will always stand out for me is when her family fight Royce in a type of mock battle. I will never forget what took place that day! It was so well written, I felt so many emotions in those moments, it was tangible vivid and real to me! That scene, those words....OH MY GOD! "Royce is letting them kill him...he is out there on that field, dying for you. He killed your brother and he's paying..." She then goes down to see her husband in the middle of battle and her family yells out for her to "Use it...use the lance, Jennifer." And she just "knelt before her husband in a public act of humble obeisance...." IT WAS EPIC! Just read this book! It was an amazing book worth a read and a reread to me. This is my 4 time reading it in fact. If you read historical at all and you haven't read this one, then I can honestly say you are missing out on an fantastic story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    “You are mad!” she snapped, her chest heaving. “And you are a devil!” “And you, my dear,” Royce imperturbably replied, “are a bitch.” With that, he turned to the horrified friar and unhesitatingly announced, “The lady and I wish to be wed.” This is an oldy but a goody. I love these enemies-to-lovers stories, and JM seems to dish them out on silver platters. She always has the perfect amount of conflict to keep me invested. Not to mention, her heroes make me drool. I'll admit that this isn't my “You are mad!” she snapped, her chest heaving. “And you are a devil!” “And you, my dear,” Royce imperturbably replied, “are a bitch.” With that, he turned to the horrified friar and unhesitatingly announced, “The lady and I wish to be wed.” This is an oldy but a goody. I love these enemies-to-lovers stories, and JM seems to dish them out on silver platters. She always has the perfect amount of conflict to keep me invested. Not to mention, her heroes make me drool. I'll admit that this isn't my favorite by JM, but it's certainly one of the best historicals I've read. It's up there near Prisoner of My Desire; pretty close to the rapey books in my heart. Bad ass heroine meets bad ass hero. And it was delightful. The heroine was sent to an abbey, although she isn't nun quality in the least. She gets captured and taken to Royce's camp. Some attraction begins. Some sizzling chemistry. And then some steam. But a misunderstanding has them hating one another, while they are forced into a marriage... A great one by McNaught that you shouldn't miss if you love medieval.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    DNF - 11% Bad, bad Alex! You should really stop trying to read Outlander-like books. They are not for you. You see, I really enjoy a historical romance every now and then, so I'm fully aware that this kind of books tend to be misogynistic (time period and all that). I can overlook it. What I deeply dislike is when the physical punishment of the woman is involved. I'm beginning to understand that this is a huge pet peeve for me, so I'm going to avoid it from now on.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mona

    AMAZING, fabulous, OUTSTANDING read, that deserves a happy dance! **Some spoilers ahead** To say I was captivated from beginning to end, is a serious understatement. I physically couldn't stop myself from devouring every word written. Not to add any updates or even add this book to my CR list. My eyes were drying out (seriously, I used eyes drops) from not blinking enough and lack of sleep. It wasn't a pretty sight... This historical romance sure didn't feel historical to me. It was so easy to AMAZING, fabulous, OUTSTANDING read, that deserves a happy dance! **Some spoilers ahead** To say I was captivated from beginning to end, is a serious understatement. I physically couldn't stop myself from devouring every word written. Not to add any updates or even add this book to my CR list. My eyes were drying out (seriously, I used eyes drops) from not blinking enough and lack of sleep. It wasn't a pretty sight... This historical romance sure didn't feel historical to me. It was so easy to read. I wasn't bored with politics and wars. There was enough to help me understand but not hate the book. The story and characters are hilarious, charming and an all round joy to read about. _________________________ Jennifer Merrick aka Jenny, is a stubborn redheaded witch lass, known for her bravery and skill at aggravating and challenging a certain warrior to the point of no return. Royce Westmoreland aka The Wolf, is a handsome fierce warrior, known for his murderous and barbarian ways. He's feared by all...except for the stubborn and exasperating Jenny. _________________________ When Jenny and her sister are kidnapped and brought before the feared 'Wolf', Jenny knows there is little hope they'll survive the night. So being a headstrong 'Merrick' lass, Jenny lifts her chin with pride as she bites the Wolf, then knees him in the balls. Who could blame her for all the trouble and amusement Royce endures during her captivity. All she wanted... When that wasn't granted, she was left with no other choice but to attempt escape...with Royce's prized horse of course. And that was just the being of the adventure... __________________________ A heartfelt love story between two enemies. Jenny bound to honor her family. And Royce's sworn loyalty to his king. An impossible union that may destroy them, or bring peace to all. I guess you'll have to read it to find out...hehehehe! Filled with drama, sadness at times and sweet love. This book is perfect for all you romantics lovers. So go READ this book... _______________________ Effie, my offline reading buddy, I loved discussing this with you over morning coffees...while you blurted out bits of the book I hadn't read yet! Thanks for the rec muffin xx

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    Re-read…AGAIN!! One of my favorite go-to-comfort-inspiring reads! How is it possible that it keeps getting better?! One of the best fight-to-the-finish love stories! It doesn’t come easy and it comes at a cost, but it’s so worth it!!! 5 Stars!! I am a blubbering mess. The last six paragraphs in the book, before the epilogue, where Royce contemplates the recent events in his life, just undid me. This is an intense, well written, passionate romance. A wonderful journey, as Royce and Jenny discove Re-read…AGAIN!! One of my favorite go-to-comfort-inspiring reads! How is it possible that it keeps getting better?! One of the best fight-to-the-finish love stories! It doesn’t come easy and it comes at a cost, but it’s so worth it!!! 5 Stars!! I am a blubbering mess. The last six paragraphs in the book, before the epilogue, where Royce contemplates the recent events in his life, just undid me. This is an intense, well written, passionate romance. A wonderful journey, as Royce and Jenny discover that you can't always believe what you hear...sometimes it's just better to listen to your heart! Yes Taryn, I am in love with this book too! “His hair was black and his black cloak was billowing out behind him, blowing eerily in the wind as if it had a life of its own. Firelight danced across his swarthy, hawklike features, casting shadows that made him look positively satanic; it blazed in his strange eyes, heating them until they glowed like molten silver coals in his bearded haggard face.” Royce “The Wolf” Westmoreland

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    Seriously. This book was just what I needed. I adored every page. Review to come.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lady Vigilante (Feifei)

    Thanks Ash for the recommendation or I wouldn't have read it otherwise and that would be a shame! Also a pat on the back for me since I found this gem at Half-priced books. This story can best be summarized with two words: Total escapism!!!! There's a reason historical romance reigns ahead on my favorite genre list and A Kingdom of Dreams is the perfect example! I loved the family/clan dynamics, court politics, and the depth the author portrayed these complex characters. This story was exactly Thanks Ash for the recommendation or I wouldn't have read it otherwise and that would be a shame! Also a pat on the back for me since I found this gem at Half-priced books. This story can best be summarized with two words: Total escapism!!!! There's a reason historical romance reigns ahead on my favorite genre list and A Kingdom of Dreams is the perfect example! I loved the family/clan dynamics, court politics, and the depth the author portrayed these complex characters. This story was exactly what I needed to get away from all the terrible contemporary romance I've been reading. What made it a 4? That would be Jenny. Her clan loyalty was admirable, but terribly misguided! How could she be so clever when it came to escaping, tricking Royce again and again, but not see that her father and family didn't care about her, just the value she could bring to them?? What a TWAT! There was a scene close to the end where I was just about to say "EFF this SHIT, if something doesn't happen soon, this book will end up in the fireplace" but thank goodness Jenny came to her senses. Royce is a total sweetie and if I were to go back in time 600 years, I want him.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lover of Romance

    This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance The Kingdom of Dreams is the first book of the Westmoreland Saga. I read this book many years ago, and I had this on my list to re read, and since my library didn't have it any longer, I decided I would need to buy it and well worth it in the end!! I loved everything about this book. At first it started out a bit slow, and I was a bit worried that I wouldn't love it as much as I did when I read it the first time. But wow, suddenly I was dr This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance The Kingdom of Dreams is the first book of the Westmoreland Saga. I read this book many years ago, and I had this on my list to re read, and since my library didn't have it any longer, I decided I would need to buy it and well worth it in the end!! I loved everything about this book. At first it started out a bit slow, and I was a bit worried that I wouldn't love it as much as I did when I read it the first time. But wow, suddenly I was drawn in so completely I couldn't put it down and I realized what a fabulous couple these two are. Jennifer and Royce are enemies of a sort. Royce is English and Jennifer is a Scot. Jennifer for the past two years has been stuck in a convent as punishment for something she did not do, but cruel machinations from her step brother. Then she finds herself kidnapped along with her sister by Royce and his men. But through the course of events, they end up falling in love. Oh Man there is so much love that I have for this story, and honestly I can't even begin to express how much I adored these two and what conflict that drives them together...drives them apart and then together again. There are a few misunderstandings that happen between them. And some granted...I can understand why it would cause mistrust. But what was most compelling about this couple, is seeing the way they work through things. It isn't always easy for them, but they don't block out their true feelings for each other. And the emotion that is portrayed is very compelling. From beginning to end I wanted more of these two. I wanted to see what drives them to be together despite what tends to tear them apart on occasion. Kingdom of Dreams is a story that draws two people together, that build a kingdom of their own...a Kingdom of Dreams---full of life, love and laughter. A Compelling and Riveting romance to keep you on your toes and make every nerve ending come alive!!  If you have yet to read this book....grab it up NOW and you won't regret it. A TRUE GEM OF A ROMANCE!!   [foogallery id="19168"]

  19. 4 out of 5

    Taryn

    This review was posted at My Secret Romance This is romance at its best! I've come to the conclusion that all the books I said I loved in the past, I didn't. I was wrong. I'm realizing that I lusted after them, not truly loved. This book is love. The way I wrote my review for Whitney, My Love, is going to be the same way I write my review for this book. There isn't anything I can say that hasn't already been said about this book. It is a phenomenal book and everyone should read it regardless if yo This review was posted at My Secret Romance This is romance at its best! I've come to the conclusion that all the books I said I loved in the past, I didn't. I was wrong. I'm realizing that I lusted after them, not truly loved. This book is love. The way I wrote my review for Whitney, My Love, is going to be the same way I write my review for this book. There isn't anything I can say that hasn't already been said about this book. It is a phenomenal book and everyone should read it regardless if you like Historical Romance or not. I guarantee you will love it after you read it and it will most likely render you speechless. "You're so cold, you're fighting back tears?" he uttered in disbelief, trying to see her face with only the dying embers of the little fire in the center of the tent for illumination. "No," she said hoarsely. "Then why?" he demanded, completely at a loss as to what could have finally battered down her stubborn pride and made her cry. "The thrashing I gave you?" "No," she whispered achingly, her eyes locked with his. "Your horse." Of all the things she could have said, that answer was the one he least expected and most wanted to hear. Somehow knowing that she regretted the senseless loss of his horse made it seem somehow less painful. "He was the most beautiful animal I've ever seen," she added hoarsely. "If I'd know that taking him this morning might have led to his death, I'd have stayed her until I could-could find some other way." Staring up into the earl's hooded eyes, Jenny saw him wince as he pulled his hand away from her face. "It's a miracle you fell off or you'd both have died," he said gruffly. Turning to her side she buried her face in the furs. "I didn't fall," she whispered brokenly, "he threw me. I'd ridden higher over obstacles all day. I knew could clear that tree with ease, but when he jumped, he reared up at the same time, for no reason at all, and I fell backward. He shook me off before he jumped." "Thor sired two sons, Jennifer," Royce said with rough gentleness, "in his exact likeness. One of the is here, the other at Claymore being trained. He isn't completely lost to me." His captive drew a shattered breath, and in the darkness, she said simply, "Thank you." -Jennifer to Royce Jenny's huge, feared-widened eyes were riveted to his face. "Please," she whispered, mistaking his silence for refusal. "I'll do anything. I'll kneel to you. Please, you have only to tell me what you want." He finally spoke and Jenny tensed with hope, too overwrought to notice the odd meaningful note in his voice as he said, "Anything?" She nodded, vigorously. "Anything-I'll have this castle set to rights and ready to receive a king within a few weeks, I'll say prayers for each of you-" "'Tis not prayers I want," he interrupted. Desperate to reach an agreement before he changes his mind, she said, "Then, tell me what it is what you want?" Implacably he stated, "You." Jennifer's hand fell away from his tunic as he continued without emotion, "I do not want you on your knees, I want you in my bed. Willingly." Her relief that he was willing to let Brenna leave was temporarily overwhelmed by blazing animosity at what he was demanding. He was sacrificing nothing by releasing Brenna, for he would still have Jenny as a hostage, yet he was requiring that she sacrifice everything. In willingly surrendering her honor to him, she would become a harlot; a disgrace to herself, her family, and all she held dear. -Jennifer pleading to Royce to free her sister, Brenna, who fell ill at the castle. "Do we have a bargain?" he asked calmly. Jenny lifted her small chin, looking like a proud young queen who'd just been stabbed by someone she trusted. "I was mistaken in you, my lord," she said bitterly. "I credited you with honor when you said me nay two days ago-for you could have promised me what I asked for, taken what I offered, and then attacked Merrick anyway. Now I see 'twasn't honor, but arrogance. A barbarian has no honor." Even when she knew she was vanquished, she was splendid, Royce thought, suppressing an admiring smile as he looked into her stormy blue eyes. "Is the bargain I offer you so loathsome?" he asked quietly, putting his hands on her stiff arms. "In truth, I have no need to bargain with you at all, Jennifer, and you know it. I could have taken you by force any time these past days." Jennifer knew that, and although her resentment remained, she had to fight against falling under the deep spell of his voice as he continued, "I want you, and if that makes me a barbarian in your eyes, so be it, but it doesn't have to be that way. If you let me, I'll make it good between us. There'll be no shame nor pain for you in my bed,-except for the pain I must cause you the first time. After that, there will be only pleasure." "Because I doubt your sister has paid enough heed to Hardin's defenses to tell your father anything. You, however," he added in a voice of amused irony, "were calculating the thickness of its walls and counting my sentries as we rode across the drawbridge." "You are mad!" she snapped, her chest heaving. "And you are a devil!" "And you, my dear," Royce imperturbably replied, "are a bitch." With that, he turned to the horrified friar and unhesitatingly announced, "The lady and I wish to be wed." "I hate you," she said with deadly calm. "A perfect basis for the perfect marriage," Royce said sarcastically. "Your home," he interrupted, and to her complete confusion, he grinned suddenly. "You have the bluest eyes on earth," he added with a low, appreciative chuckle. "When you're angry, they're the color of wet blue velvet." Jenny rolled her eyes in disgust, momentarily pacified by his answer that this was her home. "Wet velvet?" she repeated wryly, wrinkling her nose. "Wet velvet." His white teeth flashed in a devastating grin. "No? What should I have said?" His smile was irresistible, and Jenny fell in with his teasing mood, "Well, you might have said they're the color of-" she glanced at the large sapphire in the center of the crucifix"-of sapphires, she provided. "That has a nice ring to it." "Ah, but sapphires are cold, and your eyes are warm and expressive. Am I doing better? he chuckled when she voiced no further argument to wet velvet. "Much," she agrees readily. "would you care to go on?" "Fetching for compliments? "Certainly." His lips twitched with laughter. "Very well. Your eyelashes remind me of sooty brooms." Jenny's mirth exploded in a peal of musical laughter. "A broom!" she chuckled merrily, shaking her head at him. "Exactly. And your skin is white and soft and smooth. It reminds me of...." "Yes?" she prompted, chuckling. "An egg. Shall I go on?" "On, please, no," she muttered, laughing. Why is it when you yield, I feel like the one who has been conquered?" -Royce Westmoreland It was a kingdom of dreams— a place where things would be just the way I wanted them to be. -Jennifer Merrick Westmoreland Since reading this book, I went online and ordered many of this authors books, some without even looking at what they're about. I came to the conclusion that I didn't care what they're about, only that I have them and read them.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Duchess Nicole

    This is a fantastic medieval romance. I stayed up until 3 in the morning, knowing that I wouldn't finish, because I literally couldn't put this book down. It took the best attributes from a strong-willed female heroine and the very best attributes from an alpha male hero and put them into THIS BOOK. I don't even really know what to say. So often, there is only a surface level reality to books set hundreds of years ago. But I swear I was hearing thundering hoof beats while I read this. Gush, gush This is a fantastic medieval romance. I stayed up until 3 in the morning, knowing that I wouldn't finish, because I literally couldn't put this book down. It took the best attributes from a strong-willed female heroine and the very best attributes from an alpha male hero and put them into THIS BOOK. I don't even really know what to say. So often, there is only a surface level reality to books set hundreds of years ago. But I swear I was hearing thundering hoof beats while I read this. Gush, gush, gush! This is the first that I've read by Judith McNaught, and I'm pretty distraught right now that she hasn't written hundreds of books. I am enchanted!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    3.5 to 4 stars. It took me a little while to finish this reread of a book that was a fav for me when I first started out reading HRs, years ago. But times have changed, and HRs today have a different feel. It was interesting to find this one still stands up pretty well. I read this for the 2018 Romance Across The Ages challenge for the Historical Romance Book Club group on GR. January theme: Scottish. It was also a rare (for me) medieval read, being set in the late 1400s. Royce, Earl of Claymore, 3.5 to 4 stars. It took me a little while to finish this reread of a book that was a fav for me when I first started out reading HRs, years ago. But times have changed, and HRs today have a different feel. It was interesting to find this one still stands up pretty well. I read this for the 2018 Romance Across The Ages challenge for the Historical Romance Book Club group on GR. January theme: Scottish. It was also a rare (for me) medieval read, being set in the late 1400s. Royce, Earl of Claymore, is an English warrior known as "The Wolf'. Known for his prowess in battle, his fearsome reputation precedes him. Jennifer is the seventeen-year-old daughter of a Scottish noble. The enemy..... Jennifer and her younger half-sister Brenna are kidnapped by Royce's men, with the intention of using them for ransom or as leverage. Ironically, Jenny is reputed to be the 'plain one' of the two sisters, but now she is a woman and has come into her beauty. A sensual-looking redhead. Young, immature in some ways, certainly naive, and having no idea of her own beauty. But also clever, courageous, cunning, and incredibly loyal to her father and to Scotland. Let the adventure begin! This book is full of battles, castles, tournaments, feasts, knights in armour, ladies in beautiful medieval clothing, royal decrees etc etc. Lots of fun to read. Royce and Jenny fall in love fairly early on, but they are torn apart by various misunderstandings and events. A lot of it is related to Jenny's incredible loyalty to her father. She is torn between this, and her love of Royce, the 'enemy' Englishman. The reader is pretty quickly made aware that Jenny's loyalty is misplaced, as her father and stepbrothers are actually quite dastardly, and use Jenny for their own wicked ends with no care for her at all. But she is young and idealistic, and in a way you have to admire her actions, even when they are also incredibly frustrating. It's not till quite late in the book that the scales fall from Jennifer's eyes. The climactic scenes are dramatic and colourful. The ending is satisfying. As a reader, a certain amount of tolerance is required in regards to the character of Jenny. Although I wanted to roll my eyes a few times, I kept reminding myself, she is young, naive, and through no fault of her own has misplaced loyalties. Royce on the other hand is easier to like, in spite of some violent acts. He is a man of his times, and in fact a respected hero. He also has a tender (and sexy) side, which few apart from Jenny see. I loved the title of this book, and the moments in the book where it is referenced are very sweet. Overall, for a book first published in 1989, it still stands up surprisingly well.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    "A Kingdom of Dreams" is regarded as one of the best love stories by numerous romance novels fans. Being a non-romance reader (my interest waned by the age of about 15 when I'd read all possible feisty wench/dangerous rogue scenarios), I can't be a fair judge of the book, but here is my review nevertheless. This book had some decent, at times funny dialog between 2 main characters, the bedroom scenes were fairly steamy without being graphic, but other than that, it was a typical historical roman "A Kingdom of Dreams" is regarded as one of the best love stories by numerous romance novels fans. Being a non-romance reader (my interest waned by the age of about 15 when I'd read all possible feisty wench/dangerous rogue scenarios), I can't be a fair judge of the book, but here is my review nevertheless. This book had some decent, at times funny dialog between 2 main characters, the bedroom scenes were fairly steamy without being graphic, but other than that, it was a typical historical romance novel with a very formulaic story line. You have a feisty smart heroine who is beautiful in an unconventional way. She gets kidnapped by an enemy clan headed by a fierce, dangerous but ultimately tender-hearted and loyal hero. The two gradually fall in love. The hero naturally takes the heroine's virginity, and she is too willing to give it up, even though they are not married and he is her enemy. At some point the 2 are forced to marry as it always is in romance novels. As they are married, there are still some circumstances that keep our couple apart from openly loving each other. (Don't ask me what circumstances, because the only thing I remember about them is that they were contrived.) These misunderstandings however don't stop them from making sweet love to each other. The story naturally ends with HEA, when all difficulties are resolved and a baby is born. The bottom line is, if you are a romance fan, I expect you will enjoy this book very much. If you are not, you can easily skip it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sophie ♥

    “Royce understood then why she had come: she had come to finish the task her relatives had begun; to do to him what he had done to her brother. Unmoving, he watched her, noting that tears were pouring down her beautiful face as she slowly bent down. But instead of reaching for his lance or her dagger, she took his hand between both of hers and pressed her lips to it. Through his daze of pain and confusion, Royce finally understood that she was kneeling to him, and a groan tore from his chest: "D “Royce understood then why she had come: she had come to finish the task her relatives had begun; to do to him what he had done to her brother. Unmoving, he watched her, noting that tears were pouring down her beautiful face as she slowly bent down. But instead of reaching for his lance or her dagger, she took his hand between both of hers and pressed her lips to it. Through his daze of pain and confusion, Royce finally understood that she was kneeling to him, and a groan tore from his chest: "Darling," he said brokenly, tightening his hand, trying to make her stand, "don't do this…" But his wife wouldn't listen. In front of seven thousand onlookers, Jennifer Merrick Westmoreland, countess of Rockbourn, knelt before her husband in a public act of humble obedience, her face pressed to his hand, her shoulders wrenched with violent sobs. By the time she finally arose, there could not have been many among the spectators who had not seen what she had done. Standing up, she stepped back, lifted her tear-streaked face to his, and squared her shoulders. Pride exploded in Royce's battered being—because, somehow, she was managing to stand as proudly—as defiantly—as if she had just been knighted by a king.” *Swoon* For those of you who have already read this book, I want to say that when I got up to the part when Royce is on the field being challenged by the Merricks in the tournament (who are all asses by the way) I was actually clutching my heart and having heart palpitations. It was horribly, horribly frightening but bitterly beautiful, I couldn't help thinking that if Jennifer hadn't froze Royce out of her heart, Royce never would have been hurt like that. Then again, the battle scene was such a stunning climax that I could almost see it was all worth it in the end. A Kingdom of Dreams is the first book in the Westmoreland series. It's actually the prequel to Whitney, My Love and it tells the story of Royce Westmoreland and the proud Scottish beauty, Jennifer Merrick (yes, another proud heroine). Judith McNaught sets this novel in the 15th century which gives it a different sort of flavour to the usual historical romance novels which tend to be set in much later time periods. I loved it though. It was so far removed from the modern world, it made the story so much more captivating and dream-like. Sometimes I dream of living in world of knights and warriors and beautiful gowns. There's definitely not much to critique about this book. Although I would have loved to see a side story of Stefan and Brenna... That's probably asking too much, but still, there was so much potential! I also was hoping for a little more of Arik who seemed to be an intriguing mystery. Damn it would've been nice to learn more about the intriguing, abrupt giant. Although I can no longer say all of Judith McNaught's books are for sure five-star reads after reading Someone to Watch Over Me, I think I can still say that her historical romances are in a class of their own. Rate: 5 stars

  24. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    Re-read... 2019... still one of my favorites. Review from July 31, 2009 A Kingdom of Dreams, by Judith McNaught, is probably my favorite love story of all times. Romance is not my preferred genre, but this book definitely has all the magical elements to make you believe in fairy tale love and a knight in shining armor. I love the two main characters of this novel, and when they meet, you become captivated by their fierce battle of wills and ultimately their undying love for each other. This story Re-read... 2019... still one of my favorites. Review from July 31, 2009 A Kingdom of Dreams, by Judith McNaught, is probably my favorite love story of all times. Romance is not my preferred genre, but this book definitely has all the magical elements to make you believe in fairy tale love and a knight in shining armor. I love the two main characters of this novel, and when they meet, you become captivated by their fierce battle of wills and ultimately their undying love for each other. This story is filled with a perfect blend of romance, adventure, struggle and devotion. Jennifer Merrick is the daughter of a Scottish chieftain and is abducted from her convent school by her father’s sworn enemy, Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Jennifer fights Royce at every turn in an effort to escape the clutches of her English enemy. As the story progresses, these two characters find themselves caught in a web of misguided lies deceit and betrayal. Despite these opposing forces, Royce and Jennifer develop an overwhelming love for each other wrapped with passion and loyalty that should never exist between enemies. Royce is the perfect chivalrous character that you can easily fall in love with. He’s strong, loyal, fierce and brave. Jennifer is creatively developed as a proud, courageous and willful character that is the perfect opposition to Royce. I loved the story, and I felt their angst when they were faced with the constant struggle of coming from opposing ends. Great love story that you won’t be able to put down.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘

    I am highly disappointed in the build-up, only for it to end that way. I had expected way more for that ending than the one we got. The book was alright, enjoyable even, for like 30 (+-)% of the book, but then I started to lose respect for Jennifer Merrick (17). I ended up with feeling a somewhat hatred towards her, which is not a good thing. She also didn't gain back my trust, which perhaps is why I'm very disappointed with how thing happened. “The groom always smiles proudly because he's con I am highly disappointed in the build-up, only for it to end that way. I had expected way more for that ending than the one we got. The book was alright, enjoyable even, for like 30 (+-)% of the book, but then I started to lose respect for Jennifer Merrick (17). I ended up with feeling a somewhat hatred towards her, which is not a good thing. She also didn't gain back my trust, which perhaps is why I'm very disappointed with how thing happened. “The groom always smiles proudly because he's convinced he's accomplished something quite wonderful. The bride smiles because she's been able to convince him of it.” The only thing I did like about this book was Royce Westmoreland (29). Though I didn't love him, I liked him very much. This book did have potential to be good, great even, but it was too long, boring, and with the main female character losing my respect, there was no hope for me with this book. “Why is it when you yield, I feel like the one who has been conquered?” I also didn't like that how Royce was made out to be this brutal, ruthless and dangerous, when all he was doing was following his king's orders and being good at it. Even the nickname “The Wolf” didn't fit Royce's description, as all I could see was a man who was falling in love. I didn't see him as a 'terror' for others. All I saw was a cute man. I'm not sure that was what Judith McNaught had in mind... “Some women need no jewels to make them sparkle. You are one of them.” Quick basic facts: Genre: - (Adult) Historical Romance Series: - Series, Book One Love triangle? - (view spoiler)[No (hide spoiler)] Cheating? - (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] HEA? - (view spoiler)[Yes. (hide spoiler)] Favorite character? - Royce Westmoreland Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Probably not. Would I recommend this book/series? - Nah. Will I read this again in the future? - No. Rating - 2.5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hollis

    "Why is it, that every time you surrender willingly, like this, you make me feel like a king who has conquered. Yet when I conquer you against your will, you make me feel like a defeated beggar?" I am on a fantastic run of fucking brilliant historical romances right now. What makes this one even more special is the unique (to me) time period. Other than Arthurian-set stories, I have never read something from the Medieval era and I so enjoyed the change in pace. But honestly what didn't I love abo "Why is it, that every time you surrender willingly, like this, you make me feel like a king who has conquered. Yet when I conquer you against your will, you make me feel like a defeated beggar?" I am on a fantastic run of fucking brilliant historical romances right now. What makes this one even more special is the unique (to me) time period. Other than Arthurian-set stories, I have never read something from the Medieval era and I so enjoyed the change in pace. But honestly what didn't I love about this read? "Suppose you tell me why the prospect of lying with me suddenly seems to frighten you so." "I'm not frightened. But having already done it -- I simply feel no desire to do it again. I felt much the same about -- about pomegranates. After I tried them, I just didn't want them any more. I'm like that sometimes." A KINGDOM OF DREAMS has everything I want in a story, be it historical or not, and that includes incredible characters that are layered and multi-faceted, emotional arcs, twists, strong heroines, broody misunderstood heroes, and a delicious fluctuating hate to love relationship that develops into one of the best, more enduring feeling, romances ever. "I was.. talking to God. 'Tis a habit I have." "Really? What did God have to say?" "I think He said, 'You're welcome'." "For what?" "For you." I'll admit there was one tiny little issue I had with the William situation; one that I had hoped to have a different explanation but alas.. it's not enough to make me drop this down from a five. I just loved it so much. Am I over selling this a little? Maybe. But this made me laugh, cringe, swoon, and hurt. It's worth a perfect rating.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    “The groom always smiles proudly because he's convinced he's accomplished something quite wonderful. The bride smiles because she's been able to convince him of it.” Characters are wonderfully fleshed and out and complex for this genre type. Jennifer is bold and daring, loyal and open-hearted. She's not so steel-spined that she's unrealistic, and I enjoyed being in her head for this storyline after I got over her annoying loyalty to a clan that didn't necessarily deserve it. The "hero" Royce was “The groom always smiles proudly because he's convinced he's accomplished something quite wonderful. The bride smiles because she's been able to convince him of it.” Characters are wonderfully fleshed and out and complex for this genre type. Jennifer is bold and daring, loyal and open-hearted. She's not so steel-spined that she's unrealistic, and I enjoyed being in her head for this storyline after I got over her annoying loyalty to a clan that didn't necessarily deserve it. The "hero" Royce was likable enough, even if I wanted to throttle him sometimes for his stubbornness. I enjoyed the small gang that accompanied everyone, from the brother-mother-drama to the loyal compadres standing by the side. Without the side characters, Kingdom of Dreams wouldn't have fared nearly as well. Instead of a simple let's mesh them together and mold them into a romantic couple, the storyline holds layers to keep it interesting and more complex than the norm. Besides family drama on the side of the hero, there is the background of cruelty Jennifer faced and why she ended up in this situation in the first place. Most historical romances stand above the rest if they have humor, which this one introduced through fun dialogue and banter between the mains and others. Sure there's some cheesy stuff, but the genuine chemistry between the two keeps the flames smoldering enough to overlook that. If you're a fan of Historical Romance, you should dig this once since it stays interesting through the storyline, holds up the pacing, has sarcastic and humorous main characters who feel genuine enough to carry their story, complimentary side characters, a castle (yays) and satisfying ending. Look forward to checking out more of this author.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Didi

    My heart is bursting!!!! Love is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about this book! 5 HUGE, DREAMY STARS!!!!!!!!!!!! Many people have read this book and I seem to be in the minority of those who haven't until now. And because of this reason I won't draw out my review. But OH MY GOD. I love HR but this is in a class of it's own! Breathtaking and incredibly thick with layers and plot twists, this is the best HR I've read to date. It had everything I could hope for: Romance, intrigue, a My heart is bursting!!!! Love is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about this book! 5 HUGE, DREAMY STARS!!!!!!!!!!!! Many people have read this book and I seem to be in the minority of those who haven't until now. And because of this reason I won't draw out my review. But OH MY GOD. I love HR but this is in a class of it's own! Breathtaking and incredibly thick with layers and plot twists, this is the best HR I've read to date. It had everything I could hope for: Romance, intrigue, angst, adventure, deceit, betrayal, sacrifice...the list goes on and on and on... I was going through every emotion possible from joy and elation to sadness and defeat. I couldn't understand how I didn't read this sooner. BEAUTIFUL INTENSE HEART-BREAKING SENSUAL PROVOCATIVE I can't put into words how utterly incredible this was...but I can say I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! Please read this if you haven't, it will change you. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS.SO MUCH!

  29. 5 out of 5

    NMmomof4

    3.5 Stars Overall Opinion: This was a sweet, low drama read. I liked the H and I liked their connection to each other. I did struggle with the pacing and the h at times (see below) enough that I don't think this will be finding its home on my favorites shelf. I'm also not sure how memorable this will be in the long run -- mainly because of the pacing and how it felt slow at times. Otherwise, I can definitely see where some people loved it even though I didn't. Brief Summary of the Storyline: Thi 3.5 Stars Overall Opinion: This was a sweet, low drama read. I liked the H and I liked their connection to each other. I did struggle with the pacing and the h at times (see below) enough that I don't think this will be finding its home on my favorites shelf. I'm also not sure how memorable this will be in the long run -- mainly because of the pacing and how it felt slow at times. Otherwise, I can definitely see where some people loved it even though I didn't. Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Jenny and Royce's story. Jenny has been hidden away in an abbey by her father, and she is taken captive by one of her father's biggest rival. During her struggles and failed escape attempts, she learns that Royce isn't the horrible and fearsome man that the legends claim he is. Somewhere along the line things change for them and they start to fall in love. A good bit of big family and country drama, a few sexy and sweet times, and an arranged marriage later...they get a HEA ending. POV: This alternated between focusing on Jenny and Royce in 3rd person narrative. Overall Pace of Story: Okay. It did feel a little slow at times, and I did skim some of the descriptive parts that didn't feel all that necessary. Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings. H rating: 4.5 stars. Royce. I really liked him. I think because I liked him so much I struggled with the h because of her behavior towards him. h rating: 3 stars. Jenny. I sometimes liked her but then sometimes I didn't. I really wanted her to see her father for what he truly was a lot sooner. Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed Push/Pull: Yes (view spoiler)[ There are times when they both push away (h more so), and I'd say that the H is the main pursuer of the relationship. (hide spoiler)] Heat level: Mild. They have some mild tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story. Descriptive sex: Yes. The number of scenes werent that many, but I'd still say they were descriptive. OW/OM drama: No Sex scene with OW or OM: No Cheating: No Separation: Yes (view spoiler)[They are separated shortly, but there was no mention or suggestion of other partners during this time. (hide spoiler)] Possible Triggers: Yes (view spoiler)[ Neglectful parent (h - on page) and the h was a virgin (hide spoiler)] Closure: This had pretty good closure with what I would call a HEA ending (view spoiler)[they're still married and she just had their first child (hide spoiler)] Safety: This one should be Safe for most safety gang readers (view spoiler)[ - Does Not have cheating - Does Not have a descriptive sex scene with OW/OM - Does have both the h and the H pushing away - Does have a short separation between the h and H - Does Not have abuse by mcs - Does have a HEA ending (hide spoiler)]

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover

    4.5 Stars Such a beautiful story! I loved it! This is historical romance at its finest. The characters were solidly developed and the writing was just superb. It was packed with love, suspense, adventure and lessons to be learned. I fell in love with these characters and I'm sad to see them go.

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