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Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee
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Snow in July

by Kim Iverson Headlee

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I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review and rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

An Anglophile since childhood, I jumped at the chance to read and review Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee because of the historical period and setting. Set in the 11th Century, during the battle of Hastings, Ms. Headlee’s story is filled with knights, ladies, battle scenes, magic, and political upheaval. If you’re a fan of Medieval history and romance, then this is a story you will no doubt enjoy.

Beginning with the Battle of Hastings between Duke William II of Normandy and Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, Ms. Headlee introduces us to her primary character, Sir Robert “Alain”de Bellencombre, a Norman knight who has sworn to fight for Duke William and at the same time protect his younger brother. I liked “Alain” right from the start; he’s noble, honorable and is a man of his word. He’s the kind of guy you would want as a friend guarding your back. Born a second son, “Alain” hopes to be rewarded for his service to his king, but didn’t count on the king rewarding him via a marriage contract to a Saxon lady. No political dummy, William knows to keep the peace that the Normans and Saxons will need to intermarry and he’ll kill two birds with one stone by marrying his knights to wealthy, titled Saxon ladies whose inheritance will stabilize his kingdom.

We are soon introduced to the second main character, Lady Kendra of Edgarburh, the Saxon lady promised to “Alain” as a reward. The only living child of her father, her husband will inherit all of her father’s lands upon his death. I also liked Kendra from the beginning; beautiful, honorable and a gifted healer, she’s also suffering from a terrible loss – her only brother was killed on his way home from the battle of Hastings (he had fought for King Harold) and she fears being married to a Norman would be a betrayal to her brother. Especially since she and her father believe her brother was killed by one of “enemy”.

While neither character is eager for marriage, they are bound by a king’s order and a father’s promise and determination to keep his people safe. Ms. Headlee does a good job with the historical setting and with maintaining the tension between the characters as they are placed in difficult situations. Keeping their promises Alain and Kendra find themselves facing thieves, kidnappers, treachery and even sorcery, while attempting to fight their growing attraction to each other.

Ms. Headlee also does a good job developing the secondary characters and I especially liked meeting Ruaud, Alain’s closest friend, who made me laugh, and Waldron, Kendra’s father, who really cared about his daughter and the people he oversaw. The villains of the story were also well developed and fairly colorful – both in language and mode of dress. The mystery of who is behind all of the trouble was well written and the story takes several unexpected twists and turns, although I knew the identity of the villain in charge almost right from the start.

Will Alain be able to rescue Kendra when she is kidnapped? Will Alain and Kendra allow their growing attraction to turn into love? Will Alain and Kendra be able to help heal a nation made up of two different peoples? You’ll have to read Snow in July to find out. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Headlee’s work. ( )
1 vote MariaD. | Jul 24, 2016 |
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Snow in July is a wonderfully written novel that is filled with a very authentic and rich historical voice and characters that pull you into their world and keep you there from the first page to the last.

I hadn't read any of Ms. Headlee's previous novels so I had no preconceived notions and I was greatly appreciative of the depth of her character development. It was very easy to fall for Alain and to totally dislike Kendra. But my feeling changed and I started pulling for them to find their happily-ever-after. After all, that's what is supposed to happen during medieval times.

I'm looking forward to jumping into Ms. Headlee's backlist and immersing myself in her astounding writing. I highly recommend Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee and give it five enchanting cups of steaming Room With Books coffee.

© July 19, 2015
Patricia, Room With Books ( )
1 vote roomwithbooks | Aug 31, 2015 |
A wedding ceremony should be blissful. The bride should be happy. But for Lady Kendra of Edgarburh, it is a forced marriage arranged by her father. She is to marry Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre. Not only that, she was still grieving for her brother, Del, who had recently died after the Battle of Hastings. As he was dying he asks her to promise him something. She swears anything … then says, “If it were within my power, I would give you snow in July.” But, he merely wants her to “…strive to find happiness.” As she contemplates her forced marriage to what she considers a barbaric Norman, she wonders if she will ever feel any happiness again.

Unbeknownst to her, Alain doesn’t want the marriage either. It is by decree from the king, who is now a Norman. For Alain’s victory at the Battle of Hastings, he receives an English estate upon his marriage to the estate’s Saxon heiress. Alain is also in mourning for his younger brother for whom he felt personally responsible and was not able to save during the battle.

I loved the characters of both Alain and Kendra. They were joyful to watch as each had their own preconceived ideas of the other. The historical perspective in the story is true to the age of early 11th century. It had just a bit of a paranormal flair as Kendra’s ‘rare healing gift’ is passed down from her mother. The paranormal aspect did not dominate or overtake the story. The romance within the novel is clean. However for younger readers, the battle detail may be too explicit. Rating: 4 out of 5. ( )
  FictionZeal | Jul 27, 2015 |
Snow in July is a journey into Englands middle History, where the Saxons and Normans where still fighting. I believe it is set just after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, but don’t quote me on that. Either way, the history discussed was fascinating, not least because of the unusual way of of portraying it.

The story of Sir Roberts budding relationship with Kendra was heart warming, it’s a shame that kind of thing is long forgotten. I wasn’t surprised with much of Kendra’s feelings throughout the story, and so was able to imaging how she would have felt.

The suspense, danger and adventure, meant that you want to read the book in one sitting, although I’d defy anyone to even try it. Would make for one very long day that’s for sure. The only thing that let the book down from a historical point of view, was the paranormal aspect of Kendra’s healing abilities. I’m not inclined to believe such a thing really exists. Would be cool though.

Anyway, this is a great book for just about anyone, those historical romance lovers among us especially. Enjoy.

NB: I received this book free for an honest review ( )
1 vote theReadingHead | Jul 17, 2015 |
Snow in July is a journey into Englands middle History, where the Saxons and Normans where still fighting. I believe it is set just after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, but don’t quote me on that. Either way, the history discussed was fascinating, not least because of the unusual way of of portraying it.

The story of Sir Roberts budding relationship with Kendra was heart warming, it’s a shame that kind of thing is long forgotten. I wasn’t surprised with much of Kendra’s feelings throughout the story, and so was able to imaging how she would have felt.

The suspense, danger and adventure, meant that you want to read the book in one sitting, although I’d defy anyone to even try it. Would make for one very long day that’s for sure. The only thing that let the book down from a historical point of view, was the paranormal aspect of Kendra’s healing abilities. I’m not inclined to believe such a thing really exists. Would be cool though.

Anyway, this is a great book for just about anyone, those historical romance lovers among us especially. Enjoy.

NB: I received this book free for an honest review ( )
1 vote theReadingHead | Jul 12, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0990505502, Paperback)

Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate's Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people's lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady. Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother. Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman...unless it snows in July. Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman "squire." But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

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