Review: The Falcon and the Flower

by 10/14/2019 0 comments
This is the fourth novel I've read by Virginia Henley, and while there are things I loved this novel, there are things I really did not like. Which is kinda disappointing, but you win some, you lose some. I'll start off by saying I loved the exploration of the reign of King John, and some of the characters were memorable. The writing was spot on and it was certainly an entertaining read.

Series: The Medieval Plantagenet Trilogy, #1
My Rating: 3/5
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But. But, but, but...but. This book had its flaws. First off, it got caught in the willfulness of both heroine and hero. Jasmine was dead set against marriage, Falcon was determined to have her. She saw herself as a witch, free to cast her spells and at no man's command. He was a high minded, fierce soldier who commanded everything and everyone around him. And he wanted her. He wanted to tame her, make her his. Love her. And this is a serious flaw. The characters strength of will got in the way of the romance.

Don't get me wrong. It's fun to have the couple clash and warrior, especially in a novel like this. But their words cut too deep, their actions and reactions were too extreme and it got in the way of the love that I expected to grow between Falcon and Jasmine.  In fact, Jasmine's reaction and feelings once she is wedded and bedded is that of a rape victim. Because King John is evil and desires Jasmine, he allows one of his cronies to take her and wed her before Falcon and she marry. In exchange, the crony will share his wife with John. Falcon rescues her, marries her immediately and forces the consummation for Jasmine's own safety in the region of a mad king. By today's standards, this scene is a rape. It just frustrated me as it didn't make for good reading, or good romance and Jasmine's refusal to trust a man who clearly cared for her seemed illogical to me. I also hated that even though Falcon knew how afraid Jasmine was, he still derived pleasure and did not even apologize for hurting her or feel badly about the situation. Later sex scenes were even worse as Jasmine retreats into her mind whenever Falcon beds her.

Older romances let you down in this way sometimes. I think if Jasmine's character hadn't been so stubborn and afraid, if she had had more courage to face the reality of the situation they were in, she might have made a better heroine and the romance would have worked better. But, for me, it just failed in the romance department.

I did however like the character of her grandmother Estelle, who was crafty and had an inner strength that me made smile. The exploration of King John's England was interesting as well, as I'd always heard of King John being nasty, so the history woven into the story was a winner for me. Overall, interesting reading, and I'm glad I gave the book a chance.

Happy Reading,

Jewels E


I'm a thirty something girl who loves to read, write and dream. Because I'm so addicted to the written word in all its forms, I created this blog to share the books that devastate me with you.