(Review) In The Shadow Of The Storm: The King's Greatest Enemy, Book One by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: November 1, 2015.
Publisher: Silverwood Books.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: 398.
Source: Free copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Anna Belfrage, in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Amazon, the Kindle copy is $4.99

Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Sir Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Sir Roger for his life and all his worldly good, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Sir Roger thinks she is. So when Sir Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.
England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down, and fate is a fickle mistress, favouring first one, then the other.
Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but at present Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and the baron, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.
Kit de Courcy has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name. What will Adam do when he finds out he has been duped?
Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Sir Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.
In the Shadow of the Storm is the first in Anna Belfrage’s new series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his baron, his king, and his wife.

My Thoughts: 
I read The Prodigal Son (The Graham Saga Series) for review in October 2014. I've not read the other books in this series. 
Both books are romantic stories. Both books have external conflicts because of political unrest. Both books have the main female characters as strong women. Both books have passionate love scenes. 
The Shadow Of The Storm's time period is the middle ages. 
The Prodigal Son's time period is during Charles II. 

Now, for my thoughts of In The Shadow Of The Storm
When the story begins, Kit is pushed into a corner by a forced marriage. Her wedding day is tumultuous, but not without its marital blessings. This predicament set the tone and grabbed me from the first page. I had to know what became of Kit. 
I've read love stories where the couple's love scenes remind me of two bear cubs tumbling around. It's awkward, silly, and messy. But Adam and Kit are a well-suited pair in love-making. 
The time period is during the reign Edward II (1307-1327), his favorite Hugh Despenser, and Roger Mortimer. This was a odd period in English history, because a weak king created tension and havoc in England. Belfrage depicted these ignoble characters skillfully. 
In The Shadow Of The Storm is a character drive story. The strength and focus of the story is on the two lovers, Adam and Kit, and their plight during this history in England.
Their baron is Roger Mortimer, a contemptible man. I already knew the history of his relationship with Isabella, who was Edward II's queen. In The Shadow Of The Storm told me of his days as a baronial opponent. 
I loved this story from start to finish, and I'm looking forward to reading further books in the series about Adam and Kit.

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveler. As such a profession does as yet not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavors.
When Anna fell in love with her future husband, she got Scotland as an extra, not because her husband is Scottish or has a predilection for kilts, but because his family fled Scotland due to religious persecution in the 17th century – and were related to the Stuarts. For a history buff like Anna, these little details made Future Husband all the more desirable, and sparked a permanent interest in the Scottish Covenanters, which is how Matthew Graham, protagonist of the acclaimed The Graham Saga, began to take shape.
Set in 17th century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland, the series tells the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him. With this heady blend of romance, adventure, high drama and historical accuracy, Anna hopes to entertain and captivate, and is more than thrilled when readers tell her just how much they love her books and her characters.
Presently, Anna is hard at work with her next project, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. The King’s Greatest Enemy is a series where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where today’s traitor may be tomorrow’s hero, and the Wheel of Life never stops rolling.
The first installment in the Adam and Kit story, In the Shadow of the Storm, will be published in the autumn of 2015.
Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 1
Review at I’m Shelfish
Review at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, December 2
Review at Beth’s Book Book
Review & Interview at Bookish
Thursday, December 3
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Friday, December 4
Review at Singing Librarian Books
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Sunday, December 6
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Monday, December 7
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Tuesday, December 8
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Wednesday, December 9
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, December 10
Review at Book Drunkard
Review at Impressions in Ink
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, December 11
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Monday, December 14
Review at Unshelfish
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read
Tuesday, December 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Historical Fiction Notebook
Wednesday, December 16
Review at Room with Books
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Thursday, December 17
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Friday, December 18
Interview at Just One More Chapter
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Monday, December 21
Review at Puddletown Reviews
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Tuesday, December 22
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Broken Teepee


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In the Shadow of the Storm