Crusader’s Bride & Crusader’s Heart by Claire Delacroix

May 4th, 2016 Kimberly Review 45 Comments

4th May

Today I am sharing my review of the Crusader’s Bride & Crusader’s Heart by Claire Delacroix the first two books in her Champions of Saint Euphemia series. These are historical romances filled with knights, quests, mystery, and suspense all deliciously wrapped in a swoon-worthy romance,

Crusader’s Bride & Crusader’s Heart by Claire Delacroix
The Crusader's Bride
by Claire Delacroix
Series: Champions of Saint Euphemia #1
Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Length: 12 hours and 15 minutes
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame
Narration: 4 cups

Gaston battled for duty and honor - until his new wife tempted him to fight for her love. Gaston has had his fill of war and the Latin Kingdoms when he learns that he has inherited his father's estate in France. He accepts one last quest for the Templars, the order he has served for 15 years, and agrees to deliver a package to Paris on his way home. A practical man, Gaston knows he now has need of a wife and an heir, so when a lovely widowed noblewoman on pilgrimage catches his eye, he believes he can see matters solved to their mutual convenience. But Ysmaine is more than a pilgrim enduring bad luck. She has buried two husbands in rapid succession, both of whom died on her nuptial night, and believes herself cursed. Accepting the offer of this gruff knight seems doomed to result in his demise, but Gaston is dismissive of her warnings and Ysmaine finds herself quickly wed again - this time to a man who is not only vital, but determined to remain alive. Neither of them realize that Gaston's errand is one of peril, for the package contains the treasure of the Templars - and some soul, either in their party or pursuing it, is intent upon claiming the prize for his or her own, regardless of the cost. In a company of strangers with secrets, do they dare to trust each other and the love that dawns between them?

Audiobook historical refreshing ROMANCE

The Crusader’s Bride by Claire Delacroix is the first book in the Champions of Saint Euphemia. The stories take place in the late twelfth century and feature Templar Knights. The Crusader’s Bride narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds features Ysmaine and Gaston story. Filled with banter and danger set against an amazing backdrop Delacroix delivered a delightful tale.

Gaston de Chamount, knight of the Templar finds himself the new Baron of his family’s French estate. He must choose a bride before returning to his home. When he sees Ysmaine de Valeroy praying to the virgin, he decides she is the one. Ysmaine, twice widowed on her wedding night made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray for her “husband curse” to be lifted. Thieves set upon her and her companions and she is now residing with the Nuns.

Claire Delacroix writes characters that are both complex and intriguing. While Gaston is skilled as a Templar knight, he is unskilled at relationships. Both characters have an air of innocence about them and I loved how genuine they were. Ysmaine agrees to wed Gaston and travels home to France. I adored this couple, admired them individually and delighted in their pairing.

As they make plans to leave, a war breaks out between the Christians and Infidels. Fearing the city will fall, the Templar officials ask Gaston to deliver a package to Paris. The travel is dangerous and tests their new marriage. They ride with friends, servants, a merchant, and other Templar knights all of whom added complications and mystery. I found the plot to be rich and engaging, the dialogue and interactions between the characters brought forth humor, sweet moments, character growth and tension.

The Crusader’s Bride delivered a wonderful quest with twists and turns all wrapped in a swoon-worthy romance. Historically accurate and beautifully crafted Tim Gerard Reynolds did justice to the story as the narrator. He captured Gaston and his mannerisms delightful.

Crusader’s Bride & Crusader’s Heart by Claire Delacroix
The Crusader’s Heart
by Claire Delacroix
Series: Champions of Saint Euphemia #2
Length: 12 hours and 21 minutes
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 4 Cups

A valiant warrior sworn to the order of the Knights Templar for life, Wulfe resents being dispatched on a quest to Paris just when the Latin Kingdoms are at their most vulnerable. He is determined to fulfill his duty as quickly as possible and return to fight for justice—but the courtesan he defends in Venice is resolved to remain at his side until she saves his life in return. The alluring and perceptive Christina will not be left behind, and soon Wulfe finds himself forced to choose between his vows and his heart…

well written historical UNIQUE ROMANCE

The Crusader’s Heart by Claire Delacroix is the second book in the Champions of Saint Euphemia and is once again narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds. The Crusader’s Heart intertwines with the events of the Crusader’s Bride and brings us the romance of Wulfe and Christina. Steeped in history, mystery, and suspense this romance quickly drew me into their story.

At the end of Crusader’s Bride Wulfe and Christina depart from Gaston’s party and I assumed that was where their story would begin, but Delacroix is clever and she surprised me but taking us back to the beginning where Wulfe and Christina first met.

Christina through a series of unfortunate circumstances finds herself working as a Venetian courtesan. Wulfe a Templar on a secret mission seeks respite from events that have plagued him and looks for release in the arms of a woman. That woman is Christina. They enjoy each other’s company but a dangerous event in the middle of the night soon has Christina following Wulfe and joining his party.

Filled with banter, a slow seduction, and a stubborn man I quickly became caught up not only in their romance but in Wulfe’s mission as well. While the events in Crusader’s Heart intertwine with those in Crusader’s Bride, the different perspective was entertaining. The tale was delivered in both Wulfe and Christina’s perspective which allowed me to laugh, admire their cleverness, and on occasion want to slap them both on the back of the head.

Christina and Wulfe were wonderfully developed as Delacroix shared their history. I truly felt for both and as a woman shivered at how brutal life could be. At first glance, Wulfe could appear cold, but that is simply not true. He cares but thinks himself not entitled to happiness. I delighted in seeing him transform.

Delacroix captures the tensions of this period and had me googling for more information. Jerusalem is about to fall and these knights are traveling to Paris with a sacred treasure. In their group are merchants and nobleman seeking safe passage. No one knows what package they carry or whom in the party possess it. This adding suspense as it quickly became clear someone in the party is trying to steal it. As we travel Delacroix brings the countryside to life. She begins each chapter with a Saint Feast Day and I found myself curious about them.

Tim Gerard Reynolds delightfully brings the characters to life and I was pleased with both his female and male voices.

The Crusader’s Heart offered another wonderful tale and I am eager to continue this series with the Crusader’s Kiss.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

45 Responses to “Crusader’s Bride & Crusader’s Heart by Claire Delacroix”

  1. Aubrey Wynne

    I don’t know how I missed this! I need another good audiobook for vacation driving this June. And I’m in the mood for another medieval. So glad I caught your review. I have never read this author before so I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Cyn

    I remember your reviews of the other books by this author! Glad this book is a lovely read! I’m definitely liking the setting/time period of the story.
    Lovely review, Kim!

  3. Michelle

    I really like this author, but some how missed these! I’ll have to add them to my list. She’s one of my favorite historical authors.

  4. Lorna

    For some reason this author sounds familiar to me, perhaps you wrote a review on another by her? These do sound interesting and the time period is different than my usual historical romance read-when I happen to read one. Great reviews 🙂 Glad you enjoyed them in audio.

  5. Bookworm Brandee

    You really had me at Knights Templar. 🙂 I think these two books sound fascinating especially in their historical accuracy and mystery/abbreviation combined with romance. Delacroix is an author I’ve been wanting to try and in thinking audio may n be the way to go. 🙂

  6. Katiria Rodriguez

    Ohh great review Kim I absolutely love book that are set in this time period. And these books looks and sounds absolutely fantastic and right up my alley! Thank you for your great post Kim.

  7. Leona

    I’ve always been a sucker for historical romances of warriors. These sound interesting! Great review Kim!

  8. Katherine

    I love the narrator on these and I’m quite sure I’ve never read a book in this time period and definitely never a romance. I like the sound of the complex characters. This sounds like a wonderful read.

  9. Braine Talk Supe

    This theme and time period is very “romantic” in that men are MEN, they’re honorable and every bit “Knightly”. The quests are always exciting with hints of lore

  10. Sophia Rose

    These seem so rich in period history and also have a plot and characters with some depth. Need to get to her stories someday.

  11. Lekeisha

    Interesting plots. I’d definitely like to try the first book, at least. Great reviews!

  12. Daniela Ark

    I don’t read a lot of historical BUT if there is one thing I’m a sucker for is Knights. Especially Templar! I like quests! So this goes in my summer TBR list 🙂 Thx Kim 🙂

  13. Jenny

    Um. A HUGE yes to these Kim! I’m in full-on historical romance mode, and I haven’t read this time period in a good long time (if ever? I can’t remember.). Adding these to my must read list immediately!

  14. Silvia

    You’ve just reminded me I must have one of her books either on my Kindle or iPad, will have to check and give it a go! Glad this one worked so well for you, I do love twists and turns as much as banters and slow seduction, so you may say this series is right up to my alley! 😉