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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

It's 1071 and the war between the English and the French has been brutal. Because the French are dominating the English, several nobleman have traveled to England to claim land and marry English ladies. Lady Sigrun and her companion Aelfhild are staying in a convent for safety, but Sigrun has been promised to a French nobleman. Gilbert gets an offer he can't refuse and decides he'd rather hunt than go on a dangerous trip. The man doesn't fancy the journey to fetch his wife in the least and sends his best friend Gui instead. Gui is supposed to tell Sigrun he's Gilbert and bring back his friend's bride, but ends up with two ladies instead of one. Aelfhild pretends to be Sigrun, so Sigrun can escape the clutches of the man she's been promised to, will this trick actually work?

Gui hasn't come out of the last battle he fought unscathed. He's scarred and misses a hand. He's positive he will scare the ladies, but can't resist spending time with Aelfhild. Her fiery spirit intrigues him and he feels drawn to the woman who's destined to be his friend's wife. What will happen when they fall in love? Can this charade end well or will it turn into a huge disaster with grave consequences and broken hearts?

Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight is a fascinating romantic story. Aelfhild has a fierce personality. She speaks her mind, can stand up for herself, isn't afraid to fight and doesn't stay away from confrontation. Sigrun is shy and easily scared, so it's up to Aelfhild to protect them both. She comes up with a plan to make Sigrun's future husband believe she's his intended bride and the gentle and damaged Gui falls for the lie. He's lying himself as well, so they're both not of noble blood and free to marry whomever they want. However, there are so many misunderstandings between them and that makes the situation pretty impossible. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out where that would lead.

Elisabeth Hobbes has a fantastic compelling writing style. She's chosen an original time frame for her story and makes the eleventh century come to life in an amazing captivating way. Her writing is dynamic and fitting and therefore the story is absolutely delightful. I was spellbound by Aelfhild's adventures and loved her story from beginning to end. There's plenty of chemistry between the main characters and their impossible situation gives the story a fabulous entertaining quality. Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight is a gorgeous love story that melted my heart. I highly recommend this true gem of a book.


If you love original historical romance you don't want to miss Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight.

About Elisabeth Hobbes

I grew up in York where I spent most of my teenage years wandering around the city looking for a handsome Roman or Viking to sweep me off my feet. Sadly it never happened but I developed a love of the past and went on to read History and Art History at university before venturing into the world of teaching. These days I hold down jobs as a teacher and mum. I live in Cheshire with my husband, two young children and two cats with ridiculous names.

I love historical fiction and have a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes. When I'm not writing, I spend a lot of my spare time reading and have become something of a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book!


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‘You’re mistaken,’ Aelfhild laughed. ‘I’m not Lady Sigrun.’

‘Do you think I’m stupid?’ the man growled. ‘I’m not going to let you go just because you deny who you are. How many women do you think escaped from the priory and are running around the countryside this morning? Besides, your prioress told me who you are.’

‘That’s what she told you?’

The man ground his teeth. ‘Yes. She told me she purposefully sent my bride to me last night and when I mentioned York last night I saw how you reacted. So, you will excuse me if I choose to disbelieve your denials, Lady Sigrun.’

‘But I’m—’ She stopped abruptly. The reason for his error struck Aelfhild in a flash. Hilde had sent Sigrun to him, but Aelfhild had gone in her mistress’s place. What else was the man supposed to think?

‘With such evidence as you have laid out, who else could I be?’ she agreed.

His full lips twisted into a smile.

‘Now, are you going to be sensible and come with me willingly or do I have to take you by force?’ He gave her a stern look. ‘I’ll bundle you over my shoulder and take you like that if I have to.’

He could do it, she knew. He had strength that she was unable to match. Aelfhild sat back on to her heels, ready to spring to her feet and run if the opportunity presented itself. She glanced towards the hut where Sigrun had taken refuge. If Aelfhild could lead her captor back to the priory it would give Sigrun time to keep running, though she expected Sigrun would stay there rather than taking the time to escape.

‘What do you intend to do now you have found me? Am I to be taken back to Byland to receive my punishment and suffer Hilde’s disapproval?’ She allowed her lips to tremble plaintively.

‘I’d rather not,’ he said, ‘and I doubt you’re really eager to return to face a whipping.’

‘So you’ll let us leave?’ Aelfhild asked hopefully. Their eyes met. She reached a hand out in supplication and laid it on his broad chest. She had intended the gesture to stir his heart, so was unprepared for the jolt of desire that raced through her body at the feel of his firm muscles beneath her palm. His eyes widened in surprise, then he blinked and shook his head as if waking from a sleep.

‘Absolutely not! I’m certainly not going to let you out of my sight now I’ve found you!’ His expression hardened. ‘And while we’re on that matter, how stupid are you to be running in the middle of the night with no one to protect you! You’re lucky it was me who found you rather than someone intent on causing you ill.’

‘No one is causing me ill except you by trying to take me back against my will.’

‘Is that what you think? Shall I show you otherwise?’ He seized her by the upper arm and tried to pull her after him. When she resisted he bent and lifted her off her feet, hefting her over his broad shoulder with ease. He marched back along the riverbank, ignoring her protests, and set her on her feet.

‘See for yourself, my lady,’ he commanded. ‘You thought you were alone, but you were far from it.’

A man lay twisted in the grass. At first Aelfhild feared he was dead, but he gave a rasping breath and she realised he was merely unconscious. Aelfhild hugged herself. She had not been aware that anyone was watching them at all. The Breton pulled a seax from his belt, the blade rusted and the handle wound round with twine, and held it in front of her eyes. ‘I’ll leave it to you to decide how he might have used this on you.’

Aelfhild recoiled instinctively then reached out and took hold of the weapon. She was annoyed to see how her hand trembled, causing the weapon to quiver. She tightened her fist around it and slipped it into her belt.

‘What are you doing?’ The Breton’s voice was sharp. ‘I didn’t mean for you to keep it.’

‘I need something in case I need to defend myself.’

The Breton reached out and deftly removed it from her belt before she could prevent his theft. His hand brushed against her waist, causing her stomach to contract where his glove skimmed across her belly. His eyes never left hers. ‘If you have a weapon it can be used against you, especially one so easy to steal. If you need defending, I’ll be the one to do it.’


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight sounds like a cleverly written, romantic and engaging enemies-to-lovers historical romance.

  2. I do enjoy historical novels, and this one sounds like a really good one.

  3. It sounds like a great romantic story.

  4. Oh those Normans! AT least she finds a good one ;)
    I can't say I have read about one missing a hand, that does make it interesting to see how he fares in battle

  5. Oh yes, this is so my cup of tea lol! Would love to win xx

  6. This look exactly like my kind of read. A lovely cover too.

  7. Every girl would like to meet her knight!

  8. Sounds like my kind of read,I'm a bit soppy really

  9. I enjoyed the excerpt & am ready to read more!

  10. sounds like a great read - thanks for the chance to win

  11. I would so love to read it, it looks and sounds so great.

  12. This sounds a really enjoyable book

  13. I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

  14. I love enemy to lover story line.

  15. Cooking whilst reading? I admire your dedication, I haven't attempted that one yet!

  16. Wow, I love the cover (sorry, I always seem to start with a "cover comment"). It's great to see a book with a strong female character and a slightly "damaged" hero instead of the other way round. Not sure he'd scare me lol. But love the knights/medieval/battle type novels and this definitely sounds my "mug of coffee". Thanks for the chance.

  17. I like the excerpt and it sounds like an enjoyable story.

  18. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  19. Love the review, will be a pleasant read.

  20. I love the excerpt of this book! I love heroes, who have suffered in the past and need heroines that will show them how to love again! It looks like the kind of book I need to have on my TBR :)

  21. I have a peacock feather fan just like that!