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Reviews for The Barefoot Queen

Jean Harrington


Sensuality Rating: Sensuous
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

Jean Harrington has penned a compelling novel with The Barefoot Queen. Gritty and raw at times, her pen paints an accurate portrait of life as a tenant farmer during the 1600s in Ireland.

Grace O'Malley is full of fire and spirit. She is also very beautiful and at times referred to as the Queen of Ballybanree. Her father had been a tenant farmer for Lord Rushmount until he was hung for poaching. Now Grace and her brother are living on the farm and trying to make and grow enough to survive. With her brother planning on marrying, Grace knows she must consider that as well but of the many young men who have courted her, she only wants Owen O'Donnell. Owen does not feel he can offer for any woman. The village blacksmith, he has been teased and taunted since his leg was severely mangled in an accident. Feeling he is only half a man, Owen thinks Grace should put her attentions elsewhere. Grace is just as determined not to. When Grace, a descent of a pirate queen, decides to help with the food supply during the toughest time of the year, she sets into motion events that no one would have believed imaginable.

The Barefoot Queen shows the triumph of one couple against the tyranny of the nobility during this time. It is unbelievable the power the nobility had and how cowed they made the people. Grace was willing to do something to help but no one else would. Owen was not one to back down either but felt being 'crippled' kept him from those activities. Realistic and compelling, The Barefoot Queen will touch your heart and your soul. Jean Harrington is one author to add to our list for those of us who love historical romances.

~Debby Guyette, CataRomance - Single Title


BOOK BEAT, Naples Sun Times

Jean Harrington has done a fine job of bringing knotty historical issues down to the flesh and blood lives of individuals. And with Grace O’Malley, a young woman whose adventures often find her lifting her skirts to her knees or getting them tangled in her legs or washing away the blood of butchered deer, she has devised a vital spirit ready to challenge any influential young actress prepared to buy the film rights.

Philip K. Jason, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of English from the United States Naval Academy. A poet, critic, and free-lance writer with twenty books to his credit, this “Dr. Phil” chairs the annual Naples Writers’

Conference presented by the Naples Press Club.

Merrimon Book Review, February 2008.

Owen O’Donnell is a great hero -- disabled by an accident yet strong and sexy, a wounded soul yet defiant and smart. In Grace's character, like others, Jean Harrington fills in the shades of grey, not presenting the reader with a black and white character but a fallible heroine. Lord Rushmount is a villain -- a man easy to hate for his brutality. The author did a great job at showing how evil and self-centered the passions are that inflame his heart. If you want a light romance, this is not the one to read. There are sad and devastating events here, and yet

Jean Harrington provides a magnificent catharsis, one that reaches across time, place and perhaps even generations. The Barefoot Queen has an exquisite spiritual and historical happily ever after ending, a romance of daring hearts and a beautiful ending born out of the pain and hardship but one full of future hope.

I absolutely could not put this book down! It's been ages since a book made me laugh, cry, and run through the entire gamut of emotions. I rooted for the heroine, cursed at the evil deeds of the English lord, and gasped with shock when the unthinkable happened. The author did an absolutely spectacular job of bringing 1665 Ireland alive with vivid descriptions and a historically accurate portrayal of class divisions. I will warn you, however, that the story was quite graphic in a few areas. This only added to its believability because tenant farming in the 1600s was basically indentured servitude. This definitely earns a place on my keeper shelf!

Best of all there will be a sequel to this book in 2008 with “In the Lion's Mouth.” I can hardly wait for Grace's newest adventure!

Crave More Reviews

Five Star Pick of the week

Ms. Harrington’s The BAREFOOT QUEEN is a superb historical with a lushly painted setting. I adored Grace for her courage and the cleverness with which she sets out to make Owen see her love for him. The bond between Grace and Owen is tenderly portrayed and their love had me rooting for them right up until the last page. Ms. Harrington’s THE BAREFOOT QUEEN is a treasure in the historical romance genre you’ll want to read for yourself!




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