Romancing Robin Hood by Jenny Kane (@jennykaneauthor)
Dr Grace Harper has loved the stories of Robin Hood ever since she first saw them on TV as
a girl. Now, with her fortieth birthday just around the corner, she’s a successful academic in
Medieval History, with a tenured position at a top university.
But Grace is in a bit of a rut. She’s supposed to be writing a textbook on a real-life medieval
gang of high-class criminals – the Folvilles – but she keeps being drawn into the world of
the novel she’s secretly writing – a novel which entwines the Folvilles with her long-time
love of Robin Hood – and a feisty young girl named Mathilda, who is the key to a medieval
Meanwhile, Grace’s best friend Daisy – who’s as keen on animals as Grace is on the Merry
Men – is unexpectedly getting married, and a reluctant Grace is press-ganged into being her
bridesmaid. As Grace sees Daisy’s new-found happiness, she starts to re-evaluate her own
life. Is her devotion to a man who may or may not have lived hundreds of years ago really
a substitute for a real-life hero of her own? It doesn’t get any easier when she meets Dr
Robert Franks – a rival academic who Grace is determined to dislike but finds herself being
increasingly drawn to…
It was all Jason Connery’s fault, or maybe it was Michael Praed’s? As she crashed onto her
worn leather desk chair Grace, after two decades of indecision, still couldn’t decide which of
the two actors she preferred in the title role of Robin of Sherwood.
That was how it had all started, ‘The Robin Hood Thing’ as Daisy referred to it, with an
instant and unremitting love for a television show. Yet, for Grace, it hadn’t been a crush
in the usual way. She had only watched one episode of the hit eighties series and, with the
haunting theme tune from Clannad echoing in her ears, had run upstairs to her piggy bank to
see how much money she’d saved, and how much more cash she’d need, before she could
spend all her pocket money on the complete video collection. After that, the young Grace
had done every odd job her parents would pay her for so she could purchase a myriad of
Connery and Praed posters with which to bedeck her room. But that was just the beginning.
Within weeks Grace had become pathologically and forensically interested in anything and
everything to do with the outlaw legend as a whole.
She’d watched all the Robin Hood films, vintage scenes of Douglas Fairbanks Jr and
Errol Flynn, Richard Greene, Sean Connery, and Barry Ingram. As time passed, she winced
and cringed her way through Kevin Costner’s comical but endearing attempt, and privately
applauded Patrick Bergin’s darker and infinitely more realistic approach to the tale. Daisy
had quickly learnt to never ever mention Russell Crowe’s adaption of the story – it was the
only time she’d ever heard Grace swear using words that could have been as labelled as
Technicolor as the movie had been.
The teenage Grace had read every story, every ballad, and every academic book, paper,
and report on the subject. She’d hoarded pictures, paintings, badges, and stickers, along
with anything and everything else she could find connected with Robin Hood, his band of
outlaws, his enemies, Nottingham, Sherwood, Barnsdale, Yorkshire – and so it went on and
on. The collection, now over twenty years in the making, had reached ridiculous proportions
and had long since overflowed from her small terraced home to her university office, where
posters lined the walls, and books about the legend, both serious and comical, crammed the
Her undergraduates who’d chosen to study medieval economy and crime as a history
degree option, and her postgraduates whose interest in the intricate weavings of English
medieval society was almost as insane as her own, often commented on how much they
liked Dr Harper’s office. Apparently it was akin to sitting in a mad museum of medievalism.
Sometimes Grace was pleased with this reaction. Other times it filled her with depression,
for that office, its contents, and the daily, non-stop flow of work was her life – her whole
life – and sometimes she felt that it was sucking her dry. Leaving literally no time for
anything else – nor anyone else. Boyfriends had come and gone, but few had any hope of
matching up to the figure she’d fallen in love with as a teenager. A man who is quite literally
a legend is a hard act to follow…
Author bio and links
Jenny Kane is the author of the contemporary novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press,
2014), the best selling contemporary romance novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press,
2013), and its novella length sequel Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013)
Jenny’s first children’s book, There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hush Puppy Books) will be released
later this year, and her third full length romance novel, Abi’s House (Accent Press), will be
published in Spring 2015.
Keep your eye on her blog at http://www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/JennyKaneAuthor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance