Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
The first retelling of the passionate, twelfth-century love story since the discovery of 113 lost love letters between Heloise díArgenteuil and Pierre Abelardóthe original Romeo and Juliet.
"While I sleep you never leave me, and after I wake I see you, as soon as I open my eyes, even before the light of day itself." óAbelard to Heloise
Among the young women of twelfth-century Paris, Heloise díArgenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.
But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Notre-Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.
Sherry Jones weaves the loversí own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of historyís greatest romances, and to loveís power to transform and endure.
Heloise and Abelard. .
I've thought of them as the original Romeo and Juliet. Their story full of wonder and sadness. Well this is a sad story.
The starcrossed lovers who could not catch a break.
Heloise is a strong, forward thinking woman in a time when women were quiet and not well educated. Abelard was a philosopher who became her teacher. They committed the ultimate sin by falling in love. Love a sin? Apparently so.
I can't say I was very sympathetic to Abelard. I found him to be selfish and less than amazing, however, I don't believe he deserved his punishment for love.
Heloise, on the other hand, was an amazing character. She was strong, charming and an empathetic character. I cannot understand, nor agree with some of her decisions.
The actual writings of the two are threaded throughout the book. I must admit, the short pieces of their letters to each other have me yearning to learn more about this couple.
I enjoyed this book and encourage anyone interested in romance or history to read this well written book.
would you like an excerpt from the book?
I think excerpts are a perfect way to 'try out' the book before deciding to buy and read.
So, here goes....from THE SHARP HOOK OF LOVE.
His voice broke and quivered. “For one night with you, my love, I would give my life, which, without you, would be no life at all.”
His murmurs turned to whispers as he held me close, closer, kissing my ear, stroking my hair, my love, my lovely Heloise, words bubbling like a spring from his tongue. I, trembling against his chest, heard his heart’s beat and, playing like a song, his words more beautiful than any poem: my love my love my love.
— The Sharp Hook of Love, page 79
But why would a man of his eminence sing in the place for me? My star might rise, but would never shine as brightly as his. A woman, I was only a pale moon in a world of suns, reflecting the light of men but emitting none of my own. What use had the sun for the moon? What use had Pierre Abelard for me?
— The Sharp Hook of Love, page 17
When I lifted my gaze so shyly to his face, did he behold the
girl dancing inside me? Could he hear the music playing so
sweetly? At night, alone in the study of my uncle’s house, reading
the Porphyry assigned to me and writing my arguments, I would
hear that tune begin quietly, as if played by a distant piper, then
increase until it had filled me to overflowing and drowned out all
thoughts but those of Abelard. How intently he gazed into my
eyes as I spoke, pouring out my very soul to him in our long
talks. Who had ever listened to anything that I said? Who had
ever responded with smiles and compliments? With him, I
became utterly myself as never before—and, to my astonishment,
when I looked into his eyes like mirrors reflecting myself back to
me, I admired the person I beheld there. Thinking of him,
bathed in that sweet music, I would take up a new tablet and
write verses to accompany that tune—words not of feigned love,
as in our letters, but of the elation that had seized me on the day
we met, and which aroused my spirit more with every moment I
spent in his presence.
For him, I’d told myself, our letters made up an elaborate
game of elocution, and no more. Every teacher played similarly
with his scholars, writing letters as an exercise, an amusement.
Love? What had a philosopher to do with love?
To one who is sweeter from day to day, is loved now as much as
possible and is always to be loved more than anything. Standing in
the cathedral, reading these words, I felt a fullness in my chest, as
though my heart expanded. Who had ever loved me?
—The Sharp Hook of Love, page 26
I could hardly hear myself think over my pulse’s throb. Heat
rose from him like breath. When he grasped my waist and pulled
me close to him, I thought I might burst into flame. A feral cry
escaped my lips.
Abelard slipped his arms around me and murmured my name,
a sound more delightful to my ear than angels’ harps. I knew I
should resist, but I had forgotten everything I had ever learned,
forgotten even God and that he watched us, or, rather, I did not
fear him. How could he be displeased, being the source of all
The rattle of the door latch caused us to fly apart. In the next
moment Abelard sat in his chair, stylus in his hand, and I had
turned to close the shutters of my window.
I had not yet smoothed my tunic or quelled the flush in my
cheeks when the door swung open and my uncle walked into the
room, a long switch of birch in his right hand. “I heard a cry.”
I averted my gaze from the switch and from his glittering eyes,
praying he would not notice my crimson face.
“I had to discipline your niece, as you predicted,” Abelard
lied. “We disagreed in our debate, and she called me a bouffe.
Forgive me for losing my temper, friend.”
“My niece must learn to control her tongue.” Uncle glared at
me. “I’m surprised you haven’t needed to correct her before now.”
Turning to Abelard, he added, “My niece can be most obstinate—
obstinate! She must learn to submit to authority, or she
will never succeed at Fontevraud. You will need to punish her
again, I am certain. But the cane you use on your scholars is too
harsh for a woman’s tender flesh.” Uncle held the switch out to
“Thank you, Fulbert, my friend.” Will I ever forget the gleam
in Abelard’s eyes as he took the weapon in hand? “Heloise, be
forewarned. Do as I say—everything I say, or you will feel my
He lifted the long, quivering branch and lashed it in my direction.
I turned away; its tip grazed my backside, causing a brief,
sharp flicker of pain. Heat flooded my face, and my bottom tingled
where the switch had stung me. I looked down at my
clasped hands, hiding my sudden elation. Never had I felt so vividly
— The Sharp Hook of Love, pages 84-85
Praise for The Sharp Hook of Love"Heloise is the sort of heroine you cannot help rooting for: brilliant and naÔve, vulnerable and tough. The Sharp Hook of Love will have you up all night holding your breath as you turn each page." (Rebecca Kanner author of Sinners and the Sea)
"Jones weaves history and passion in a tale full of emotional heft that questions what it means to truly love someone..." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A sensual journey into twelfth century Paris. With a sharp eye for historical detail, Jones weaves an unforgettable, compelling tale about enduring love." (Lynn Cullen nationally bestselling author of Mrs. Poe)
"Passion and treachery mingle in Sherry Jones's explosive novel The Sharp Hook of Love. Wrenching and erotic, this is a grand romance in every sense of the word." (Mary Sharratt author of Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen)
Buy the BookAmazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Simon & Schuster
For more information please visit Sherry Jones's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Goodreads.
The Sharp Hook of Love Blog Tour ScheduleMonday, November 24
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, November 25
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, November 26
Review at Book Babe
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Friday, November 28
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Sunday, November 29
Spotlight & Excerpt at The Lusty Literate
Monday, December 1
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Mina's Bookshelf
Wednesday, December 3
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, December 4
Review at The Lit Bitch
Friday, December 5
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Feature at Romantic Historical Lovers
Interview at To Read or Not to Read