Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Review: Bertrice Small’s BETRAYED – Gripping Scottish Medieval Story

This romance is well named for it seems in it everyone is betrayed or betrays--or both. It's a gripping story of love denied and reclaimed with all of the historical details and sensual scenes Small's fans have come to love. Like all her stories that I have read, this is not a typical historical romance. The hero and heroine are separated, people you come to love die...yeah, it's a Bertrice Small story.

We first met Fiona Hay at the court of James I in "The Border Lord and The Lady," book 4 of Small's Border Chronicles series, where she appears as the beautiful mistress of Angus Gordon, a clan chieftain and friend of King James. Then suddenly the MacDonald of Nairn steals her and we hear no more. I was so curious I tracked this book down...this is her story.

The story begins in 1422 when then Prince James is a captive of the English throne. Fiona Hay is 15 and the eldest daughter of her parents, who are both dead. She has 5 sisters and promised her mother on her deathbed that she would see them all married. One has been wed but she has four more to see to the altar. In order to pay their dowers she has stolen cattle from 25 year old laird Angus Gordon. When she is caught, Angus exacts as a price her maidenhead and takes her as his mistress. Right away I didn't like him, as she was an innocent just trying to care for her family. He could have made her his wife, as his sister urged him to do, but no. I felt he deserved to lose her.

Two years later James Stewart is now on the throne of Scotland and Angus visits him at court taking Fiona his mistress and parading her as such before all at court. While he has fallen in love with her he won't tell her and he has yet to marry her. When King James sees that Colin MacDonald, the laird of Nairn, is taken with Fiona, he takes advantage of the chance to plant a spy in the Highlands and sends Angus off on a mission and tells Fiona the laird of Nairn will abduct her, but that she must go with him. He also tells her that he has picked a bride for Angus and it isn't her. She is distraught but feels she has little choice. Colin MacDonald loves Fiona enough to steal her but not apparently enough to allow her the man she loves. Thus, three men, none deserving, have betrayed poor Fiona. But the worst betrayal was the king's for he lied to her repeatedly for his own selfish gain causing her much heartbreak.

Pregnant with Angus' child, Fiona finds herself in the Highlands and handfasted to Colin MacDonald, who thinks the child is his. The story kept me reading late at night as few have. I had to know how this would turn out.

I loved this story!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting plot - would love to see how that story turns out, may just pick up a copy! I wonder how Fiona can escape a forced marriage in what was such a harsh time for ordinary people.

    I have a review request for you which I think you may enjoy - please email me at if you're interested.

    I'm Cristina Deptula with Synchronized Chaos International Magazine, and we're inviting you to review experienced women's fiction author Cynthia Woolf's breakout Western romance, Tame a Wild Heart.
    The first book in a historical series set in the Colorado countryside, Tame a Wild Heart follows a female rancher, Catherine, who loves running her family's business. The ranch faces a string of unexpected problems - stampedes, kidnapping, revenge - and the return of ex-bounty hunter Duncan to his hometown. Catherine has loved Duncan since she was a little girl, but feels she can manage without his help. The novel unfolds their saga, as they survive in the spare landscape along with a cast of loyal, quirky friends and neighbors.
    Woolf acknowledges that life in the Wild West was not always glamorous or romantic. "It was hard," she says. "The people were tough or they didn't make it." And she carries out extensive research for each novel so she can include tidbits that lend realism to the stories. Readers appreciate the well-drawn characters, including the Native Americans, and find themselves rooting for Cat and Duncan.
    Also, Woolf intends for her books to always have strong elements of hope, so that readers can have a place in their lives where things work out, even just for a few hours. That, she says, explains the enduring appeal and the cultural value of the romance genre.

    Woolf's Western series comes partly from the story of her parents, who met on a ranch in a small town in Colorado. And Cynthia herself grew up in the Western countryside, where her nearest neighbor lived a quarter mile away.

    Woolf's written romance since the age of ten, when she penned a short story about a boy she liked. Since then, she's built a career crafting Western and futuristic outer-space novels, with nine books currently under her belt. She's also a longtime member of the Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America, and credits her supportive husband and family and her writing friends and mentors for inspiring her creativity.

    We're offering you a free paperback or Kindle copy of Tame a Wild Heart if you'd like to write a review. Please reply and let us know if you would be interested, and we will get the book off to you!

    You may learn more about Cynthia Woolf and her Western romance series at her author page at ( and on her Facebook page (
    The paperback and a Kindle version of the book are available for purchase on
    Title To Tame a Wild Heart
    Author Cynthia Woolf
    Publisher Self-published
    Length 302 pages
    Subjects West, Ranch life, History, Women, Romance
    ISBN 978-0983937210
    Size 8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
    Suggested price $10
    Thank you very much!
    Cristina Deptula

    Synchronized Chaos Magazine
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