Thursday, March 6, 2014
New Review: Nancy Richards-Akers’ THE HEART AND THE HOLLY – Wonderful Irish Medieval, an Exciting Story!
Set in 14th century Ireland, this is the story of Lady Johanna Elizabeth, or as she prefers to be called, Aislinn, the wild daughter of an English knight, Sir Roger Clare, and his Irish wife, now dead. Aislinn has grown up at her father’s estate in Ireland and resists her father’s recent attempts to turn her into an English lady and marry her off in England. When she first meets the fierce Bran O'Connor, an Irish chieftain, he was acting the spy for his Irish clan. He kisses her to further his disguise but is caught by her enticing ways, realizing what they say about Clare’s daughter is true—she is a temptress.
When Aislinn learns her father is planning to send her to England, she sets her sights on Bran’s younger brother Niall, thinking to marry him so she can stay in Ireland rather than marry a man of her father’s choosing. But Bran is wise to her manipulation and will tolerate no half English woman in the blood of his clan. So, he interrupts the plan and sends her back to her father. Little does Bran know the terrible fate that awaits her there.
This is an exciting, well-written story with an alpha male hero and a worthy heroine. The author brings out the hatred the Irish clans had for the English and shows how badly the English treated the Irish, banning their Irish names, their worship, their customs. She also shows the Irish dislike of the English.
The epilogue does a particularly nice job of letting you know what happens after the happily ever after.
It’s a great romance and there are two others that come before it, both with Scots heroes.
THE HEART AND THE HEATHER, 1994
THE HEART AND THE ROSE, 1995
THE HEART AND THE HOLLY, 1996