Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Border Lord’s Bride: A Rich Historical & A Scottish Bodice Ripper

I note at the outset that Bertrice Small was honored this year by the Romance Writers of America with the Lifetime Achievement Award. And she wrote many bodice rippers, of which this was one.

While the book started a bit slow and contains more historical information and food descriptions than some might think necessary (though one meal description had my mouth watering), once I got into this romance, I found it addictive. Her writing style is unique, full of detailed descriptions of events, some repeated in various conversations and a fair amount of "head hopping" (giving many different perspectives and some in only a few lines). But here's the important point: when the story ended, I found myself wanting more.

THE BORDER LORD'S BRIDE tells the story of Ellen MacArthur, who was raised by her much loved grandsire. He has betrothed her to a McNabb and Ellen is content with his choice, but the MacArthurs, who live on Skye with the MacDonalds, are not happy. One in particular intends to take her for his bride, Ellen's grandsire notwithstanding. To protect her, she is sent to King James' court where she becomes the friend of Jamie Stewart and his aunt. Called home by her grandsire at 18, the king asks Duncan Armstrong, laird of Duffdour, to protect her on the trip home. When they arrive they find the MacArthur who wants her has killed both her grandsire and her betrothed. Through a series of events, Duffdour is required by the king to wed Ellen. Will they be able to find love and passion as events conspire to challenge their happiness?

If you love a romance that does not float on the surface of the historical background, and if you like to probe the depths of the characters' emotions, I think you will like this one.

This is the 2nd in the Border Chronicles series (see complete listing below), which tells the stories of the men and women who made the border between England and Scotland home in the 15th century. It was a fascinating time in England and Scotland's history and Small's writing reflects her deep research into the times. The books are 400+ pages and take a while to read but they are well worth your time.

So you have the whole Border Chronicles series, here it is in order:

-A Dangerous Love
-The Border Lord's Bride
-The Captive Heart
-The Border Lord and the Lady
-The Border Vixen
-Bond of Passion

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