Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Review: Valerie Vayle’s ORIANA – Wonderful Story of Love Deferred

Set in England, Scotland and the Caribbean, beginning in 1709 (and going to 1713), this is the story of Oriana, the daughter of a Norwegian princess and a savvy English sheep farmer on the border of Scotland (near Hadrian’s Wall) who went into the shipping business to transport his wool. When his son disappeared in the port of Calais, he raised his daughter to take the son’s place. And Oriana thrived in the world of ships and sheep, dressing more like her brother than the young lady she was.

Oriana loved only one man, Gaerith Treig, a Scottish neighbor and fellow sheep farmer who plays bagpipes and makes her laugh, but who is unfortunately locked into a loveless marriage. His wife is a jealous harridan who is slowly going mad. One night when Gaerith and Oriana are at sea, she gives herself to him, and for him she wants to become a lady. On a trip to the Caribbean, she gets the chance to be made over in appearance (with some help from heroines of books 1 and 2 in the trilogy) and she takes it. Still courageous, intelligent and independent (my favorite kind of heroine), Oriana is now a woman men drool over.

The story drew me in from the beginning and held my attention through its many twists and turns. It has great depth and detail. There are some great action scenes, wonderful characters and funny episodes as the women try to make tomboy Oriana into a lady. Althea, the “auntie” who takes Oriana under her wing, is priceless.

Oriana is a very worthy heroine, taking initiative, rising to every challenge and caring unselfishly for others. Gaerith is noble at heart and constant in his love for Oriana. There is history, too—of a tumultuous time in Scotland’s past (Rob Roy is a character). And all the twists and turns are neatly tied up in the end.

Hadrian's wall near Carlisle where much of the story is set

It’s well written and a pleasure to read. I recommend reading the trilogy in order as some of the characters reappear in this last book.

The Pirate trilogy:


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