Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review: Bertrice Small’s A DANGEROUS LOVE – Wonderful and Unique Historical Romance… a Classic!

This was the first in the Border Chronicles series...and it's a good one. Small delivers a deep historical setting with well-developed characters whose life experiences are realistic for the time, in this case the late 15th century, and the place (the border between Scotland and England).

This first book tells of strong-willed Adair Radcliffe, the Countess of Stanton, and the "brat" (bastard daughter) of King Edward IV. When she is six, during the War of the Roses, her mother and her "adoptive" father are killed by the Lancasters, and she is taken into King Edward's household to be educated and raised in the royal nursery. At 16, she flees to her family's estate to avoid the king's plans to wed her to a Lancasterian. While she's on the run, the king marries her by proxy to a 14-year-old Tudor boy. When he shows up at her estate, Adair refuses to accept him but he is not in the picture long.

Her second marriage is to handsome neighbor Andrew Lynbridge who served Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother to King Edward. But Andrew is killed along with the Duke, now King Richard, in a coup. The new Tudor king brands Adair a traitor for her husband's loyalty to King Richard and strips her of her title and property. Adair returns to her beloved home only to be taken into captivity by Scottish raiders and sold to border laird, Conal Bruce. Can she finally find love?

Small uses long narratives, repeated scenes told through different characters' eyes, and a well-woven tapestry of the characters’ lives to put you in the scenes. Of course, you must adjust your expectations for the hero and heroine. Not all have one love and live happily ever after. Oh, there will be a happy ending, don't get me wrong, but it won't be what you expect and maybe not with the hero you expect. But you will be swept away to the past and live an adventure!

The Border Chronicles series:

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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