Monday, July 1, 2019

Shirl Henke’s LOVE A REBEL, LOVE A ROGUE – Superb Dual Romance Set in the days of the Revolutionary War!

July is American Patriotic Romances month and I'm starting with a good one.

First in Henke’s Blackthorne trilogy (Love A Rebel, Love A Rogue, Wicked Angel and Wanton Angel) this one is set during the years 1780-1782 in the Georgia Colony at the time of the Revolutionary War and tells of two heroes, one a patriot and one a loyalist. As always, Henke serves up a tale rich in history with a winding plot that will hold you captive ‘ till the end.

Quintin Blackthorne despised his father and the secret he was forced as a child to keep but he knew he would need an heir and for that he had to marry. He cared little about who the woman might be as long as she wasn’t beautiful so that other men might want her for he mistrusted all women. Madelyne Deveaux, the daughter of his father’s friend, seemed plain and biddable enough, though when he first saw her she was covered with dirt. When she travels to Blackthorne Hill in Savannah as his betrothed, he is furious at the beauty revealed and her feisty manner. Worse, she is a loyalist and he a secret revolutionary. He is cold and arrogant to her, often embarrassing her in front of others. Still, Madelyne wants to earn his affection.

Quintin’s cousin, Devon Blackthorne, is part Indian, part white and all charm. He lives with his mother’s people, the Muskogee, and is an agent for the Crown, working with the soldiers coordinating the Indian allies. He knows nothing of his cousin’s support for the rebels. Unlike Quintin, Devon feels no pressure to take a wife and has no intention of doing so. But then he rescues the shipwrecked and haughty Lady Barbara Caruthers who has been banished to the Colonies and her brother from London by her mother for her willful and wasteful ways—and because the beautiful blonde was competition. Despite their disparate worlds, Devon and Barbara soon fall in love.

I didn’t realize until I read this story that the Indians fought on the side of the Crown, or that they had reason to prefer the British to the Colonists who would take their land. I love learning history while reading a great romance. My favorite couple was Devon and Barbara. (Madelyne was a bit too accommodating of Quintin’s cold and sometimes cruel manner). But I thought Henke wove the two stories together very well, all the while letting us see the conflicting emotions as the war saw friends and family on opposite sides. It’s a great way to gain a new perspective on the Revolutionary War—and it’s a good story, a very worthy read!

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