Guest Review: A Rose In The Storm by Brenda Joyce

Posted October 8, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

17163577Judith’s review of A Rose in the Storm by Brenda Joyce

When Rivalry Becomes Passion  

With warfare blazing through Scotland, the fate of the Comyn-MacDougall legacy depends on one woman. Recently orphaned, young Margaret Comyn must secure her clan’s safety through an arranged marriage. But when an enemy invasion puts her at the mercy of the notorious Wolf of Lochaber, her every loyalty—and secret want—will be challenged. 

And A Kingdom Is At Stake 

Legendary warrior Alexander “The Wolf” MacDonald rides with Robert Bruce to seize the throne of Scotland. But when he takes the fiery Lady Margaret prisoner, she quickly becomes far more than a valuable hostage. For the passion between them threatens to betray their families, their country . . . and their hearts.

No matter how many different kinds of romance novels I read, I always return to what is for me the “mother lode” of romance and that is historical romance fiction.  I have always especially loved those set in the Medieval period since the very first substantive novel I read as a kid was Ivanhoe.    (I still love that book.)   Add in the fact that Brenda Joyce is right Up There as one of my favorite authors and you have what is for me a winning combination.  However, this novel is a bit different that Ms Joyce’s last few.  This book is really for those who love the historical information and content as much as they love the romance.  Some historicals really skim over the history.  This book does  not.  And for that reason it may not be favorite for those who come down on liking the romance more than the history.  I, for one, love the history and find that I learn as much from reading historical romances of substance as I gain entertainment from the act of reading for one, and enjoying the love story for another.

As always, Ms Joyce’s characters are larger than life, gritty and edgy, not always very nice, and certainly there is more than one’s share of manipulation and political machinations afoot.  After all, this is Scotland we are talking about here, and anyone who knows even a tiny bit about that troubled history knows that if the Scots aren’t fighting the English they are fighting among themselves for Clan supremacy.   That whole business of family honor and the like are often the substance if not the excuse for setting out to do in one’s perceived or real enemies.  Like so many others, Lady Margaret gets caught in the cross fire and seeing how she has her own agenda, the mix is explosive to say the least.

Again I would warn potential readers that there’s lots of history here, lots of descriptive passage that involve the conflicts between the Clans and the politics of Scots fighting Scots.  If this sort of stuff is not your meat and potatoes, then this novel is probably not for you.  But I thought it was delightful, rich and complicated, colorful and energetic, with the raw passions of men and maidens whose lives are often shortened by war and who must live every day to the fullest because it could well be their last.  I revel in such fiction and this book was everything I loved about historical romance fiction.  It was absolutely worth every minute it took to read and I’ll probably be re-reading it in the near future.

I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This title is available from Harlequin HQN.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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