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.
©2013 Brenda Joyce (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I could NOT "put this book down"! Really enjoyed the history mixed with a beautiful love story although I felt like it could use a bit more "romance" to it. Regardless, it was an awesome story that I thoroughly enjoyed. The narrator did an amazing job as well. NO easy job and she pulled it off beautifully.I would definitely listen to another of her stories. And Brenda Joyce didn't fail my expectations in the least.
Loved, loved, LOVED how the reader brought the story, the setting and the characters to life. What could have been a lengthy history lesson turned into a riveting story with characters that were all distinct and real. Found myself wonderfully lost in the world of the Scottish Highlands and the excitement of Margaret and Alexander's relationship. Highly recommend! This was a terrific audio book thanks in large part to the narrator.
When I like a book I can't put it down because I want to know how it ends. This book had so many turns I couldn't wait to see to see what was next. I loved the way it stayed so close to actual historical events, it even had me looking up Robert THE Bruce. Add to that a good narrator and I give this book 5 stars.
"A Rose in the Storm" is not your run-of-the-mill Highland story. I don't think the Publisher's Summary did it justice. With mixed reviews I did not know what to expect, but it's one of the best books I've heard in awhile.
Brenda Joyce did her Scottish History home work and stayed close to the historical facts for the time period. It was so well written it kept my attention from beginning to end. The story was believable and Rosalind Ashford does a good job of pulling you into the story, it's as if you're there. Both author and narrator depicted the battles, castle sieges and sexual scenes realistically, yet in good taste.
I highly recommend it!
On one end you have the wallpaper historical romances. The history is just a pretty set for a romance between people with very modern mindsets. The history is often non-existent, poorly researched, or just plain wrong. On the other end there is historical fiction, which ideally seeks to tell things as they were with lots of historical context and detail and make the fictional part seamlessly fit in. Personally I prefer my romance to be somewhere between the two extremes, leaning toward more historical accuracy. However, I come for the romance. I just want to feel like I'm immersed in that time/place and not be thrown out of the story by a lot of anachronisms or people acting/thinking like they live in the 21st century. But, I don't want to be given a history lesson either. A neat fact here or there, an appearance of a historical person, etc is enough for me. I don't want a textbook. I want the main source of conflict to be the H/h relationship and the history to fit into that.
This book was the opposite. The main source of conflict was the Scottish War for Independence. Lots and lots of name/fact dropping. I'm not saying it was 100% accurate, for one thing I don't think there was ever any proof Countess Isabella was manipulated/had an affair with Robert the Bruce. My point is that the tension between the H/h was nearly non-existent.
It started out promising with the H putting the h's castle under siege and promising all sorts of dire consequences if she doesn't surrender. Then he prevails and the dire consequences never quite materialize. Alexander was sadly a cardboard character when he could have been very memorable. Joyce had him do things/say things at times that hinted at the ruthless nature of a warlord of his time, but she always pulled her punches. The worst he did in this book was sleep around with the h's maids and that was only because he couldn't get the h to be his willing mistress. I'm also still not believing he actually let the h go into the castle that was held by her evil betrothed where she was almost raped. Yeah, that's what she wanted to do (her brother was in there) but since when did medieval men care what women wanted to do? I can't believe he allowed her to put herself in such danger. She was only 17! Aside from screwing around with maids and making some very sexist comments about them, Alexander was surprisingly pro-feminist for the early 1300s. Don't get me wrong, I love a man who is obviously smitten from day 1, but that doesn't mean he isn't still a man of his time.
Margaret was highly frustrating at times. She was 17, so she ran off into danger like the idiot teenager she was. But, the whole clan/family loyalty thing got old. I tried to be more open minded than some of the other reviewers. Her mindset would have been totally different from ours, which is more limited to loyalty to immediate family and doesn't include always sharing the same beliefs. My dad loves to bait me about my opposing political views, it's a game not a matter of treason/disloyalty. I think it was just the fact that Joyce repeated the theme too often when she could have come up with a million other sources of conflict that would have been much more exciting.
Also, I was surprised after reading some of her earlier novels that the sex was almost fade to black. No passion and certainly not the bawdiness of The Conqueror. Honestly, I think Joyce has lost interest in romance and wants to write historical fiction. Just my uninformed opinion
This certainly didn't turn out to be the book I was expecting - now that's not to say it wasn't enjoyable but it was set at a very depressing time during Scotland's history as it told of the plight and hardships the Warriors had to crown Robert The Bruce the rightful King of Scotland.
I, sadly, don't know how much of this listen was actual history and therefore was accurate or just BJ's imagination but it tells of an enduring love during 1306 and of the turmoil of the turbulent years in Scottish history when there were Clan wars, English invasion, betrayals, loyalty and hardship. Margaret (17) was first captured by Alexander and, on opposite sides, began as enemies but they could not overcome their mutual attraction and she eventually had to make the decision to forsake her family and beliefs for the love of her hero or support England and her Uncle.
Very very heavy on the history, lighter on the romance and very very mild sex bits (tut tut - in my humble opinion this was such a waste of a handsome Highland hero). It did have some interesting characters and plenty of action but I would have liked a bit more sex and passion.
Worth a credit? Two thoughts - the history (if true) was interesting but as a 'sweep em off their feet' romance novel then sadly it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
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