Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz REVIEWED

About the Book:

In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley's father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to flee her home in northern England. Secreted to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland, Blythe quietly awaits the crowning of a new king. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known.

No sooner has Everard Hume lost his father, Lord Wedderburn, than Lady Hedley arrives with her maid in tow. He has his own problems--a volatile brother with dangerous political leanings, an estate to manage, and a very young brother in need of comfort and direction. It would be best for everyone if he could send this misfit heiress on her way as soon as possible.

In this whirlwind of intrigue, ambitions, and shifting alliances, Blythe yearns for someone she can trust. But the same forces that draw her and Everard together also threaten to tear them apart.

My Thoughts:

"Lady Hedley would nae more agree to wed me than she would the pirate Blackbeard" (p. 186)

Everard Hume becomes Lord Welderburn upon the death of his father, but Lady Blythe Headley sees naught but a prison guard keeping her locked away from life and liberty.  However, the fact that her own father has placed her in hiding for her safety keeps her willing to stay on in a Scottsman's castle. She remains in willful denial that a war between Catholic Jacobites and Protestants bode ill for all that brush up against its growing tumult - up until it explodes into her own life!

Lady Blythe's world is abruptly upended, so I found it easy to believe she would barely tolerate being hidden away from the world for long.  A learned scholar in her own right, her mind is quick to intuit ways to break out of her imposed solitude.  Once she does, she wins the hearts of all she meets - with the lone exception of the traitor among the family.

This novel moves believably and rapidly from scene to scene - chapter to chapter! Lovers of historic fiction/romance will literally devour this book!  Everard and Blythe are the perfect focal point of the story, and their relationship unfolds as tempestuously as the rebellion building in the world around them.  Orin, one of Everard's many brothers, makes a sweet counterpoint to all the mystery and intrigue that swirls about him!  Laura Franz never ceases to amaze me!! Bravo!!

About the Author:

Laura Frantz is a Christy Award winner and the ECPA bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Lacemaker, and A Heart Adrift. She is a proud mom of an American soldier and a career firefighter. A direct descendent of George Hume of Wedderburn Castle, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion, Laura lives with her husband in Washington State. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.