- Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Jove Books (Nov 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0515131547
- ISBN-13: 978-0515131543
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,961,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
As the premier book in Jove's new historical line, "A Highland Fling Romance", Ms English has created a plot of remarkable depth, rich with character angst and some interesting twists to a common theme, something often missing in these themed series from Jove.
What makes THE BORDER BRIDE an exceptional read is the depth of her characters; both primary and secondary. Jemmy and Alyson are characters readers will care about as she weaves them through a series of conflicts both internal and external with a surprising depth not often seen in these tales from Jove. Her deft ability to create characters with passion makes this an enjoyable read on a number of levels. Added to this, Ms English effectively offers a well crafted paranormal element, albeit minor, adding further to the reader's enjoyment of the journey through this tale of mistrust and revenge. Ms English's ability to make the reader feel the same frustration and anger Jemmy and Alyson feel and their own feelings towards each other is not often done so well in a debut book.
For those readers who been complaining about the quality of historical reads of late, Elizabeth English is a rising star to be read and talked about. If THE BORDER BRIDE is an any indication of the quality of stories chosen for this new Jove series, readers are going to be devouring them like a bag full of M&M's after weigh-in night at a Weight Watchers.
Alyson was never acknowledged by her father and worked as a lowly servant, and she doesn't want to be a part of his plan, but when Darnley holds a knife to her younger brother Robin's throat she reluctantly agrees. Her half-sister Maude is a haughty, spoiled girl who treats everyone with contempt and is disliked by the servants, while Alyson is a small, delicate, sweet natured young woman. Knowing about her father's deceitful plan, she walks into the church to utter marriage vows with much trepidation. It's only thinking of Robin's safety that gives her the courage to face what is to come. The wedding feast is torture enough, but how will she ever get through the night?
Jemmy Kirallen grew up in the shadow of his older brother Ian and their foster brother Alistair, an inseparable duo. Jemmy dreamed of other lands, and sailed away to find his own home. He has his own ship and crew now and loves the rolling seas, but when he learns of Ian's murder, he immediately sails for Scotland. He knew his father would be devastated, but he wasn't expecting the frail, aged man he meets upon his return. Neither is he expecting to be forced into marrying the daughter of the clan's enemy. However, he agrees with his father and will do whatever is necessary to bring peace to the clans. He isn't looking forward to the marriage, but when his lips briefly touch his brides to seal their vows, he's shocked by the sensation the kiss brings.
Elizabeth English weaves a tale with the mastery of an experienced writer, yet this is just her debut title. She introduces conflict between her characters, and a well-worn plotline takes on a fresh look. The romance element between Jemmy and Alyson is brought about slowly. While there is a `misunderstanding' between the couple, it's done in a way that the reader can accept, being more like `circumstance' rather than misunderstanding. Ms. English also introduces an element of the paranormal as a ghost is present. I was left wondering about the ghost's story, and would liked to have known a little more of his resolution before he found his rest.
I truly believe Elizabeth English will be a voice to reckon with in the medieval genre. THE BORDER BRIDE captivated me and I am looking forward to the sequel of Alistair Kirallen's story. I've found a new author to put on my automatic buy list and believe you, too, will fall in love with the magic of her storytelling.
Carol Carter, as written for Romance Reviews Today
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