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4.8 out of 5 stars16
4.8 out of 5 stars
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This series of books is quite a cut above average when compared with many other historical romance novels. Although I've read other books by Marsha Canham, none have stayed in my heart and mind as the books in this series have. Canham does an amazing job with the background of the particular events and individuals involved in the attempt by Scotland's Highland clans in their efforts to set Charles Stuart on the throne of England, culminating in what is now known as the Battle of Culloden - a horrendous battle which forever changed the way of life of the Scottish people.

I realize that many readers who enjoy this genre, are often more interested in the romance part - as am I. Still, I doubt you'll be disappointed in this book. In my opinion, the romance between our leading man, Alexander Cameron a.k.a. "The Dark Cameron," and his lovely "English Rose" wife, Catherine Ashbrooke, gives the reader one of the most amazing match-ups in any historical romance novel out there.

Yes, there is lots of plotting, planning and strategizing, taking place amongst the military men in charge of upcoming battles, which I must confess in the beginning of the book, was a bit too much to suit me. But... when the story revolves back to Alex and Catherine, it's just amazing. The deepening of their love and relationship which began in The Pride of Lions (Scotland Trilogy Book 1) continues to evolve in this second book in the trilogy. Alex's alpha male highly protective instincts caused him to continually want to leave Catherine in safe places which basically meant as far away from Alex as possible as he and the other highlanders prepared and involved themselves in the bloody confrontations leading up to Culloden - the bloodiest of all.

Catherine comes through like a champ over and over again. Although she had been a somewhat selfish, manipulative young lady when she and Alex first crossed paths, her love for Alex caused her basic nature to come to the forefront and we see a much more grown up Catherine who considers others' needs above her own in this second book. A huge plus in this story is the fulfillment of the love of Catherine's maid, Deidre, and Alex's closest friend, Aluinn, which we're also made privy to - although not in quite the same detail as the primary love story.

I won't spoil the story by giving out the extremely emotional and sad details of the blood bath and aftermath of Culloden. You know when you're reading the book, there will be some parts toward the end, you'll want to scream, "No, not him - No, not her!" Still, you move forward with the realization that when a book is written about true historical facts as it relates to war and battles, there will be grief, sorrow and tears - yes, there will be death and blood - lots of it. But, Alex and Catherine live to love again another day with their hopes and dreams, although adjusted, still resident in their hearts. I look forward to the third book in the series, Midnight Honor (Scotland Trilogy Book 3).

**Spoilerish** For all of you who love a stunning alpha male - let me give the following description of Alexander - as written by the author - when he is preparing to face his chief adversary in a duel:

"A lone figure stood poised against the distended wisps of mist, his wild black hair flung forward against his cheeks and throat, his long powerful legs braced wide apart. The cloak he had worn earlier was gone. He was dressed in black breeches and a white linen shirt, the latter fitting loosely across the massive shoulders and left open at the throat to reveal a wealth of curling black hair on his chest. Held in front of him, his hands draped almost leisurely across the hilt, was a sword that looked as though it had been forged in Dante's inferno. Tall - almost as tall as its owner - polished to a mirror brightness, it identified the warrior of legend, the Dark Cameron, and commanded the attention of every man on the field."

Need I say more?
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on 23 August 2004
If you're asking why that title - visit "The Pride of Lions" book!
I loved both books, but I must admit this one was my favorite. The love story between Alex and Catherine has evolved - you can feel the love they share. And the historical part (I'm a history junky) was just awsome. The battle sequenced - the smell of the blood, the moaning of the wonded, the absolute silence after the battle at Culloden - it was just blood-curdling.
Another must read from a great author!
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on 20 April 1998
In 1745, Scottish rebel Alexander Cameron leaves his beloved English aristocratic spouse Catherine Ashbrooke in the safety of her family in their Derby, England home. He then joins the Scottish army, led by Bonnie Prince Charles, that is invading England. Not too long after that, The Scottish forces successfully occupy Derby and Catherine's family home. Catherine and Alexander enjoy a pleasant respite, but soon the Scots flee northward, knowing that they cannot continue to battle against the overwhelming English forces.
L However, as Scotland battles for its independence, Catherine is forced to flee her English haven for the protection of her husband. Still, Catherine is captured by Alexander's sworn enemy English Captain Hamilton Garner. With a great battle coming soon at Culloden, Alexander realizes that he will have to fight Hamilton to the death in order to insure the future safety of Catherine.
Historical romance fan favorite Marsha Canham provides a refreshing sequel to her extremely popular ??. THE BLOOD OF ROSES stars two popular figures from the previous novel, whose star-crossed love for each other adds to the era. However, it is the genuine feel of Scottish and English history prior to and during Culloden that makes this a wonderful eighteen century romance.
Harriet Klausner
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on 20 June 1999
I love historical romance, but have never read any so well written. The details of the land, the battles, the politics, the love-making are so rich! The end at Culloden tears your heart out and makes you weep for this fierce, proud people. I am anxiously awaiting the upcoming 3rd book to this story. You won't be dissapointed
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on 10 December 2012
I have found this series the best of Marsha Canham's adventures. Funny thing was that I have read all her books, but for part 3 of this series which I am about to read, and this was because I did not think a story about the highlanders would appeal to me but in fact they have been so beautifully and superbly written with a lot based on fact. It has given me a desire to read more about the Jacobites and Scottish history during the 1685 - 1750. I have looked up some of the situations Catherine and Alex have been involved with and found them to have really existed.
My husband and I are going to visit Scotland again next year brought about because of these books. We will visit Achnacarry and of course Culloden which I have visited many years ago, but now will have a better insight to what actually happen in 1746 during that terrible battle.
Would highly recommend this book and Book 1
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on 6 September 1999
The "Pride of Lion's" and the "Blood of Rose's" are my favorite books to date.Very moving and touching stories. I was so moved by both that I want to write to the author and let her know this personally.
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on 7 July 1999
The book was wonderful, I loved the storytelling. It was vivid and heart-renching. The only problem is... has anyone read Rebellion by Nora Roberts? She wrote it in the early 80's and rereleased it recently. If you haven't-read it, and then reread Canham's series- does it sound familiar? Roberts essentially wrote the same book years earlier, it seems that Canham just changed the female and male character's origins. I was so disappointed! It turns out that Pale Moon Rider resembles the poem The Highwayman from Alfred Noyes. Also, the Black Wolf de Amboise series (Last Arrow...etc) is a unique way of telling the Robin Hood Story, but even that isn't an original plot line. Anyone else notice this?
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on 4 July 1999
Don't get me wrong, this is a GOOD book but..... I found myself skipping quite a few pages that seemed to be bogged down with too many details about war etc. etc. The central story of Alexander and Catherine was terrific. It was heartwarming, exciting and passionate, all the elements I look for in a romance novel. I normally like my romance novels to be "light" & "entertaining". As I stated, this book is GOOD, (O.K., maybe better than good)and I commend the author for her historical accurancy, but some parts were slow and I found I just wasn't interested. I do hope there will be another book with these characters. They spent too much time apart in this one and I'd like to read about their time together,as they were in The Pride of Lions.
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on 11 March 1999
The entire story (The Pride of Lions and The Blood of Roses) was amazing! Alexander and Catherine had one of the most beautiful and tortured love stories I have ever had the pleasure to read. I will admit however, that the scene of Deirdre O'Shay and Aluinn MacKail on the battlefield made me cry more than I have ever cried over a book in my life! I have never been so touched by secondary characters in all my years of reading. I cried so much I had to stop reading until I could calm down. Even years later, all I have to do is think about that scene and I get choked up all over again! Loved it, truly!
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on 20 April 1999
This book was almost like being there. Marsha has the ability to tell a story like few others can. This book took you to the battle fields in vivid color and description. The emotion of the characters and their love and devotion are powerful. The intense emotion of the battle of Culloden is so amazingly real that you almost feel you are right there. You can picture the mists of Scotland, feel the sting of winter, and know the pain and grief of loss in battle. And the little surprise at the end of the story will catch you off guard. Very highly recommended. This is a real story.
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