I took another of my occasional side trips into a genre I rarely read – in this case, historical romance.
For me, the inevitable outcome of a romance novel is usually a bit of a dampener, but this one had enough intriguing hooks for me to want to give it a try – the Scottish setting, a dollop of horse training, and some genuine historical action mixed into the plot.
If any of those aspects grabs you, I highly recommend you give it a go.
I’d give a 4.5 rating if I could, but I had to split the difference, so its a 4 star on Goodreads, and a 5 star on Amazon.
Alex (Alexandra) is an only child, and so heir to her father’s estate, which lies just on the English side of the Border with Scotland. As heir, Alex has more freedom than the average woman of her time, and spends her days riding, and indulging in a spot of cattle rustling – a frequent ‘sport’ of the locals, though deadly if caught.
Duke is her pride and joy, the stallion she has trained in Haute Ecole, and when he is stolen, her only thought is to steal him back. Caught in the act, she could be executed as a criminal.
Michael is a Scottish Laird who shares Alex’s love of horses. He’s also a deputy warden tasked with upholding the law. And as if that weren’t enough, marriage between English and Scot is forbidden, punishable by death. How was the author going to get past these apparently insurmountable barriers?
Quite well, actually, but you’ll have to read it to see how.
Alex is a terrific, independent and fiery heroine, whose tendency to act first and regret later leads much of the action, getting her into dire situations with unexpected ways out.
Michael is a bit too good to be true, but we’d all like to find a man like that, so I’ll let it pass.
I was both surprised and impressed to discover that the events involving Mary, Queen of Scots, were historically accurate, and the way the author wove them into the story added real substance and credibility to the plot.
This is a romance novel, so the outcome was predictable, but I enjoyed the journey, the insight into events and locations in the Scotland of 1566, and the inclusion of real events and people. The writing flows smoothly, and the dialogue provides more than a touch of welcome humour. A Love Divided is nominally a clean historical romance, but the few intimate moments were quite steamy, so if you might find that offensive, then reader, beware!