Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review: A ROSE IN THE STORM by Brenda Joyce

Margaret Comyn was determined to save her legacy, Castle Fyne, and retain her loyalty to her family.  Her country is in great turmoil fighting for its independence from the English. While her family acknowledges Edward I as King, many of her countrymen are fighting for Robert the Bruce to be the true king of Scotland.

Alexander “The Wolf of Lochaber” MacDonald is not only enemy to Margaret's clan, but is also refusing to accept a English ruler. Castle Fyne is and excellent stronghold that many wish to own, boarding along the clan MacDonald lands makes it that more enticing to Alexander.

When Alexander attacks the castle, Margaret is in a quandary, she's never had to make such a tough decision, yet she chooses not to surrender. Alexander places the castle under siege, expecting not to have to hold it long, and he's correct, as Margaret soon learns her mistake in challenging such a strong force. What she is surprised by is the just and fair nature of Alexander. She finds herself drawn to him, but knows that he's fighting for her enemy. How can she betray her family for a man and a cause that she is unsure of? 


A ROSE IN THE STORM is written along the lines of the epic historical romances of the 1980's without the 'old skool' forced seduction/rape scenes (THANKFULLY).  I'm a HUGE fan of historical sagas, I like a romance that takes place over months and years rather than a short span of a few days or weeks.  I think it leads to a more realistic feel for the characters HEA.  There is no need for our heroes and heroines to rush to fall in love.

I like that Margaret could enjoy her desires and not feel the unnecessary doom and gloom of actually liking her new-found experiences in this modern twist of a historical saga. What she struggled with, was the choices she was forced to make between choosing Alexander or her family. The chemistry between Alexander and Margaret didn't have any real snap and pop. I felt that it was more of a fizzle rather than a sizzle. Which really disappointed me. I've always been drawn emotionally to Brenda Joyce's characters. Margaret was too indecisive, she didn't want to hurt her family and she wasn't sure if Edward 1 or Robert the Bruce would be the right leader. Finally, she let her love for Alexander make the choice for her.

Alexander was a sexy character, yet I think that he was almost too willing to let Margaret make her own choices...yes, I know that sounds silly. What I mean to say is that I don't think he fought hard enough to entice Margaret into following him over her family.

There wasn't enough angst or emotional pull in this book to make me fall in love or even hate these characters. I felt myself becoming apathetic about them, as any sort of conflict seemed to be quickly snubbed out.

I enjoyed most of the story, but without the emotional connection to the characters I'm giving this a 3.5 Rambling Hearts rating.

*Note: I received an ARC of this book through the publisher via NetGalley