Friday, September 19, 2008

The Captive Heart-Bertrice Small

The Captive Heart
Bertrice Small
NAL, Oct 2008, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451225023

In 1461 the war seems to impact everyone even the court of King Henry VI and Queen Margaret. With her dad the royal physician to the queen dying, Alix Givet needs a home for herself and her father Alexander. Margaret arranges for her to marry an abusive Northumbrian aristocrat, Hayle Wattison, son of a baron.

With the death of her beloved dad, Alix considers running away from her odious brutish husband. She feels euphorically free when the beast kills himself. That lasts a nanosecond as her father-in-law informs her he will marry her. Rather than being wed to another abuser, Alix flees on foot heading towards wintry Scotland. Laird Malcolm Scott saves her life and though he vowed never to marry after his wife betrayed him, they fall in love and wed. However, her former father-in-law is coming to claim his bride.

This heated fifteenth century historical romance emits enough steam to melt the snow that nearly kills the courageous heroine. Die hard fans of Bertrice Small will enjoy the torrid romance between Malcolm and Alix. However, other readers need to consider the extremes of the prime cast; whereas the led duet is 100% good and honorable, the psychopathic baron is 200 proof amoral evil.

Harriet Klausner

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