Thursday, September 04, 2008

Border Lass - Amanda Scott


Border Lass
Amanda Scott
Grand Central Publishing

Historical Romance

Lady Amalie Murray, sister to Meg (BORDER WEDDING) is in a delicate position. Her brother, Simon, wants to marry her off to a man who will be a help to him and to Earl Fife, who is brother to the newly-crowned High King of Scots. Amalie has absolutely no intention of getting married. Fortunately for her, the princess Isabel has informed her that, under Scots law, no woman can be married against her will. Isabel does not know Simon or Amalie’s mother, the implacable Lady Murray very well.

Isabel is beset with her own concerns. She is convinced that Fife, in a bid for even more power, killed James Douglas (her late husband) and Will Douglas. If not Fife himself, then, hired agents. Most believe Isabel is madly grieving. Sir Garth Napier, a friend of Will, and the man who found him dying, tends to believe her. As such, he is put in place as one of the knights in Isabel’s house, ostensibly to safeguard the princess and her ladies, but also to discover what information he can.

Events at the coronation brought Amalie and Garth together. In fact, Garth discovered Amalie, listening in at a door. He literally swept her off her feet and carried her away before either of them could be discovered. Amalie claimed that she only heard voices behind the door, but the truth is that she heard part of a discussion involving murder. Amalie has good reason not to trust anyone, and the political times are turbulent, making her hesitant to reveal too much. Garth is equally determined to find out the truth and to protect Amalie.

Anyone with even a passing interest in Scottish and English history will love this novel. Scotland in 1390 was a period rife with political intrigue. The author uses this background to great effect, making the deaths of James and Will Douglas and the attendant (clandestine) investigations the main plot. Of course, there’s the personal story of Garth and Amalie, and it’s woven seamlessly into the whole. Amanda Scott writes books that make history come alive; blending romance and history into something that’s more than the sum of its parts.

Rating: 8
September 2008
ISBN# 0-446-19799-8 (paperback)

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