Review by Kayleigh

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Would he reprimand her again like he’d done following the funeral? Studying him, unsure of his next move, she aimed for lightheartedness. “You have such a February face. So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness.”

“Well played,” he said, his eyes still stern. “Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing.”

“Act 5, Scene 4.”

He leaned back. “And you, milady, have a ‘May face, full of caprice and whimsy and bordering on disgrace.”

She couldn’t place the verse which was maddening. Had he made it up? Folding her hands in her lap, she refused to be unsettled by his poetic appraisal. Or yet another of his burning looks.

This slow burn historical romance will have you swooning into your cup of tea. 

 In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley’s father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to flee her home in northern England. Secreted to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland, Lady Blythe awaits who will ultimately be crowned king. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known.

No sooner has Everard Hume lost his father, Lord Wedderburn, than Lady Hedley arrives with the clothes on her back and her mistress in tow. He has his own problems–a volatile brother with dangerous political leanings, an estate to manage, and a very young brother in need of comfort and direction in the wake of losing his father. It would be best for everyone if he could send this misfit heiress on her way as soon as possible.

Drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting alliances, and ambitions, Lady Blythe must be careful whom she trusts. Her fortune, her future, and her very life are at stake. Those who appear to be adversaries may turn out to be allies–and those who pretend friendship may be enemies. 

This was my first Laura Frantz and I devoured it. It has everything I love: deeply researched historical, slow burn romance and the most beautiful and vivid writing. As a teen, I devoured Anya Seton’s books. Laura’s storytelling reminds me of hers, filled with politics, intrigue and romance. I loved being thrown back to the Jacobite Rising of 1715 and watching it roll out from the perspective of an English catholic woman in hiding and a Scottish laird whose obligation is to protect her.   

This is a slow burn romance between Lady Blythe and the Laird, Everard Hume. Their differences are marked at the beginning of their meeting when she arrives at his home in the middle of the night fleeing danger. She doesn’t know that her godfather, Everard’s father and the man she was supposed to request clemency from, had just died. Blythe is an intelligent woman of her time – fluent in many languages she translates old texts for Oxford (of course not published under her name). In the English court she is not seen as a beauty but instead an oddity. Through her relationship with Everard, he helps her to see her strengths and beauty. Watching the gruff and taciturn laird lose his heart to her made my heart sing. When they finally both admit their feelings to each other, after many pages of Laura heightening the mutual pining, I almost cheered out loud. 

This historical romance is fraught with suspense and action but is a beautiful love story. If you love the Outlander series and want more Scottish men in your life then you must read The Rose and the Thistle. 

Thank you to Austenprose for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.