Series: Westmoreland #1
Published by Pocket Books on May 31, 1991
Beautiful Historical Romance
“A toast to the Duke of Claymore and his bride!”
THE STORY: This book takes place in 1497 when disputes continue between the English and the Scottish. Jennifer Merrick is the daughter of a Scottish earl who has been sent to an abbey because of her stubborness. One day, Jennifer and her stepsister are taken captive by The Wolf. Royce Westmoreland, Earl of Claymore and the English King’s “Wolf”, takes the two sister to use as leverage to defeat Jennifer’s father. The Scottish girl soon challenges Royce in unexpected ways and her pride and willfulness intrigues him. Despite the fact that the two should be enemies, there is no doubt that the two find in one another something they both need. At the same time, danger and intrigue threatens to tear them apart.
OPINION: This book is complicated and layered and so is the relationship between Royce and Jennifer. In a world filled with violence and war, both Jennifer and Royce really want peace, but are constantly pulled toward discord and violence. Jennifer is spirited and is no victim when held captive by Royce. I liked how the balance between the two is always kept even when it seems that Royce should have the upper hand. The story was interesting and grounded firmly in historical events. My favorite part of the novel, however, was Royce. He is a hero whose gentle qualities are slowly revealed throughout the book. He makes serious mistakes that threaten his relationship with Jennifer and he takes action to make reparation and to draw his wife back to him. His willingness to treat Jennifer as an equal is also something that develops through the novel. This novel has definite emotional development and movement for the characters which makes the ending satisfying.
WORTH MENTIONING: There is some physical violence between Jennifer and Royce (including spanking), but I didn’t feel that it was particularly serious considering the book occurs in 1497.
FINAL DECISION: I ended up loving this book primarily because of Royce, who I initially thought distant but whom I ended up loving because of how he treated Jennifer.
CONNECTED BOOKS: A KINGDOM OF DREAM is the first book in the Westmoreland Saga that spans centuries of the Westmoreland family.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.