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Border Wedding and Border Lass by Amanda Scott

Grand Central

Historical

ISBN: 978-0-446-19798-4, 978-0-446-19799-1

Reviewed by Niki Lee

   

 

Border Wedding and Border Lass are part of a series by Amanda Scott focusing on the stories of families that lived on the border of England and Scotland in the late 1300s.

In Border Wedding, we meet Sir Walter Scott (yes, based on the real person) as he is about to hang for being caught trying to retrieve his stolen cattle.  However, he is presented a choice: marry the thiefís oldest daughter, Lady Margaret Murray, or hang.  With little choice, a hasty wedding takes place.

Wat takes Margaret home with him, barely knowing her and not entirely willing to find out.  Despite his resistance (and hers) they still begin to realize that each is not what they expected.  But as the politics of the land become more and more pressing, their marriage causes them both to be pawns in the battle for the Kingship of the land.

Border Lass follows the story of Margaretís sister, Amalie.  After a heartbreaking experience in her youth, Amalie is set on never marrying.  Instead, she has devoted her service to the beloved widow of the Douglas, Princess Isabel.  Equally unwilling to wed, but still intrigued by Amalie is Sir Garth Napier.  When he finds her eavesdropping at a door with potentially dire consequences, they enter into an even deeper political quagmire than her sister did.  But as they deal with the upcoming power struggle, they continue to need each other as much as they attempt to deny their growing feelings for each other.

Amanda Scott knows her history.  Both Border Wedding and Border Lass are very detailed on all the politics and conspiracies that took place in Scotland at the time.  In fact, in the first book in particular, the details overwhelm the story.  The first book also had two traits I donít care for: dialogue written with the dialect and accent of time, which makes it difficult to read; and a relationship that did not make me root for them.  Wat is portrayed as a hard man, with very little regard for his wife, even once he realizes he loves her. 

However, I did enjoy  Border Lass quite a bit more, in part because most of my problems with the first one were not present.  The characters were much more fun and enjoyable.  The relationship was fun to watch and the resolution was satisfying.  In fact, I enjoyed  Border Lass enough to look forward to the next book, Border Moonlight, due January 5, 2009.

     

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