Monday, January 30, 2017

Review ~ The Thorn & the Thistle ~ Julie Moffett #BloggerShame

The Thorn & the ThistleThe Thorn & the Thistle by Julie Moffett
Release Date: January 28, 2013
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #BloggerShame, #BookishResolutions, #COYER, #ShelfLove

Scotland, 1751

The MacLeods are a strong clan, united with their fellow Scots to resist English rule. But when their leader, the Black Wolf, is struck down in battle, it is up to his daughter to keep the rebellion alive. Megan knows she must act quickly or risk losing the fight for their ancestral lands. Desperate, she secretly assumes the Black Wolf's mantle, fooling their enemies into thinking he's still alive. If she can keep going for a bit longer, the clan's future will be secure...

Rolf St. James has been sent by the king to settle the Scottish lands once and for all. He's not about to let a woman get in his way, no matter how desirable he finds her. He must put aside his attraction and fulfill his duty to permanently quell the rebellion, regardless of the cost.

Rolf represents everything her father hated, everything she's been fighting against. But as the days pass and Rolf's code of honor reveals itself, Megan finds it's not so easy to hate him anymore. Can she risk her people's future for a chance at personal happiness?

This little gem has been sitting on my nook since 2013. I'm happy I finally read it as it was a compelling and satisfying read.

When the British defeated the Highlanders at Culloden, the MacLeod clan was removed from their lands - forced to live in the forest of Gairloch. Megan MacLeod, a smart, witty, cunning, and courageous young woman, tkaes over as laird when her father is killed. She carries on his legend as the Black Wolf, stealing food and supplies from the English until a new Englishman comes. One tasked with capturing the Black Wolf and bringing about peace between the English and the Scottish. When he captures Megan, they both begin to re-think their ideas and perceptions about one another and the possibility of peace between their people.

What I enjoyed most was seeing a woman in power - how brilliantly she negotiated and used her mind in aiding and protecting her people. And how the men, particularly the English, underestimated her because she was a woman. Over the course of the story, Rolf came to see Megan as his equal and that was a feat for the time period.

I also liked how living among the Scots changed Rolf's view of them. He'd heard rumors of their savagery but just as others had formed ideas about him due to rumors, he came to see the reality very differently - just as the Scots, and Megan specifically - came to view him as quite different from all they'd heard.

The Thorn & the Thistle was more a story of lessons than a romance, although there is that as well. The characters were complex and the story compelling. My only issue is the inconsistency in the use of the Scottish language. For example, "dinna" and "don't" were used interchangeably but I'd have preferred a consistent use of one. However, the writing was well-done overall and I'll certainly look for more of Moffett's backlist.

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