The Warrior and the Rose by Brenda Joyce
The people in this story are definitely from the 13th century. They expect obedient, mild mannered women and men who know much more about the world than home bound females. Luckily for us, Brenda also understands that we are modern readers, and as such, have little understanding or tolerance for women who don't fight for what we think of today as fair treatment. Juliana is a very modern woman. She is confident of her place in her world and won't let anyone forget it. She also tends to be outspoken, a rare trait in women of that time period. Alaisdair is often surprised at how she speaks out against his acts of violence or cruelty. As time goes on, she learns that he is neither of these things without very good cause. It is a fast paced, easy read but a lot more could have been put into it to take it from an ok read to a good one.
The Forbidden Highlander by Terri Brisbin
This is the first historical romance I've come across that tells a story from the point of view of an eloped couple. It gives a lot of insight into why elopement was definitely not done in this age. It also has a forbidden love aspect, as the couple are not of the same social status. The woman is neither a virgin nor a widow, which leads to an interesting confrontation between individuals and their feelings of shame, guilt, honor, and possession. The story is not well-written. There are a number of errors in spelling, some words missing or replaced with an incorrect one, and the story is hard to finish, even though it is easy to read.
Rescued By the Highlander by Michelle Willingham
I found both the main characters in this story annoying. Celeste was overly emotional and Dougal could not hold onto his on convictions for the life of him. Given the circumstances of the story, Celeste might be forgiven her emotional turmoil. And given the nature of the book, Dougal might be forgiven his lack of personal strength when it came to Celeste. I have come across several books where the heroes suffer the same faults as this pair, but they weren't nearly as frustrating because the author wrote them better. Although both Celeste and Dougal are weak characters, they do have some virtues. Celeste, even though she was panicking, managed to come up with a workable and totally out-of-line plot to save both herself and her sister. It was an interesting idea, but it could have given more to the story if she didn't have such a hard time with it. And despite their bad history, Dougal did act honorably towards Celeste.
Review: All three stories gave a more accurate depiction of women from this time period than many other more popular books. All three heroines believe that women have their place in the world, and that it is absolute, even though all of them are also given to more fiery natures. The men all agree that men have their duties and that women have theirs, and even if it's not said directly, it still comes through in the writing. Sometimes, this style works. This time it didn't. The women came across as weak instead of dutiful, and the men as chauvinists, not respectful. The stories themselves are interesting. I enjoyed the plot lines in all three. However, not one of them was written well. If the authors had taken more time with all three novellas, to the point of making them complete novels by themselves, they would have been worth taking the time to enjoy. As it is, the book isn't really worth the effort unless one is looking for a cheap Harlequin thrill.
Total: 2/5 DIAMONDS
Review by: Elizabeth