Thursday, 2 January 2014

Claiming the Rebel's Heart by Alison Stuart

Review by TashNZ
Claiming The Rebel's Heart
by Alison Stuart

Claiming The Rebel's Heart is a 22 January 2014 release.  It's an exciting historical novel which whisked me away to England 1643 where English Civil War was raging and friends, families and neighbours were fighting each other all the while trying to save their own castles.  Past friendships and loyalties have all been tossed out the window.  It's a wonderful historical romance and differs from Alison's other books because there's no ghosts or time travel.

I give this book a solid 5 stars because I was so engrossed in the story I forgot where I was when I was reading it.  I'd taken the kids to the local pools for the afternoon and had to keep looking up completely forgetting I was here, not with Deliverance Felton and Captain Luke Collyer.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the characters and the fab descriptive writing.

The Heroine Deliverance has been left to raise her sister after the death of her mother and brother.  She's has the burden of the castle's upkeep and welfare on her shoulders.  Over time she's taken the opportunity to learn all she can about warfare in prep for trying to save her castle.  She can shoot as good as the man next to her.  She has all the theory knowledge about battle and has studied it till she can study no more but it's not until Captain Luke comes along at the order of her father to be put in charge of protecting the castle that she slowly learns that it's not just book smarts she's going to need.

Luke is quite taken by Mistress Felton, he's never met a lady quite like her.  Imagine pretty, prim and perfect blonde curls, well that's the complete opposite of Deliverance.  The two delightfully clash quite often. Deliverance wants to be the one in charge to protect her family and castle but Luke has orders from her father and has practical knowledge about warfare.  Once things start getting quite messy they realise they  they need each other and before I knew it I was right in the middle of the epic battle with them.

Claiming the Rebel's Heart is beautifully written historical story.  It is full of beautiful descriptions, genuine references to the era, charming characters as well as enemies that are written with complete wickedness.  It's just the right length, not too long and not too short.  I enjoyed the intense build up to the battle and I enjoyed all of the side characters.  Each character had a purpose and they all added to the story.  It has everything, drama, humour, sadness and love.

I received an ARC in return for my honest opinion.  I can honestly say that once I was thru the first chapter I was hooked.  I haven't read a historical for a while and Claiming the Rebel's Heart has reminded me I need to read more.

Check out Alison's website for Claiming The Rebel's Heart for pre-order links.


Reviewed by Shirley Buchanan

“ Kinton Lacey Castle needs to be defended at all costs. It is important to the balance of the war against the Royalists”. At least that was what her father told Deliverance when he left. Although he may not have considered her to be the prettiest and most proper daughter, when her father left her in charge of protecting the family home from the Royalists, she took her responsibility seriously. If she couldn't gain her father's respect through being a proper female like her sister, maybe it would come through her defense of the Kinton Lacey Castle. She learned how to shoot, fight with a sword and command the garrison. Any battle strategy that she needed, she could read it from a book. As far as her being a female, that would come later.

Sent by her father to organize and defend the castle, Capt. Luke Collyer arrived ready to wage a fight against the latest attackers. Honed to be an impressive warrior by his life's experiences, he is stunned when he finds a woman in charge. His philosophy was she should be doing womanly things, not fighting like a common man. But Deliverance doesn't feel that way. Thus started their own mini-war: from the way the castle should be defended to her proper womanly role.

Finally Deliverance and Luke agreed to work on a compromise about the castle, only the awakening romantic feelings between them starts another war all of its own. With the compromise settled, could they find a way to nurture this love between them, a soldier and an heiress? Were their stations in life too far apart or would they have heartbreak in their future instead of a “happily ever after”?

Descriptions of the weapons, battlements, battles and the workings of the castle made you feel like you were part of the action. The detail definitely showed the author's research into the time period and the political feelings at the time as it affected both the general population and the members of the peer.

The story was excellent from the beginning to the very last page. Well written characters meshed with a well developed plot to show how even in the midst of war and adversity love can take root and blossom. Interacts between the hero and heroine were sensual, sexy, and exhilarating. As I turned each page I was greeted by excitement, mystery and intrigue. A real page turner.

I would recommend to all historical romance readers.

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

5/5 stars Romance can flourish even in the midst of war.