Dear. Ms Potter,
I applaud anyone these days willing to write a historical romance novel that’s NOT a Regency. So, here’s lots of applause for you. And more applause for writing a good novel with characters I cared about while you’re at it. It’s not every day that I find a book set in the early sixteenth century along the English/Scottish border.
I liked the way you showed the battle of Flodden Field (realistic but not too gory) and how you made the Reiver heroine willing to go out and plunder the battlefield instead of turning all TSTL (as Mary Balogh had the Disney Whores do in her unfortunate Slightly Sinful) and not get anything for her efforts. You did a good job showing the heroine’s hard day to day life without turning her into a pity party.
My downgrade comes from the hero. He’s got amnesia and though he’s a great Beta guy, a whole lot of time is spent with him agonizing over his lost memory and being
haunted by fleeting bits of recollection. The villain is also very two
dimensional though thankfully you don’t spend much time with him onstage. I guess men of that era would be a bit thuggish but a subtler touch would have been appreciated.
The heroine’s daughter gets a little, teensy bit cloying at times but I’ll cheerfully admit that children in romance novels generally set my teeth on edge. Still, this is believable, well researched, filled with good characters and Not A Regency!