Author Jane Beckenham brings us the following guest review for Sophia James’ Ashblane’s Lady. Beckenham is from down under and has sold books to Red Rose Publishing, Linden Bay romance, and Treble Heart Books.
Ashblane’s Lady, set in northwest England in 1358 is the story of Lady Madeline Randwick, the social outcast of her family, whose name brings the moniker of witch, the Black Widow of Heathwater to everyone’s lips, including those of Laird Alexander Ullyot, the Chief of the Ullyot clan in the Scottish highlands.
Ms. James has brought the life and times of this story to the reader’s reality, painting a beautiful picture of words. For example… Not a young man’s face this, full of dreams and promises, but a worn and tried visage underscored by danger and seasoned by tragedy…. Just those words tell us that Alexander is a warrior who has seen too much pain and agony, and yet at the very moment that Madeline sees Alexander, he is crying, holding the dead body of clansman. That softness is part of this Laird is a very shocking thought to Madeline.
Taken hostage, in order to assuage for her brother’s killing of his men, Alexander is determined to get his revenge, whereas Madeline, unable to suffer the perils of being a pawn in her brother’s schemes to gain access to her inheritance is determined to use this as her chance to escape his hold on her.
Madeline is a healer, but Alexander is suspicious of any who profess to have the art and though wounded refuses her help. It is his clansmen who finally convince him, and she saves his life, though confesses to murder. Alexander has a healer and a murderer under his roof. Which is worse?
It is through Alexander’s child, a deaf and dumb mute, Gillion, that Madeline is finally able to see some of the pain and heartache that has made Alexander the hard man he is, and also what also hides his mistrust of healers.
Through the politics of the warring border clans, of betrayal and the fight for power, Madeline must too fight for Alexander, so that he can release the power his past has on him, and find the ability to love.
Ashblane’s Lady is a fabulous read. It is a book of highs and lows that Ms. James’ skill takes you along for the ride. Definitely a keeper.
This book can be purchased in mass market. No ebook format.
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