Synopsis: The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz is a stand alone novel set in the mystical castles of Scotland. Lady Blythe Hedley, a duke’s daughter, finds herself in need of protection as her father is caught up fighting for the return of the Stuart king and running for his life. Everard Hume, a Scottish earl, finds himself the untimely protector of a woman he has never met while maneuvering through the death of his father, assuming an earldom, and dealing with his rebellious brother whose actions put the family dangerously close to the wrong side of the new King.
Frantz has woven a bit of camelot into this story. The Rose and the Thistle combines ancient Scottish history with Camelot and Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott. Castles, towers, prisoners, intrigue and court life all set the stage for an unlikely romance.
While some authors do not take the time for character development, we cannot accuse Frantz of this. It is over 100 pages before the heroine meets the hero. But, once she does, you have a full scope of the situation surrounding them. Both hero and heroine have strength of character. Sometimes novelists allow the heroine to overpower the hero in wit and tenacity, but I am glad Frantz chose to make a bulwark of Everard.
There is also a strong theme of faith in Christ and unity within the body of Christ. I specifically appreciated how she built a bridge between Protestants and Catholics. Especially when representing a tulmultuous time in history of a deposed Catholic King and a new Protestant King of Britian.
If you love Laura Frantz, you will love this too. My only complaint was the slower beginning, but of course, her novels are always worth it.
Happy reading! – Leslie
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