Monday, June 24, 2013

BOND OF PASSION by Bertrice Small

The Border Chronicles Series, Book Six
Signet Eclipse
May 7th, 2013
Historical Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher


Angus Ferguson, Earl of Duin, is handsome, rich and is determined to have this piece of land abutting his. The catch-Marry the oldest daughter of the laird of Rath, Annabella Baird. With nothing to lose, Angus agrees and expects a demure, obedient woman. What he gets in Annabella is so much more than he bargains for. Annabella always knew she was not the beauty her younger sisters were but grateful to find herself wed to an Earl, she finds herself falling in love with Angus even as they get to know one another after the marriage ceremony. But even as these two fall in love, forces are at work that will divide Scotland and if the Earl and his countess are not careful, their lives will be forfeit in the coming future.

Bertrice Small is the queen of historical romance and a master storyteller though with her Border Chronicles series, I found a few hits as well as a few misses with the stories told. In her final book in the series, we meet Mary, Queen of Scotland, the battle between Catholics and Protestant faith and more within the pages of BOND OF PASSION. The one complaint I had, overall, was the constant plain vs. beauty theme that kept cropping up. Yes, Annabella is plain in face but her beauty comes from being pure of heart. She was the perfect fit for the Earl of Duin who is considered quite handsome. Ms. Small has a way of making history come alive in her historical romance books and I loved reading about Mary, Queen of Scotland and the formidable Queen Elizabeth I, her cousin who is a strong monarch in England. The historical references weave themselves within the storyline seamlessly and the mystery over who will help Mary regain her throne deepens with each twist and turn of the story. The characters are intriguing and I loved how Annabella was quiet yet strong, a heroine with a spine forged of tempered steel.

As a long time love for this author’s stories, her strength is in creating strong characters who, fairly brim with life and step out of the pages and into your living room. BOND OF PASSION has those in spades. Yes, there was no heroine gets kidnapped, sold into slavery or other such twist but a nice slow build up of a story that details the plots around Mary’s rise as well as her downfall, the attempts to bring her back onto the throne and more all seamlessly weaving a spell around you as you flip the pages. With each bated breath, I wondered if the Earl and his Countess would be able to ride off into the sunset to have their own happily ever after or was it all for naught. Ms. Small is a talented storyteller who delighted this reviewer with a story that may not be full of pirates or harems or any other items Ms. Small is known for but a story that leaves you, nonetheless, satisfied when you close that last page. Sometimes a reader just needs a simple story that you can enjoy and leave with a smile on your face. I look forward to revisiting the books of Ms. Small in the future and look forward to seeing where else this author will take her beloved readers next.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement


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