Regular readers of this blog will know that historical romances are amongst my favourite reads and Claiming the Rebel’s Heart is a MUST READ for fans of this genre! Alison Stuart’s beguiling tale transported me back to the time of the English Civil War, when Parliamentary forces were pitied against the supporters of the King, a conflict that tore families and communities apart. This book is one of my top picks of the year so far and its heroine Deliverance Felton and hero Luke Collyer are one of my favourite couples!
Herefordshire, England 1643
As the English Civil War divides England and tears families apart, Kinton Lacey castle is one of the brave few loyal to the roundhead cause.
With her father away, Deliverance Felton will do whatever it takes to defend her family home against the royalist forces ranged against it. She can shoot and wield a sword as well as any man and anything she needs to know about siege warfare she has learned from a book…but no book can prepare her for what is to come.
Captain Luke Collyer, soldier of fortune and a man with his own reasons for loyalty to the parliamentary cause, is sent to relieve the castle. Everything he knows about siege warfare in general and women in particular he has learned from experience, but when it comes to Deliverance Felton has he met his match?
Deliverance will not give up her command lightly and Luke will have to face a challenge to his authority as fierce as the cavalier foe outside the walls. He will do whatever it takes to win Deliverance’s trust but will he run the risk of losing his own, well guarded, heart?
In Claiming the Rebel’s Heart Alison Stuart weaves a heartfelt romance between the Protestant Deliverance Felton and soldier of Fortune Luke Collyer. The author’s skilled prose and characterisations immersed me into the time period and I was hanging on every word, and hankering for their HEA.
Deliverance rails at being a woman in a man’s world and I absolutely adored her strength and the clash of wills when Captain Luke Collyer appears with his band of men, intent on relieving her of control of protecting her beloved home. Luke has never met a woman like Deliverance, who seems immune to his usual charm, and he cannot bend her to his will, however he is nevertheless fascinated by her. Deliverance is equally drawn to Luke and there is a great deal of sexual tension between the couple as they are torn between desire for each other and duty to protect the castle and its inhabitants, without succumbing to the distraction of their mutual passion. The scenes where Deliverance and Luke vie with each other over ultimate control of the castle’s defences are so entertaining and such a pleasure to read. Deliverance and Luke are a well matched couple, complementing each other well and bringing out the best in each other, although sparks do certainly fly!
Their tender romance is played out during an increasingly brutal siege and the author has clearly done her homework in terms of her knowledge of the weapons, tactics and behaviour that was commonplace at this time. Not everyone in the castle is what they seem and it is only a matter of time before their valuable food supplies run out, compelling their surrender. How can the couple sustain their burgeoning romance when there are threats from their enemies, possible traitors in their midst, secrets from Luke’s troubled past and the differences in their station, Luke being a common soldier and Deliverance a Lady?
All the characters within the novel are equally well drawn from the Royalist enemies, Deliverance’s sister Penitence and her erstwhile suitor, Jack, who is on the side of the Royalists and Luke’s comrade Ned Barrett. I enjoyed them all and I will be checking out the other books this author has written set in this time period, namely By The Sword and The King’s Man. I recommend this novel to all lovers of romance, but especially those who love historical romance.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
A copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
Publisher: Oportet Publishing Cover Design: Coverhaus
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