Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ARC REVIEW Seize the Dawn by Heather Graham

I love Heather Graham historicals, I appreciate all the research and time she puts into it to make it so much more than just a bodice ripper. Heather Graham historicals are more than just romance novels they are a journey to the past. With as much strife and bloodshed that happened at the turning of the 13th to 14th centuries it would be hard not to write an emotional, heart wrenching novel that takes place in that time. Mrs. Graham created a love story around the Scottish fight for freedom where you see all sides the conflict. The British Army to the south and the Scottish fighters to the north and all the innocent people who got stuck in the middle. She even brings in William Wallace, I love her version of him, because I too like the romanticized version of him, and yes in the end I cried just like I did at the end of Braveheart. He was a loyal man who knew exactly what he was standing for and wouldn't give it up for some pieces of gold.

Lady Eleanor and Brendan Graham met on the battlefield. Eleanor was fighting to protect her family's ancestral land and Brendan was fighting for Scotland. They were both young and Brendan gave her mercy when he found out she was a girl, but Eleanor bopped him on the back of the head with the hilt of her sword when he turned his back. Years later Eleanor has been backed into a corner she must marry and unless she wants the King picking out her husband for her she must go with the only one she finds acceptable, an old friend of her father's a French titled Lord with enough money in his coffers to save her lands. On her way to France her ship gets attacked by pirates and then she gets saved by a ship of Scots. Her rescuer, none other than Brendan Graham.

Brendan has been a faithful servant and friend to William Wallace and on their way to France to seek help from the French King they come across a British ship being attacked by a notorious French pirate. Brendan and his cousins crew save Eleanor. Eleanor's life changes from that moment on, her perception on the world and the British/Scottish conflict is also altered as she learns their side and gets to know them as people instead of just dirty barbarians. Brendan is determined to protect Eleanor, even from herself. When the French Pirate admits he was paid to make sure the Lady didn't arrive in France Brendan's protectiveness spikes. He will see her safely to her finace and get a good foot in with the French King. As much as Brendan wanted to hate Eleanor for being English and for knocking him out the first time they met he can't help but feel the pull of attraction and admire her for the strong, loyal, and beautiful woman she is; but he knows he can not have her. Eleanor feeling the same is willing to give what she has while they can.

The story progress slowly but there is so much story there. What I have summarized above is just the beginning. Once Eleanor returns to England broken hearted at having to leave Brendan and that part of her life behind something more sinister occurs and that brings Brendan running back into safe her. There is so much to this story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the historical aspects she put in it and William Wallace.      

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