Raven Carleton lives in England on the Scottish borders, but not a typical English maiden. She loves to breed and train falcons and loves nature. She also has a grandmother who has taught her about herbal remedies, etc and initiated her into the "Craft". One day she comes across swarthy looking arrogant young man who "borrows" her horse and takes the shirt off her back to cover himself and leaves her to return home. A few days later the same man kidnaps her and her fiance to be and takes them to the castle of his brother, Laird of Clan Douglas in Scotland. He ransoms her fiance to be for his stolen horses and an insulting low amount of money but keeps Raven as his guest in the castle. His sister and brother in law welcome her with open arms recognizing his actions as that of a man in love. Raven is just begining to learn of special gifts and how to follow her instincts.
Heath Kennedy is the bastard son of the Laird of Galloway and a gypsy woman who died giving birth to him. He was raised by his gypsy grandmother and had to fight for everything he had. He has a stallion and some brood mares that he keeps with his brother in law Ram Douglas,Laird of Clan Douglas. He longs for land and a home of his own. He has talents of his own in that he can read emotions and call people to him.
Together Raven and Heath use their special abilities to unravel the thefts of livestock, attempted murder of Ram, and attempted kidnapping of the 2year old King of Scotland. They are pitted against the powerful and wealthy Dacre's of England and Archibald Douglas, Ram's uncle. This story is complete with a missing will to be found that gives Heath the land he always wanted, and a confession to be made that restores his birthright to him and make him the Laird of Galloway. There are 2 weddings, both of which are Raven and Heath's and twin babies to be born and a lot of humor and love making.
This report prepared by plnorth
Dell, Jul 2001, 22.95, 368 pp.
In 1514 in the Borders, six thugs abduct Heath Kennedy thinking he is Lord Douglas. He barely escapes, but soon meets Lady Raven Carleton, who is mulling over her expected marriage to Christopher Dacre, son of a Head Border Lord. Not withstanding her connections, Heath steals her horse anyway. Not long afterwards, Heath recognizes his own horse stolen by the thugs but now possessed by Christopher.
As an act of revenge for the attack that he cannot prove, Heath kidnaps Christopher and Raven. He sends the former back for an insultingly low ransom, but decides to keep the latter with him a little longer because he already is falling in love with her. Heath knows that he must somehow persuade Raven that he is the right man for her in spite of his half Gypsy blood. Raven is unable to resist her attraction to the dangerous Heath and neither can he to her, so they make love. However, a deadly conspiracy centering on the three-year-old King of Scotland plus the insulted Dacre clan make a permanent relationship between Heath and Raven seem impossible.
THE BORDER HOSTAGE is the typical entertaining Virginia Henley historical romance with the twist of gypsy and Celtic powers to add depth. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action that paints the conspiratorial atmosphere of the times with fascinating colors. The lead couple is a fabulous duo while the royal machinations adds suspense and excitement to a very strong sixteenth century romance.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner