Tyndale, 2003, 10.99, 357 pp.
The Hewes and the Sherbournes started out as best friends when the monarch rewarded their loyalties with adjacent estates near Otley, England. However, a land dispute broke out many generations after the founding and for the next century plus the two families remain feuding.
In 1813 Olivia Hewes worries that her family may be in financial trouble. Her choices are to find a profit making venture or a loveless marriage to a wealthy person. She chooses the business venture feeling she can make money selling wool.
With the sudden death of his father, Lord Randolph Sherbourne is now in charge of the family fortunes. He has two immediate goals. He wants to learn what really happened to his father and to settle the dispute with the Hewes. His attraction to Olivia is a good reason for the latter. She feels the same way about ending the feud and is already half in love with Randolph. However, their relationship and the tenuous peace seem impossible as facts about his sire's death implicate the Hewes.
WILD HEATHER is a delightful historical romance that uses the often applied Romeo and Juliet family feud theme to cause a schism between the lead couple, but Catherine Palmer keeps it fresh with other subplots that tie back to the prime story line. The tale is filled with surprising twists that keep the reader hopping as to what will happen next. The lead couple is a fine star-crossed pair falling in love and desiring peace between their families, but the mystery of his father adds suspense and a new impetus to the quarrel. Catherine Palmer furbishes a strong historical romance that sub-genre fans will fully appreciate.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner