Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Borderland Ladies #0
Publication Date: 2/25/20
Number of Pages: Novella Length
Finally! We get to read Bran’s backstory, meet his sister, and see her get her HEA. One of the delightful things about this novella is that you don’t feel you’ve missed anything when you are finished reading. With some novellas, you end up feeling as if you aren’t quite finished yet, but this beautifully told tale leaves you with a feeling of full satisfaction. If you haven’t already read the rest of the Borderland Ladies series, read this one first, because you get to know Bran, the hero of Marin’s Promise – but, if you’ve read the rest of the series already, this is a lovely addition.
Ena and Bran Davidson were the only survivors when the English attacked their cottage in Scotland. Ena was grievously wounded and only survived because Bran tended her as best he could. They were just small children, orphaned, and abandoned by a society that was more concerned with their own survival than that of a couple of small orphaned children. Ena and Bran were close, they knew how lucky they were to have each other.
Ena wanted, so very much, to help Bran. She hated that she was expected to sit in their cottage in relative safety while he was out reiving in order for them to eat. His life was on the line all the time. When she decided to dress like a warrior and sneak off to join in one of the raids, she had no idea it would change her life, Bran’s life, and the life of an Englishman she had yet to meet.
Renault Blanchard was orphaned at a very young age and was totally on his own – another of society’s throwaways. He was bound and determined to make something of himself. His goal was to become a castle guard at Kershopefoot Castle. Imagine a poor, dirty, scrap of a beggar becoming a castle guard and living in the castle. All he had to do was please the Earl of Bothbury with the reports from his spying and he was sure he would be elevated. Well, that was his goal until the night he had a brief battle with a fierce warrior – one that proved to be a female.
Renault continues to encounter Ena – deliberately – even though he knows his life would be forfeit if anyone – his people or hers – should ever find out. Life is hard in the Borderlands between England and Scotland – and the people are enemies. There can be no hope for a relationship between then, but Renault can’t stop himself.
You’ll absolutely love watching Ena and Renault find love against all of the odds. You’ll also love Bran and his devotion to and love for his sister. I can definitely recommend this fast-paced, exciting read. The one thing that bothered me at all – and it is a very, very, very, very minor thing is that somehow, I had trouble with the name Renault for our hero. I’m sure it is correct for the time and place because this author is a stickler for that sort of thing. The fault is totally and completely mine – I just didn’t care for the name.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.