The Particulars: Historical Romance, Dell, available as e-book but out of prin
The Source: The bookshelf
The Grade: B
All men lusted for the firebrand they called Flaming Tina, famed for the molten fire in her hair--and for the hot temper running fierce through the noble Scots blood of Lady Valentina Kennedy. Forced into marriage with the fearsome warrior of an enemy clan, Tina vowed to use her wild beauty to gain mastery over Lord Ramsey Douglas.
Dear Author's blogpost about Non regency romance reminded me about this book. I bought it 15 years ago, and I fell in love with Ram and Tina. It has been a while ago since I read it, so I decided to re-read it. And I am glad I did.
The Scotland setting felt very believable. I liked how it affected the story in so many ways, from the political tension between Scotland and England, to the cattle raids, to the way the men spoke to each other and to women. ( Yes, I cringed a couple of times, but at the same time it fit the story.)
I loved Tina and Ram. Tina was sassy, but she also had a sense of loyality. She might flirt, and tease, but she wouldn't go any longer. Ram... was alpha male to the finger tips. He was crude, occassionally, hot tempered, jealous. But he is also loyal, and care about the ones he loves. And, he doesn't hesitate to apologise if he hurts Tina's feelings.
The plot was well written. I must say that I really liked how the political shifts and the romance was balanced in the book. There were time for both, without any part of it overshadowing the other.
I liked how their path to a HEA wasn't easy. They both had hot tempers, and were proud. But I loved following them as they worked towards falling in love. And they faced a lot of obstacles, but in the end that made their HEA more satisfying.
But no matter how much I liked the book, it is 20 years old. And that, I am sad to say, shows. The biggest thing is that there is much more telling than in more recent historical novels. Which made me wish for more dept in some scenes. since the romance felt shallow at times. But it is still a great novel, and I think I'll go and read more of Virginia Henley's novels. ( Sadly, they wont be in Swedish, since this line was cancelled 14 years ago.)